Women less confident about job search, international assignments: Reports

When women seek a job, it is not just about the opportunity or salary hike but also about how they will be able to balance things at home


The greatest difference between men and women can be seen in emotional self awareness, where women are 86% more likely than men to be seen as using the competency consistently, and 45% more likely than men to be seen as demonstrating empathy consistently.
The greatest difference between men and women can be seen in emotional self awareness, where women are 86% more likely than men to be seen as using the competency consistently, and 45% more likely than men to be seen as demonstrating empathy consistently.

Bengaluru: Even as companies go all out to woo women on Women’s day with feel-good measures, the reality of juggling home and career has a far-reaching impact on women at the workplace.

Besides the perennial challenge of attrition due to childcare, reports from Michael Page, an executive search firm, and consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) show that women tend to be less confident about searching for a job when compared to men and few end up taking international assignments.

Michael Page surveyed 4,105 women in the Asia Pacific region and found that Indian women are less confident about their job search, with only 68% confident about finding a job within the next three months, when compared to 72% men.

This is because when women seek a job, it is not just about the opportunity or salary hike but also about how they will be able to balance things at home.

“Women are more realistic about their promotion. While searching for a new job, salary is not as important for women as it is for men. They prefer matching their life priorities with their career,” said Sebastien Hampartzoumian, senior managing director, Michael Page India.

This awareness also points to the higher emotional quotient in women. A new research by the Hay Group division of executive search firm Korn Ferry found that women employ the emotional and social competencies correlated with effective leadership and management more effectively than men.

The greatest difference between men and women can be seen in emotional self awareness, where women are 86% more likely than men to be seen as using the competency consistently, and 45% more likely than men to be seen as demonstrating empathy consistently, found the research.

The higher emotional quotient and empathy is also one of the reasons why few women end up taking international assignments, even if it means limited growth into leadership roles, especially in international companies.

PwC surveyed 3,937 professionals from 40 countries to find out about their international mobility experiences and found that women account for only 20% international assignees.

But this is not to say they don’t have the aspirations for an international role. 71% of female millennials want to work abroad during their career, according to PwC.

The reason for the under-representation is that women with children said they do not want to undertake international assignments and 43% of women surveyed called it their top barrier. Interestingly, most of men and women surveyed agreed that the most preferable time to undertake an assignment during their career was before having children.

One of the reasons for few women getting international exposure is also because organisations have no clear view of employees who are willing to be internationally mobile as most companies don’t have a real-time picture of how many and which of their employees are willing and prepared to go on an international assignment.

“To overcome the barriers to more gender-inclusive mobility, international employers must first identify and understand the actual—not assumed—barriers confronting them. Using data analytics to gain a clear view of current mobility and wider workforce demographics will be crucial,” said Agnès Hussherr, PwC global diversity leader.