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Business News/ News / India/  Hybrid working model hurts women's promotions, widens gender biases: Report
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Hybrid working model hurts women's promotions, widens gender biases: Report

50% of hybrid workers are of the view that the hybrid model hurts women’s promotions, compared to their male counterparts

Hybrid working model's impact on women (MINT_PRINT)Premium
Hybrid working model's impact on women (MINT_PRINT)

The Covid pandemic has ushered in wide-ranging changes to the workplace, including hybrid work culture. This new model is a combination of 'remote' and 'in-person' working. While the concept of hybrid work is still at a nascent stage, a new study has revealed the impact of the hybrid working model on the lives of working women. The study by New LEAD at Krea University - IWWAGE - Zoom report has said that hybrid working models provide women more autonomy in how they use their time as compared to in-person working models. However, the hybrid working model also entails gender biases at home, one of the key challenges for working women. The sample size for the study consisted of 400 working women, of which 150 were working in a hybrid mode at the time of the survey.

Hybrid model popularity:

As many as 71% of women chose to work in hybrid mode as per the sampled participants in the survey. Region-wise, 84% of women chose hybrid work in the western region of the country. Whereas 42% of women from the Eastern region chose the in-person option. Factoring the age and hybrid culture trend, the report said that women (33-55 years) are more likely to adopt this flexible working model. Most of the women did not choose the hybrid option despite it being ordered to their work at a junior level. 35% of respondents (below 30 years) opt for in-person work even after being offered the hybrid option, the report mentioned.

Sector-wise hybrid work trends:

According to the report, certain sectors were more hybrid work-friendly than others. 55% of hybrid workers belong to the technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, business, and consulting services sectors. While 21% of hybrid workers worked in consumer goods, social services, teaching or real estate, and construction sectors.

The report said that women respondents in the survey claimed an improvement in personal finances due to the hybrid work culture. This could be attributed to a drop in expenditure on the commute and other expenses. 89% of hybrid workers report saving time on commuting.

On average, smaller organisations prefer more daily in-person attendance, while medium-sized organisations prefer the fully remote option and larger organisations are offering hybrid models. Further, women in senior positions are more likely to be given the option of working in a hybrid model. 21% of hybrid workers in the sample report working in consumer goods, social services, teaching, or real estate and construction, which indicates that the possibility of working in hybrid models continues to expand beyond technology.

Key challenges for women in the hybrid work model:

A gap in technological skilling has remained a challenge for workers transitioning to hybrid models, which can hinder women’s effective participation in hybrid workplaces. Nearly a third of the women in the sample who report difficulty in adapting to new technology used by their organisation for hybrid working is from the technology-intensive sector. Similarly, an absence of organisational culture that enables hybrid work is reported as a significant downside, especially by women in the technology (63%) and business and consulting (57%) sectors. Infrastructure is also a key challenge for many hybrid workers in non-metropolitan. Locations as a disparity of resources at home as compared to the once set up are a major disadvantage for those based in non-metropolitan areas (55%). mansi, and 44% of hybrid workers perceive a similar negative effect on networking opportunities available to female employees.

Even in our sample, 50% of hybrid workers perceive that currently women’s promotions are more negatively affected in a hybrid work model than that of their male counterparts, and 44% of hybrid workers perceive a similar negative effect on networking opportunities available to female employees. Further, women who enjoy greater flexibility to work from home also report a higher gender bias. The unequal burden of unpaid care work expected of women within the household continues to persist in hybrid work models.

"There is an expectation that you are at home, you can do this, you can multitask. You can pick up the children in between - you can take care of an aging parent while you’re home. And as a result, the same expectations are not held for men when they are working from home. And the expectations may not always be imposed by others but self-imposed...," a gender specialist said.

Preethi Rao, Associate Director, LEAD at Krea University noted that “With access to the right enabling infrastructure, hybrid work has the potential to provide flexible employment opportunities to women beyond metros. But the option to work remotely and the ease of transition to hybrid work varies by women’s location (metro/other), seniority levels, and sector. Future efforts can focus on bridging data gaps, building use cases for hybrid work across industries and geographies, and creating enabling policies for equitable participation in the workforce".

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mansi Jaswal
I write about gender-related issues, women's rights, women empowerment, gender equality, women's health topics, and their wealth management. Also, profiling women who have fought all odds to make their own identities in their own rights. Before Mint, I worked at Business Today and Business Standard. I studied journalism at IIMC, Delhi. Got a story idea? Email me at mansi.jaswal@htdigital.in
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Published: 22 Mar 2023, 11:12 AM IST
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