Lack of work flexibility has taken its toll in India. Recent LinkedIn report revealed a significant percentage of women in India are quitting or considering quitting their jobs this year due to the threat of pay cuts, bias, and exclusion if they are asking to work flexibly.
Following the pandemic, a majority of women in India (83 percent) realized they want to work more flexibly. The research noted that 72 percent of working women are rejecting job roles that don’t allow them to work flexibly, while 70 percent have already quit or considered quitting jobs because they were not offered the right flexible policies.
When asked about the benefits of flexible working, around 2 in 5 women said it improves their work-life balance and helps them progress in their careers, while 1 in 3 said it improves their mental health and increases their likelihood of staying in their current jobs.
But due to strong employer bias and poor sentiment, India’s working women are paying heavy penalties to work flexibly. LinkedIn found that 9 in 10 working women had to take a pay cut to work flexibly, 2 in 5 had their flexible working request denied, and 1 in 4 struggled to convince their bosses to accept their request. This has made women reluctant towards asking for greater flexibility because they fear exclusion, being held back from promotions, working overtime, taking pay cuts, and being treated unfavourably by their superiors, the research showed.
“Flexible working is the No. 1 priority today for all professionals, especially for working women. In fact, our research finds that India is on the brink of a ‘flexidus’ with 7 out of 10 working women quitting or considering quitting their jobs due to lack of flexibility.
“This is a warning sign for companies and recruiters to remove the stigma surrounding the need for flexibility and career breaks, and introduce stronger flexibility policies if they don’t want to lose top talent,” said Ruchee Anand, Senior Director, India Talent & Learning Solutions, LinkedIn.