Recent World Bank’ study of over 800,000 ads on online job portal revealed that gender preferences are prevalent in job advertisements in India, with six in ten advertisements explicitly state that male candidates are preferred of being hired over female.
Female workforce participation continues to be a major concern in India, as it is one of the lowest in the world and is actually declining as large number of Indian women stopped being employed. The study tries to explain the cause of such phenomenon: people doing the hiring still often assume that man tends to do job better than a woman.
About one-third of job ads observed in the research indicated a gender discrimination, with 60 percent of this percentage said a man would be preferred. Men were typically sought after in mechanised jobs such as driving and garment sector jobs, sales work and elementary jobs such as gardening, guard duty and delivery persons. Meanwhile, women are preferred in low-quality, low-status jobs, and typically low-paid informal jobs”. The result of this kind of advertisement is a segregated labour market, The Wire reports.
“Our analysis suggests jobs for positions in sales, retail clerk, office helper, high-intensive outdoor labor work such as laborer, gardener, watchman, delivery collection, and machine-related tasks such as garment worker, machinist, and driver are considered as male jobs. Among indoor low-end jobs, cook and steward are male jobs.
On the other hand, women are disproportionately more preferred in household elementary jobs and caregiving jobs, as well as beautician and receptionist positions. Among professional jobs, teaching and management are relatively female jobs, and engineering and IT profession are considered male jobs.”
The study also found that male bias doesn’t stop only at the quality and nature of job, but extends into pay and compensation as well. Within the pool of gender-specific job advertisements, employers who favored women on average offered a salary ten percentage points lower than the average salary offered by employers who favored men. In each occupation group other than ads for clerical jobs, ads targeted at women offered lower salaries than ads targeting men.