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The Covid-19 pandemic decisively changed the way women look at their careers. As the pandemic hit India’s workplaces, women had to navigate the blurring boundaries between professional and personal lives. While women had to undergo an overnight shift to allow their personal, home spaces to become workplaces, companies devised new models of work.
As India Inc explored multiple work models — work from home, work from anywhere, and hybrid mode of work — new opportunities emerged for women in some sectors. The options of permanently working from home and flexible work meant women could deal with one of the most significant barriers to their career: family constraints.
“This could be attributed to post-Covid labour market situations wherein the financial pressure on men to be providers has exacerbated, and the societal pressure on women to juggle both home and careers has been accentuated,” said Saundarya Rajesh, founder-president of Avtar.
The message for companies: the option to work from home could be the most effective way to attract and retain female employees, especially when some sectors are amid a war for talent. In the survey, about 25% of the men cited the WFH option as influencing their decision to move jobs, while for women, this was 63%.
“Remote work, which has been long touted as the oxygen of women’s careers, has now become a respectable, universal reality, and it gives men the space and flexibility to manage their commitment and role at homes,” Rajesh said.
Beyond WFH, monetary compensation emerges as the second most prominent reason women quit jobs, indicating that while most women continue to be primary caregivers at home, their incomes are no longer considered secondary or supplementary. The research also reveals that more women than men move jobs for better career growth and prospects.