International Women's Day: 5 financial challenges women face at workplace
In many organizations, the pay during maternity leave falls, thus women receive lesser pay while on maternity leave.
Women workforce participation has been on the rise over the past few years as it spiked from 23.3 per cent in 2018-19 to 31.9 per cent in 202-21, shows the recent data produced by the Ministry of Labour and Employment. However, women continue to face some major financial challenges in the workplace.
This International Women’s Day, Zee Business spoke to various working women and other experts to get an understanding of what are the major financial challenges a woman faces at the workplace.
1. Gender Pay gap
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Women professionals across various domains have been vocal about the gender pay gap prevalent in the workplace. Be it Bollywood or corporate life, women have complained about the gender pay gap persistent to date. “There is a multitude of challenges the women workers deal with across their different types of work. Along with the prevalence of glass ceilings the women workers face in high-skill formal jobs, the gender-based discrimination in wage payment is common to both high-skill, highly remunerative jobs and also the low-paying elementary occupations requiring low-skills,” said Bidisha Mondal, a research fellow at IWWAGE.
2. Lack of inclusive hiring policies
In many organisations, the pay during maternity leave falls, thus women receive lesser while on maternity leave. Similarly, hardly any companies have a menstrual leave policy. So, if a woman has to take leave for a couple of days in a month during her periods, there is a chance of a salary cut, if they have exhausted the fixed number of personal leaves for that year, highlighted many respondents, we reached out to.
3. Income Effect hypothesis
The income effect identifies the change in consumers' demand for goods and services based on their incomes. In general, as one's income rises, one will begin to demand more goods. “This posits that in households with multiple income streams when men begin to earn more, women are more likely to be encouraged to exit the workforce, as their economic contribution is viewed as less significant. Instead, the social-cultural message this indicates, is that men earn enough to provide for their families, which is highly valued,” added Anu Prasad, CEO & Founder, ILSS, a learning and development organization, working on women's leadership.
4. Pre-conceived bias
There has always been a pre-conceived bias that women will fail to focus more on work after marriage or after becoming a mother. “There is constant judgment from both colleagues and managers when it comes to newly married women entering the workforce, who are sometimes perceived as less capable or less committed than others. Finally, women are often forced to take up lower roles and are not adequately compensated for their work,” Shubhangi Rastogi, founder and CEO, Mind Alcove, a mental well being platform. As women are offered a job not worth their experience or expertise, by default, there is a fall in their pay.
5. Lack of affordable childcare
In many offices, even if there is a place for childcare, it is often expensive. Affording the expenses of the childcare set-up often becomes challenging for the woman. “One of the primary reasons that women leave the workforce is due to the high cost of childcare. If women cannot afford to pay for childcare, they may be forced to stay at home and care for their children, rather than work,” said Bidisha Mondal.
06:50 PM IST