Careers

Working out the diversity puzzle

Almost always, opportunities are seized only when established systems go terribly skew-whiff. With the pandemic upsetting the apple cart in terms of work, corporates now pay closer attention to opportunities that predated the crisis.

One example: sourcing remote talent and increasing women’s workforce participation. Post-COVID, corporates have to link these two elements and work out the diversity puzzle.

Neha Bagaria, founder and CEO, jobsforher.com, a jobs portal for women, discloses that July 2020 witnessed a huge spike in the offer of job positions with work-from-home as a key specification. The demand from employers for professionals to handle WFH job roles shot up by 60 percent in July, when compared to April.

It can be argued that WFH is now a stock-in-trade feature, and so this spike is born out of an exigency. Neha however believes it signifies a change in mindset, and expects the trend to outlive the pandemic.

“Earlier, largely, low-value jobs will come with a WFH arrangement. Now employers seek high-skilled professionals, including SAP consultants, JAVA developers and data analysts on a WFH arrangement,” explains Neha, adding that through the pandemic, many sectors persisted with their hiring plans for tech roles, as the focus is on increased digitisation.

If the corporate world had WHF job roles coming out if its ears, that would be an opportunity to promote diversity, and increase women's participation in the workforce.

“In leadership, women’s participation is less than 10 percent. At mid-level jobs, it is between 17 percent and 20 percent. In the Indian context, women's careers often suffer disruptions on account of family commitments. Offer of remote-work can check these disruptions,” explains Lohit Bhatia, president of Indian Staffing Federation.

Neha points out that 70 percent of Indian women go through a change of location on account of marriage. She elaborates: “Women who are well-qualified are shut entirely out of the work environment because they have moved to a tier-2 and tier-3 city and are short on employment options. Now, if remote working becomes a well-entrenched norm, they wouldn't find their career rudely truncated.”


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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 8:43:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/careers/working-out-the-diversity-puzzle/article32391035.ece

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