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One in four women said that they are not interested in Senior Leadership positions

One in four women said that they are not interested in Senior Leadership positions

In a global survey, 1 in 4 women stated that business culture is the main reason they do not want a senior leadership position.

Women face a variety of challenges, including discomfort, and less than half believe their company supports them in juggling work and personal obligations.

According to Deloitte’s Women @ professional: A Global Outlook, as stress levels grow and mental health issues remain, fewer women say their employers help them manage professional obligations with their personal lives. This trend is driving some women to change jobs.

The poll, now in its fourth year, provides some insight into the important workplace and cultural variables influencing women’s careers. The sample size is 5,000 working women from ten different nations.

Although this year has been better than last for women working in hybrid models, many have recently been requested to return to the office, which has had a negative impact on their productivity and mental health.

“Despite a few minor improvements from last year, our survey tells us that women are facing mounting pressures in the workplace, their personal lives, and their communities,” said Emma Codd, Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Deloitte Global.

Women feel that their rights are being violated globally, and they are also under more stress and handling most domestic chores at home. In addition, they report encountering insensitive conduct at work, feeling unsafe and reluctant to come out when they encounter issues related to women’s health. Employers must make this transition possible since the current environment must alter.

Furthermore, workplace flexibility continues to rank among the most important considerations for women when choosing a job, as noted by Yvaine Gan, the Program Leader for SheXO at Deloitte Southeast Asia. Employers should empower and enable their staff to manage their personal and professional life by offering flexibility in working hours and responsibilities in order to attract and retain the finest talent.

Women’s mental health is being negatively impacted by stress and lengthy work hours.

Globally, women are most concerned about their mental health (48%), ranking second only to their rights (50%), and financial stability (51%). Half of the respondents say they are under more stress now than they were a year ago, and a comparable percentage say they are worried or extremely worried about their mental health.

An inability to detach from work is one of the many possible factors that the survey examines in relation to this trend of declining mental health levels. While half of women who typically only work their contracted hours describe their mental health as good, this drops to 23% for those who regularly work extra hours. Merely 37% of respondents claim to be able to unplug from work.

Adding to this problem is the fact that two-thirds of women don’t feel comfortable discussing their mental health at work, and more than half of the women polled said their employers don’t provide them with enough mental health support. Even while the results are alarming, they do represent a step up over those of the previous year, when an even higher percentage of women reported that their employer did not provide them with enough mental health support and that they did not feel comfortable discussing mental health issues at work.

The obligations of the home are influencing women’s careers

The report indicates that women are bearing the brunt of unbalanced household and childcare obligations. Notably, 50% of people who share a home with a partner and have kids say they handle the majority of the childcare duties, up from 46% in 2023. Merely 12% of respondents claim that their partner is responsible for this.

However, 57% of those who live with a spouse and are responsible for another adult’s care believe they bear the majority of the blame, up from 44% in 2023, while only 5% say their partner bears the majority of the blame.

Furthermore, as in 2023, the majority of women—more than two out of every five—are in charge of cleaning and other household chores.

The effect is clear: women who shoulder the majority of domestic duties are significantly less likely than those who do not to report having good mental health. Compared to women who don’t have as much responsibility for these activities, nearly half of them report they had taken time off work for mental health reasons in the last year.

Just 27% of women who are most responsible at home believe they can put their personal lives aside and concentrate on their careers when it comes to their work lives.

Feeling uneasy at work and acting in an exclusive manner

Approximately 50% of the women expressed concern about their safety while at work or traveling to and from work. This was a legitimate worry, as 10% of these women had experienced harassment while commuting or traveling for work, and 16% dealt with clients or customers who had harassed them or behaved in an uncomfortable manner.

Almost one in ten people report having experienced harassment from a coworker at work:

In all, 31% of participants reported encountering microaggressions, 2.4% reported sexual harassment, and 3.8% reported various forms of workplace harassment within the previous year.

Furthermore, 25% of women claim that they have been the target of inappropriate actions or remarks from individuals in top positions within their organizations.

Upon closer examination, it can be observed that women who belong to underrepresented groups are more likely to worry about their personal safety at work or when commuting there or back. This concern is especially strong for women who have a visible impairment (66%) and transgender women (64%).

Non-inclusive behaviors are also more common among underrepresented groups. For example, compared to 30% of women who are not from these groups, 40% of women who belong to an ethnic minority in their home country and 45% of women who have a handicap have faced microaggressions at work. Less than three out of ten women who are not LGBT+ report having experienced microaggressions, however over half of LGBT+ women have.

In order to keep women, flexibility and work/life balance are essential.

According to the report, women’s experiences with hybrid working have significantly improved over the previous 12 months, particularly in terms of predictability, flexibility, and exclusion. Nevertheless, around three out of ten women still report feeling excluded from meetings, having an unpredictable work schedule, and having little flexibility.

According to a survey conducted, over 40% of women say their employer has recently instituted an obligatory return to work policy, with 25% of them having to work full-time on-site. As a result of the implementation of this policy, some of these women say they have adjusted their personal and professional lives; others say it has had an adverse effect on their productivity and mental health. Of them, slightly more than a third say they have requested a reduction in hours, 30% say they were forced to move, 26% say their mental health has suffered, and 20% say their productivity has dropped.

The impact of difficulties with flexible working is not insignificant; in fact, a lack of flexible working hours was listed as one of the main reasons (15%) given by women for changing jobs in the previous year, along with a poor work/life balance.

Less than half of women feel that their employer supports them in striking a balance between their professional and personal obligations, even though it is obviously important. In fact, 93% of the women surveyed don’t think that switching to a flexible work arrangement would lessen their burden, and virtually all of them (95%) think that asking for or accepting flexible work possibilities will hurt their prospects of getting promoted.
Leaders in gender equality are succeeding, but more is still required.

It appears that company culture is impeding women’s advancement in their careers and retention. According to this year’s survey, the primary reason why 25% of women in organizations do not wish to advance into senior leadership roles is because they are turned off by the corporate culture.

However, 92% of women feel more likely to advance into a senior leadership role with organizations referred to be “Gender Equality Leaders.” In addition, women in these organizations show higher levels of productivity and loyalty toward their employers. They also report feeling safer, more at ease discussing their mental health at work, and greater confidence that they may work flexibly without risking their careers.

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