WOMEN are great at balancing things. Be it budgets, relationships, diets, domestic chores and duties at work. However, businesses may not be as adept in this balancing act which is why women in the Philippines want more opportunities in their careers.
A recently released LinkedIn study shows that close to 5 in 10 working mothers struggle to balance work and household responsibilities and that businesses play an important role to ensure equitable recovery for men and women, especially after the devastating effects of the pandemic and the way is disrupted in a very negative way the Filipinos’ access to opportunities. It also spotlights the gender gaps that continue to exist in the workplace, and how these affect women’s opportunities for career development.
“About a year on since COVID-19 hit us, many continue to struggle from job loss and job instability. Yet it is heartening to see that people have also turned their focus towards helping the community,” Feon Ang, Vice President, Talent and Learning Solutions, APAC, LinkedIn pointed out.
In previous surveys have shown the Philippines as one of the most optimistic markets in the Asia Pacific. This year’s study now finds it one of the countries with below-average confidence as Filipinos see fewer opportunities and more difficult barriers. Nevertheless “silver linings” amid challenging job market with pay cuts and reduced working hours.
Anet Santos, a vendor who delivers hot pan de sal and pansit palabok in San Pablo City, Laguna is one of the 9 in 10 Filipinos who feel they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. For three months she lost income from selling on a motorcycle every morning. She learned to sell by-Facebook ordering and recovered somewhat but mentioned how clients dwindled too.
Emir Umali used to work for a call center in a remote arrangement. Based in Dolores, Quezon, where, with a cable-fed Internet set-up he is able to run his work. He has since lost many of his Canada-based clients is could be one of those the 3 in 4 Filipinos believing that the economic situation in the country has worsened. They are citing job insecurity, reduced working hours and reduced pay which has likely led to a cautious economic outlook.
The pandemic however shifted the situation especially against working mothers who still face significant barriers in achieving job-related opportunities
According to the same LinkedIn study, as 88 percent of Filipinos have started working from home, many working women now have more significant obstacles under the current set-up compared to men. Close to half of working mothers (47 percent) have said they are struggling to balance their work and household responsibilities, with 42 percent saying their duties at home are getting in the way of their career development.
In spite of these barriers, women are prepared to work hard, but they desire equal access to opportunities as men. In fact, women see these two as the most important aspects (88 percent and 85 percent respectively) to getting ahead in life.
Fifty percent of Filipinos say that gender equality has improved compared to their parents’ time, however, many still feel gender bias continues to exist in the workplace
According to the study, 22 percent of female professionals agree that they have fewer career advancement opportunities, and 14 percent claim they are paid less than men in their profession. In fact, half of working women in the Philippines have experienced that their gender played a role in missing out on opportunities, promotion, and pay.