Even as there has been an increase in awareness about gender equality, a report has revealed that more than 50 per cent of male employees feel that there is an increase in bias against women at workplaces in the last two years which is hampering their growth.
With increasing awareness, women are coming in the forefront undertaking crucial roles, however, the bias still hampers their growth financially and professionally, according to a Teamlease report titled 'The Impact of Maternity Benefits on Business and Employment'.
More than 50 per cent of male employees, who were interviewed, said there is an increase in gender bias against women in the last two years in spite of the implementation of Maternity Benefit Act, it said.
The report covers the current opinion of corporates as compared to the reaction when the act was amended in 2017, and steps taken by employers for implementing the provisions of the Act.
The survey for the report was done among 337 employers and 614 employees during June-July from 10 key sectors comprising aviation, BPO/ITes, real estate, e-commerce, education, BFSI, IT, manufacturing, retail and tourism.
As per the report, 48 per cent of male employees attributed increasing gender bias as one of the biggest reasons for attrition of women at workplace.
Around 54 per cent of the male respondents stated discrimination at workplace to be the root cause for women not progressing in their careers.
The report further revealed that more than 28 per cent of men felt that there is an increase in gender bias in the hiring stage itself.
The post-maternity women retention efforts by employers are not aligned with actual challenges highlighted by women, the report revealed.
It said that nearly one in four employers (24 per cent) provide flexible working hours to reduce post-maternity attrition, whereas the key challenge highlighted by women are wage cuts (30 per cent).
Sectors like aviation, retail and tourism continued to cause net job opportunity loss for women during 2019-20, belying expectations of net gain, it said.
Education, real estate and manufacturing also caused job opportunity loss for women, in place of the expected mixed outlook, it stated.
Hiring outlook forecasts by geography revealed that of the 28 states and 2 union territories, 13 stayed true to the forecasts and 17 bucked the forecasts, made for the medium-term, the report added.
"It is very disturbing to know that even in today's world women are treated differently. However, the only silver lining is that there is a growing realisation amongst men that the regressive attitude and not talent that is pulling women folks down," TeamLease Services Executive Vice President and co-founder Rituparna Chakraborty stated.
"As the saying goes, realisation is the beginning of the change, now that there is a unanimous acceptance, we are hopeful that the way women are treated both at the corporate world as well as in the society will undergo a transformation," Chakraborty added.