While women in the workplace continue to fight challenges balancing work life balance and gender pay gap, the stories of blue collar female workers seem to be different than their white collar counterparts.
According to an Indeed report in February, 9 in 10 female blue collar employees in India are confident they receive equal pay. This shows how the blue-collar workforce is content at work and has positive motivation towards solving challenges at work which in turn increases efficiency and productivity in this sector.
Sanjukta Ghosh, Social Impact Manager, Indeed said, “Our data shows that men and women in blue collar are more or less on the same page when it comes to equal pay, importance of equal gender representation and the benefits of it. Blue collar employees are satisfied with most aspects of their work, which speaks volumes of the kind of mileage we can expect in this segment in the coming year or two.”
Can we say the same for white collar female workers?
In 2016, the Wall Street Journal published a report which found that women in white-collar, high-paying professions experienced a larger gender pay gap than women in blue-collar professions.
Sybil Shiddell, Country Manager India, Gleeden, says that despite significant advancement over the past few decades, women still encounter a number of obstacles in the economic world.
In all industries, women still make up a very tiny percentage of senior positions. The promotion of a culture of equal opportunity for women in the workforce depends on addressing this underrepresentationSybil Shiddell, Country Manager India, Gleeden
“It is obvious that there is still a long way to go until equality is achieved, from the lack of representation in leadership roles to the gender wage disparity. Some industries, like the computer sector, where women receive 65 cents for every dollar that men earn, continue to experience this discrepancy widening. In all industries, women still make up a very tiny percentage of senior positions. The promotion of a culture of equal opportunity for women in the workforce depends on addressing this underrepresentation,” she says.
A research by gig jobs platform Flexing It revealed that women in white-collar gig roles are struggling with gender pay gap. Male consultants are able to charge 30-35% higher project fees than female consultants on average.
Gayatri Mohanty, Mountaineer, Fitness Coach, Nutritionist and Model says that challenges faced by women in the ecosystem are equality, and responsibilities to be shared at home as well as in society.
If I talk about working women, in spite of them working their workload is not shared in their houses be it cooking, taking care of children, or any other household chores. The sad part is that we still see women being harassed in a work culture that is surrounded by educated peopleGayatri Mohanty, Mountaineer, Fitness Coach, Nutritionist and Model
“We hardly see women coming back to work after maternity leave. They are not given promotions or encouraged for the hard work they did. If I talk about working women, in spite of them working their workload is not shared in their houses be it cooking, taking care of children, or any other household chores. The sad part is that we still see women being harassed in a work culture that is surrounded by educated people. Molestations and rapes are still things that have never stopped. “Casting couch” has become a culture in the corporate world. There is still a lack of education, and girls are not allowed to go out and study or pursue what they want,” she says.
Who seeks equal representation of women in the workplace? Is it only women?
In the Indeed survey, 87% of blue collar workers say that equal representation of women in their company makes them feel more confident, motivated or inspired. 80% also said diversity at work makes them more likely to stay working there and 73% said they are more likely to go above and beyond for the company.
Read more: Women in tech: Time to STEM up ladies
While 97% of employers think that gender equality is important, they pointed out the challenges that prevail, such as lack of support systems in place to help women (56%), lack of education about gender equality (53%) and societal views (49%) as major deterrents to achieving gender equality.
I wonder if male white collar workers would hold similar opinions about female representation.
Monica Kapadia, VP Strategic initiatives, Leap Scholar, says that empowering more women to join the workforce has made great strides in the past decade.
“Calls for greater equality at the workplace, bridging pay gaps, better maternity support etc. have made companies evolve, their cultures shift and their female population thrive. While we acknowledge that, it’s also important to see where there’s a lot more augmentation required – the fundamental lack of women in leadership roles,” she says.