Burnout is the biggest factor behind women leaving the workforce in India

Apr 26, 2022

By: Vaamanaa Sethi

Women leaving their jobs

The Great Resignation that has been going on for more than a year now and is set to continue as more than half of women surveyed plan to leave their employer within the next two years, according to the latest Deloitte report Women@Work 2022: A Global Outlook.

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21 million women have already left the workforce

Adding on to the point on women in India leaving the job market, data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) revealed that 21 million women disappeared from the workforce between 2017 and 2022.

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What is the reason behind this?

Burnout is the top factor driving women away from their employers. According to the Deloitte report, 56 percent of women say their stress levels are higher than they were a year ago, and almost half feel burned out.

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Taking a mental health break

Moreover, almost half of the women surveyed rated their mental health as poor/very poor. One-third of the women surveyed have taken time off work because of mental-health challenges. While only 41 percent feel comfortable talking about mental-health concerns in the workplace.

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Women are looking for new employers

More than half of women plan to leave their employer within two years. Only 9 percent of women surveyed plan to stay with their current employer for more than five years.

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Workplace problems still persist

Only 33 percent of women say their employers offer flexible-working policies, and when asked about policies their organisation had introduced during the pandemic, only 23 percent cited flexibility around where and when they work.

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Hybrid work mode brought more challenges

Beyond flexibility, the implementation of hybrid work has presented additional challenges. Around 61 percent of women who work in hybrid environments feel they have been excluded from important meetings, and 47 percent say they do not have enough exposure to leaders, a critical component of sponsorship and career progression, says the report. On the other hand, 94 percent of respondents believe that requesting flexible working will affect their likelihood of promotion.

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Microaggression decreased due to hybrid work

This year’s survey also found that women who work in a hybrid environment are significantly more likely to report experiencing microaggressions than those who work exclusively on-site or exclusively remote. The percentage of women in India that have experienced non-inclusive behaviour (harassment and microaggressions) over the past year at work has decreased a bit from 63 percent in 2021 as compared to 57 percent in 2022.

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Deloitte Report

Between November 2021 and February 2022, Deloitte Global conducted a survey of 5,000 women in 10 countries (including 500 in India) and sectors to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women’s personal and professional lives.

Credit: Deloitte

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