An annual study commissioned by professional network site LinkedIn has revealed that gender gaps continue to exist in the workplace in the Philippines, with close to 5 in 10 working mothers struggling to balance work and household responsibilities.
Unlike the previous surveys which showed that the Philippines has one of the most optimistic markets in the Asia Pacific, this year’s LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021 has found it one of the countries with below-average confidence as Filipinos see fewer opportunities and more difficult barriers.
Almost 9 in 10 Filipinos feel they have been negatively impacted by Covid-19, citing job insecurity, reduced working hours and reduced pay. This has likely led to a cautious economic outlook among Filipinos, with 3 in 4 believing that the economic situation in the country has worsened.
“The Philippine workforce has taken a hit due to Covid-19 across the board, women included. The lack of time is the top barrier for women today — likely due to having to juggle remote working and family responsibilities,” said Feon Ang, vice president for talent and learning solutions at LinkedIn Asia Pacific.
Filipinos still consider job security as their most desired opportunity in 2021 (53 percent). However, they have also started looking for new opportunities to help others within the community. For example, 51 percent looked to providing safety support items like sanitizer and masks to others within the community and 32 percent looked to help or mentor others to gain opportunities.
In addition, Filipinos sought out learning opportunities. Learning new soft skills — effective communication, creative thinking, and leadership — were sought after by more millennials, while learning new hard skills — business analytics, sales, and marketing — was sought after by millennials and Gen Zs.
As 88 percent of Filipinos have started working from home, many working women now have to face other barriers when it comes to achieving opportunities.
Women, especially working mothers, are facing 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.
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.