Lead-IWWAGE Measure Effect Of Hybrid Work On Female Labour Force Participation

An academic study from a gender lens that will survey more than 600 women from urban and rural India

To measure the effect of hybrid work on working women in India, LEAD at Krea University and its gender initiative, IWWAGE, are leading a study with the aim to catalyse policy action toward improving women’s labour force participation in India. The results from this study would help gather evidence on the effect of hybrid work on women in the workforce and help identify ways to create gender-inclusive work environments, by advancing employment opportunities for women.

LEAD at Krea University and IWWAGE aim to conduct quantitative surveys with 600 women workers, to understand the effect of hybrid work on the careers of women who are new entrants, are in management and executive positions, or have recently returned back to the workforce. Using qualitative methods of inquiry, apart from cities, the study will also explore the potential that hybrid work has for relevant sectors in rural and peri-urban India, document the future outlook of businesses that have moved to hybrid work, and the overall implications it has on women’s access to work and career advancement. A detailed policy review will also be undertaken to examine the current state of gender-inclusive work policies at the centre and state levels and to consider suggestions to improve the effectiveness of the policy while incorporating hybrid work plans.

In order to provide strategic and technical oversight to this study, LEAD has constituted a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) with academics, HR, and policy experts amongst others. Members include Smit Gade, Senior Data & Research Manager, Good Business Lab; Dr Jayashri Patil, Head - Research, TeamLease Services; Dr Ashwini Deshpande, Director, CEDA, Ashoka University; Saachi Bhalla, Senior Programme Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Iravati Damle, Director-Government Affairs, Zoom Video Communications, Inc, India; Dr Gayathri Vasudevan, Chairperson, LabourNet; Rohit Kumar, Founding Partner, The Quantum Hub; and Vaibhav Raaj, Programme Officer, ILO DWT.

The survey will include women that are employed in key sectors and industries of India which have adopted hybrid work, such as technology and telecommunications sector, banking, medical services, business services among others. The study also intends to cover the experiences of women in rural areas, who have accessed hybrid work in the recent past. These insights will be critical towards assessing the effect of hybrid work on women’s career trajectories and help identify interventions that can inform the drafting of guidelines for gender-inclusive hybrid work policies at the Central and State levels.

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