Joblessness falls among both men and women. A Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey reveals that “adult joblessness has been consistently higher among women than among men, with the women-men joblessness gap ranging from 10 to as high as 26 points since December 2011.”
According to the survey, the rate is 34.1 percent in women, while men are 22.2 percent as of November 2020. Research taken from LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021 also shows women facing significant barriers in achieving job-related opportunities.
With 88 percent of Filipinos working from home, the research shows many working women face other barriers in achieving opportunities. Working mothers are facing more obstacles under the current setup 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. Despite these barriers, women are prepared to work hard, but they desire equal access to opportunities as men.
According to the study, 22 percent of female professionals agree there are fewer career advancement opportunities. Another 14 percent claim they get paid less than men in their profession. Half of working women in the Philippines have experienced that their gender played a role in missing out on opportunities, promotion and pay. LinkedIn data shows that only 26 percent of working professionals in the Philippines strongly agree that gender diversity is a priority in their organization.
Businesses play a role in bridging the gender gap and providing opportunities. Gina Romero, chief executive officer of Connected Women, says the focus of their social enterprise is “job creation through inclusive innovation, helping women transition from offline jobs, corporate jobs into online jobs and that’s because we know that a lot of women in the Philippines quit their jobs even though they are highly skilled and highly experienced,” Connected Women together with Facebook #SheMeansBusiness launched a specially designed free digital marketing eCourse for entrepreneurs, freelancers and professionals. The number of women-owned pages globally on Facebook has grown over 60 percent year-on-year. If you are an entrepreneur, you could tap on this growing platform to further advance your business.
Different ways to earn through Connected Women are available. There is Micro Work, short tasks one could complete on your own time, paid per task. Tasks require basic skills and could be done remotely using a computer or mobile device. Another is data annotation such as labeling text, video, images or audio for use by artificial intelligence (AI) applications.
Connected Women runs training programs and workshops for AI Data Annotation. In partnerships with trusted brands, Connected Members would have the opportunity to start their own freelance home retail business using their mobile device. Providing access to work and also to other income-earning opportunities is the end goal of Connected Women.
These are Leadership Strategies for Women; Planning Your Family Leave and Return; Proven Success Strategies for Women at Work; Own It: The Power of Women at Work and Becoming a Male Ally at Work. Programs are available to support the community of women in their professional growth. For example, EmpowerIn, uses virtual learning sessions and group mentoring to help female employees in the Asia-Pacific region become better leaders by improving their presentation abilities and equipping them with skills to lead with data and data-driven insights.
“Having a role model makes such a big difference,” explains Feon Ang, Vice President, Talent and Learning Solutions, APAC, LinkedIn. “When women see another woman in a leadership role, it really helps to inspire them and believe that their company is real and honest about grooming women into leadership positions.”
Opportunities arise from obstacles. Seek new soft skills — effective communication, creative thinking, leadership and learning new hard skills — business analytics, sales and marketing.
Bounce back and pivot. Crisis times demand entrepreneurship to step forward. As we celebrate National Women’s Month, the community could help women carry out their many roles as women and handle personal and professional challenges. Create income and job opportunities for women.