NTT DATA, a digital business and IT services leader, and NLB Services, a leading technology and digital talent solutions provider, have recently released a comprehensive research report titled “Bridging the Skills Gap – Towards an Equal Workplace” that talks about women in STEM. In India, 62% of employers plan to hire more women working in STEM sectors in the upcoming fiscal year 2023–2024, according to the report. The report also highlights the expectations of women employees enrolled in STEM, highlighting the preferences of both married and unmarried women in each category.
The study surveyed 250 employers from various companies of 12 different sectors in 15 Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities. The study also surveyed 500 female employees from businesses across a range of sizes, industries, and cities.
As per the report, here are the top five expectations of women employees in STEM:
- Flexible/Remote Work Policies: In today’s fast-paced world, offering flexible work options can enhance employee satisfaction, boost productivity, and attract a diverse talent pool. 58% of married women prioritize flexibility in their work arrangements, allowing them to balance personal and professional commitments effectively. 43% of unmarried women consider flexible or remote work policies as a crucial factor when deciding to join a STEM organization.
- Maternity/Paternity Policies: By implementing comprehensive maternity and paternity policies, STEM organizations can foster an inclusive and supportive environment for employees, allowing them to thrive both personally and professionally. 61% of married women value maternity and paternity policies that provide adequate support during the crucial stages of building a family and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. 30% of unmarried women see maternity benefits as a critical consideration when evaluating potential employers.
- Learning and Development: Employers that invest in training programs, mentorship opportunities, and professional development resources can attract and retain top female talent while nurturing their employees’ potential. 41% of married women choose continuous learning and development opportunities to enhance their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in their field. 42% of unmarried women value ongoing learning and development initiatives for their career growth and job satisfaction.
- Innovation: Creating an environment that encourages experimentation, rewards innovative ideas, and promotes collaboration can help companies harness the full potential of their female employees in STEM fields. 33% of married women seek workplaces that prioritize innovation, allowing them to contribute to groundbreaking projects and stay engaged in their work. 47% of unmarried women highly value organizations that foster an innovative culture, encouraging creative thinking and innovation.
- Leadership Role Opportunities: To empower women in STEM, employers should provide clear pathways for advancement, mentorship programs, and leadership training to support their professional growth aspirations. 32% of married women aspire to participate in leadership roles within their organizations, seeking opportunities for growth, influence, and impact. While 17% of unmarried women express their interest in leadership positions, showing their ambition and desire for career advancement.
Understanding and meeting the expectations of women enrolled in STEM is crucial for organizations looking to attract, retain, and nurture top female talent. By offering flexible work policies, comprehensive maternity/paternity benefits, and learning and development initiatives while fostering innovation and creating leadership opportunities, employers can create an inclusive and supportive environment that benefits women employees and contributes to the overall success of the organization in the ever-evolving STEM landscape.