Image: ShutterstockThe current pandemic provided an opportunity for men to share more load at home. However, there seems to be no significant needle movement, contends Karthik Nagendra, cofounder of Pink Ladder, a Bengaluru-based startup working to improve the gender diversity ratio in companies. While over 40 percent women are experiencing high levels of stress and anxiety, 75 percent believe their working hours will continue to be longer in this new normal where remote working is in operation, according to Pink Ladders’ latest report, titled ‘Remote working and its impact on women professionals’. Women are being further burdened by the ‘double-burden’ syndrome. “They are now expected to make elaborate and fresh meals three times a day while managing household chores and office pressure,” says Nagendra. The report shows a lack of empathy and support from men at home, as well as at work. Sensitizing men towards the various roles a woman is made to juggle during work from home (WFH) is the need of the hour, Nagendra underlines. “These programmes should focus on how they can be more supportive within their families and work,” he adds. The report maintains that 67 percent of managers fared well in respecting timings, while a fairly large section (33 percent), did not. Organisations, the report pointed out, need to relook at gender diversity through a new lens and formulate policies, create support systems, build male allies that can further accelerate the gender diversity agenda in this new normal. With remote working becoming the new normal, Nagendra explains, HR leaders and policymakers should design policies that can help in better work-life integration for women employees. “This would increase their representation in the workforce,” he adds. For more on how the lockdown is a good time to reshape traditional gender norms, read the Forbes India cover story of the fortnight: Gender Mender
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