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Robert Walters’ study: Is there bias against Filipinas re-entering the workforce?

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With today’s career models evolving over time, it is becoming common for women to take career breaks for various reasons such as maternity leave, to care for their family or even further their studies. According to the latest whitepaper, “Understanding Employers’ Attitudes Towards Women Returning To Work” from specialist professional recruitment firm Robert Walters, 68% of the women surveyed in the Philippines have taken a career break at some point in their lives.

This whitepaper has been created to assist employers in identifying and addressing any possible biases in recruitment and inclusion to ensure women are given the opportunity to re-gain entry into the workforce after a career gap. It also provides recommendationsA on what organisations can do to change current attitudes of how returning women are perceived and treated in the workplace. The survey gathered the views of over 2,200 clients and female professionals across China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Concerns voiced by employers considering whether to hire returning women include how these women might lack knowledge of the latest industry trends. Another concern is that they may not be fully committed to their jobs.

Looking beyond these views, 55% of hiring managers in Asia agreed that specific job experience or skills are the biggest benefits which returning women can bring to the workplace.

Eric Mary, Country Manager, Robert Walters Philippines, comments: “It is crucial for employers to recognise the value which returning women can contribute in the workplace. They usually come with relevant work experience and have a renewed energy to excel in their roles. Hiring managers should provide a customised induction program to help returning women reintegrate back into the workforce.”

Other important data gathered by the survey:

  • 44% of returning women in Asia took more than four months to secure a job;
  • almost 40% of the female respondents shared that a recruitment firm had helped them to gain re-entry to the workforce;
  • 35% of employers in Asia have offered less than 5% of returning women a more senior or even similar role in their company;
  • 64% of hiring managers think induction is crucial in ensuring returning women are equipped to re-join the workforce.; and
  • returning female professionals with the relevant experience could be part of the solution to the two talent shortages faced by 88% of Southeast Asia employers

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