The Philippines registered a below-average market confidence as Filipinos see fewer opportunities and more difficult barriers, reversing the previous surveys as one of the most optimistic markets in the Asia Pacific, according to the latest survey of LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network.
The LinkedIn Opportunity Index is an annual composite measure that seeks to understand how people perceive opportunities and the gaps that stand in the way of achieving them. This year’s research looks at the impact of the pandemic on Filipinos’ access to opportunities. More importantly, it spotlights the gender gaps that continue to exist in the workplace, and how these affect women’s opportunities for career development.
According to the survey, almost 9 in 10 Filipinos feel they have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, citing job insecurity, reduced working hours and reduced pay. This has likely led to a cautious economic outlook amongst Filipinos, with 3 in 4 believing that the economic situation in the country has worsened.
Filipinos still consider job security as their most desired opportunity in 2021 (53 percent). However, they have also started looking for new opportunities to help others within the community. For example, 51 percent looked to providing safety support items like sanitizer and masks to others within the community and 32 percent looked to help or mentor others to gain opportunities.
In addition, Filipinos sought out learning opportunities. Learning new soft skills — effective communication, creative thinking, and leadership — were sought after by more millennials, while learning new hard skills — business analytics, sales, and marketing — was sought after by millennials and Gen Zs.
“About a year on since COVID-19 hit us, many continue to struggle from job loss and job instability. Yet it is heartening to see that people have also turned their focus towards helping the community,” said Feon Ang, Vice President, Talent and Learning Solutions, APAC, LinkedIn. “This is also a journey that we are working towards at LinkedIn because we believe in the power of community in helping others get back on their feet. We have also stepped up efforts to initiate mentorship opportunities for job seekers facing more barriers with our LinkedIn Coaches and Network Gap Alliance.”
The survey also showed that 88 percent of Filipinos have started working from home, many working women now have to face other barriers when it comes to achieving opportunities.
Women, especially working mothers, are facing more significant obstacles under the current set-up 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.
In spite of these barriers, women are prepared to work hard, but they desire equal access to opportunities as men. In fact, women see these two as the most important aspects (88 percent and 85 percent respectively) to getting ahead in life.
According to the study, 22 percent of female professionals agree that they have fewer career advancement opportunities, and 14 percent claim they are paid less than men in their profession. In fact, half of working women in the Philippines have experienced that their gender played a role in missing out on opportunities, promotion, and pay.