The plight of India’s working women has worsened after the second COVID-19 wave. LinkedIn’s latest report shows that India’s working women are twice more likely to be worried about the availability of jobs as compared to men. The uneven impact has also bruised the financial stability of working women as 1 in 4 (23 per cent) female professionals are concerned about growing expenses or debt, in contrast with just 1 in 10 (13 per cent) working men.
The individual confidence index (ICI) scores of female professionals fell from +57 in March to +49 in early June ー a four times decline compared to working men (+58 in March to +56 in June). The latest edition of the LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index shows that India’s overall workforce confidence has declined after peaking in early March, with a composite score of +54 today (down 4 points from +58 in March). This dip in confidence is reflected strongly across professionals from creative industries such as entertainment, design, and media and communication, who expressed being uncertain about the future of their employers. But as several parts of the economy gradually reopen, professionals from Software and IT and Hardware and Networking are growing increasingly confident about the future of their organizations.
Among Indian working professionals, Gen Z and working women are increasingly vulnerable to the economic uncertainty in today’s evolving job market.
Young Indians were found twice (2.5 times) as worried as their older cohorts, about the impact of COVID-19 on their careers. Nearly 30 per cent of Gen Z professionals and 26 per cent of millennials are troubled due to lack of jobs, in comparison to 18 per cent of Baby Boomers. The uncertainty widens when it comes to finances as 1 in 4 Gen Z (23 per cent) and millennials (24 per cent) report being more worried about their debt or expenses, when compared to just half as many Boomers (13 per cent) in India today.
As per LinkedIn Labour Market Update, LinkedIn platform data suggests that the average time for fresh graduates to find a new job has also increased by 43 per cent (from 2 to 2.8 months) in 2020 compared to pre-COVID-19 times in 2019. But while the conversion time has increased, so have remote opportunities, as LinkedIn platform data further suggests that the proportion of entry-level jobs labeled as ‘remote’ posted between Jan-March 2020 have increased by 9x between 2020 and 2021.
Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager, LinkedIn said, “As India slowly begins to come out of the second wave of Covid-19 cases, we see the year-over-year hiring rate recover from a low of 10 per cent in April to 35 per centat the end of May. Despite this modest revival, confidence levels of working women and young professionals are amongst the lowest in the workforce today. Twice as many working women are concerned with job availability compared to working men, and 30% of Gen Z professionals worry due to lack of jobs. Remote jobs can be the ray of hope, to provide the much-needed flexibility and growth in opportunities to help them bounce back into the workforce.”