Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Female Workforce Participation Increased from 30% in April to Reach 37% at the End of July: LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the world’s largest online professional network, today announced findings of the second edition of the ‘Labour Market Update’, a monthly update on hiring trends and insights based on LinkedIn's Economic Graph, a digital representation of the Indian economy built by conducting a close analysis of actions of 69+ million members in India. The ‘Labour Market Update’ highlights the hiring rate in India, female representation across the workforce and in key sectors, and the impact on hiring rates for talent with digital skills. Insights from this edition show that hiring continues to recover, gender parity has improved, and disruptive digital skills can help to increase the resilience of professionals to challenges in the current job market.

Hiring picked up by 25 percentage points by end of July as compared to June

The Labour Market Update analysis for July looks at the year-on-year changes in hiring rate, which is a measure of hires divided by LinkedIn membership. Earlier in the year, hiring declines reached a low of below -50% year-on-year in April, before starting to slowly recover. The hiring rate was at -15% year-on-year as of the end of June. In late July, it crossed the 0% mark and reached positive territory of around +10% year-on-year as of the end of July, registering a 25 percentage point improvement compared to the end of June. However, risks of second-wave of infections still remain, and further recovery may also be tempered by weak economic outlook.

India increased gender parity during lockdown

Globally, lockdown measures put in place to contain the spread of Covid-19 had a more severe impact on the share of women being hired. Our global analysis showed that the hiring of women in many developed countries followed a U-shaped trajectory in 2020, dipping in April before recovering in June and July. However, India bucked the trend in maintaining and even increasing gender parity - the share of female hires increased from around 30% in April to reach 37% at the end of July.

One possible reason for this could be the strong support from live-in help and grandparents, as well as more flexible working hours with remote working schemes, which has allowed more women have been able to enter the workforce despite schools and childcare facilities being closed during the lock-down.

“In India, work from home has certainly boosted gender parity and emerged as a great equalizer in terms of gender diversity with increase in female representation across key sectors. The lockdown, which promoted acceptance of the work from home concept supported by flexible work hours, has emerged as an opportunity for women to rebuild their careers and start afresh,” said Pei Ying Chua, APAC Lead Economist, Economic Graph team at LinkedIn.

Gender parity has improved across many industries: Female representation grew by 8 percentage points across Corporate Services, Education, Health Care and Media & Communications

With the exception of the Manufacturing sector, female representation across most industries increased during the lockdown period and continued to rise in subsequent months. The increase in female representation was also more pronounced in industries which already had higher gender parity to begin with (such as Corporate Services, Education, Health Care and Media & Communications) - female representation grew by 8 percentage points on average, in contrast with the 4 percentage points increase seen for industries that started out with lower gender parity (such as Consumer Goods, Finance, Manufacturing and Software & IT). It is possible that these industries are inherently more family-friendly in terms of flexible hours and work arrangements, hence the challenges of having to juggle work and household responsibilities has led more females to join those industries.  

Talent with disruptive digital skills have weathered the COVID storm better

This analysis looks at the hiring rates of talent with basic digital skills (defined as digital literacy skills to access email and basic applications such as Microsoft Office), versus advanced disruptive digital skills (defined as skills required for designing and developing new technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics). From the data, we see that talent with more advanced digital skills have weathered the COVID storm better than those with basic digital skills - the hiring dip for talent with advanced digital skills was 1.8x less than talent with basic digital skills.

Examples of disruptive digital skills: Aerospace Engineering, Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Development Tools, Genetic Engineering, Human Computer Interaction, Materials Science, Nanotechnology, Robotics.

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