New Delhi [India], September 29: While COVID-19 lockdown measures globally had a severe impact on the share of women being hired, India bucked the trend in maintaining and even increasing gender parity.
LinkedIn’s second edition of the labour market update released on Tuesday shows that 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 percent in April to reach 37 percent 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 have 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 equaliser in terms of gender diversity with an increase in female representation across key sectors,” said Pei Ying Chua, Asia Pacific Lead Economist at LinkedIn.
“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, healthcare, and media and communications.
This was in contrast with 4 percentage points increase seen for industries that started out with lower gender parity like consumer goods, finance, manufacturing, and software and 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 have led more females to join those industries,” said the LinkedIn report.