The state of women workforce in India in 2021
Economies around the world have seen a rapid change and it has been a direct contributor to the rise in women’s education. However, the latest gender equality report released by the United Nations states otherwise. According to the United Nations, not a single country has been able to achieve gender equality.
Gender gap is calculated based on the participation of women against men in the workforce. It has been a pertinent problem. Our attempt through our blog is to do a deep root analysis of the problem. India is one of the world’s biggest economies, yet out of its total population, only 29 percent of Indian women work compared to 82 percent of men (Catalyst).
Participation is a graver issue that needs to be immediately tackled by both public and private organizations alike. Adding to it is the downward trend in women’s payroll in the formal sector falling below 20% from last year. Gender equality is even lower in the informal sector, specifically in the rural informal sector. Despite the higher gross enrollment ratio (GER) of women in higher education, women’s employment has been lower than that of men. This grueling problem calls for urgent attention.
The population of India is on the rise, with an estimated increase to 1.66 billion by 2050, the labor statistics report says that over 29% of the total workforce are women against 71 percent of men. For any nation to be fully productive, it is essential for them to utilize its human resources fully. This means catering to gender parity and combating the bottlenecks that increase it.
The economic survey reads that among the remaining 60 percent of the total population who are under the productive age bracket 18-59 years are engaged in household work. To make full utilization of the educated women workforce, more women are to be included in the working economy of India that will not only increase the productive outcomes across industries but also be advantageous to the country’s economy at a significant level. A Catalyst report predicts that if the strength of women in the workforce were to increase by a mere 40%, then the economy will witness a boost of GDP by $700 billion.
Also read: India Growth 4.0: IT Perspective (Click here)
Why a significant percentage of women are missing from the workforce?
Lack of infrastructure, social issues, low birthrate, and increasing degree are some of the reasons for the gender disparity problem in the workforce. It is apparent that a percentage of women are missing from the workforce. With India having one of the worst gender gaps in the world, it is critical for us to make significant policy changes and combat the most chronic issue of the gender gap in its workforce and realize its full potential as one of the strongest economies in the world.
One of the primary reasons that have indirectly demotivated women to not participate in the workforce is the glass ceiling problem found in the corporate world, making it arduous for women to follow their career goals due to the fear of career stagnation. Other reasons such as lack of child care facilities in many organizations have indirectly forced women to stay back to their homes to provide parental care to their children post maternity.
NASSCOM has come up with a Women and IT Scorecard that evaluates the different participation rates of women in the IT sector.
How are companies and organizations trying to combat this issue?
Indian IT industry has effectively managed to attract women to their workforce however a study titled Women in Science and Technology indicates that most of the women quit within first 5 years of their employment in IT. A report by Simplilearn states that over 64% of women are looking for some of the other kinds of training or skill enhancement to be back to work post paternal/maternity break.
Companies like Paypal have come up with initiatives like Recharge that focus on upskilling women technologists helping them come back to work after a long period of break. Vodafone has also launched a similar program named ReConnect that focuses on helping women rejoin workforce through skill training and professional network rebuilding. Accenture has implemented Vaahini – a networking forum for its women workforce. It is a support system that helps them build connections and perform better at workplace supporting women’s inclusion and leadership.
To wrap it up
India can certainly climb up the global ladder in terms of providing equal employment opportunities. There is certainly more that needs to be done in line with reducing the gender gap. While the government is focused on coming up with developmental plans, the corporates are more focused on upskilling and training the women workforce such that they are self-sufficient in catering to the growing demand for employment.
We at Vision Management Consultants believe in equal opportunity for all and are dedicated to providing our clients with top-notch consultation on human capital growth and development. Partner with us to strategize and make most of your existing workforce. Turbocharge the efforts across different levels towards increasing the workforce parity in your organization.