The share of female hires in India's workforce reached 37 percent at the end of July from around 30 percent in April, according to professional networking site LinkedIn.
Data from the ‘Labour Market Update’, a monthly update on hiring trends and insights based on LinkedIn's Economic Graph showed there is increased gender parity in India during the lockdown.
It said 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. This, said LinkedIn, has allowed more women have been able to enter the workforce despite schools and childcare facilities being closed during the lock-down.
The report said 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 percent in April to reach 37 percent at the end of July.
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 percent year-on-year in April, before starting to slowly recover.
Globally, lockdown measures put in place to contain the spread of Coronavirus had a more severe impact on the share of women being hired.
“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. Data showed that female representation grew by 8 percentage points across corporate services, education, healthcare and media & communications
The report said 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-19 storm
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).
The data showed 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.