- A recent World Economic Forum (WEF) study has found that women are entering the workforce at a slower rate than current female workforce participation.
- The WEF “Future of Work in India” report prepared with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF) surveyed 770 companies, from micro-sized firms to those employing more than 25,000 workers, across four industries i.e., textiles, banking and financial services, logistics and transportation, and retail to understand how technology impacts the workforce.
- The report takes into consideration worldwide concern that technology adoption may displace human workers, leading to jobless growth.
- Findings of the study
- The findings indicate that there is overall technology-led job growth, but men are disproportionately reaping the benefits.
- Preference: While only 11 per cent of the companies surveyed stated they wanted to hire more women, 36 percent of companies reported a preference for men.
- The study also found that these companies prefer hiring men and that technology-led job growth benefits men more than women.
- Presence of women at workplace: The survey also found that currently, a third of the companies had no female employees, 71 per cent have fewer than 10 per cent female workers, and only 2.4 per cent have half or more females.
- Sector-wise gender data: The retail sector had the most companies with no female employees at 45 per cent, followed by transport and logistics at 36 per cent. Companies in both sectors also stated they prefer hiring men the most, at 43 and 48 per cent respectively.
- Trend towards informality: The study also found that the workforce is trending toward independent, freelance and informal labour that, again, give men the advantage. Of the companies surveyed, 22 per cent will replace permanent workers with contract workers in the next five years.
- Income disparity: According to the study, men with ten to 20 years experience are paid 30 per cent more than their female counterparts.
- Maternity leave: Less than a quarter of the companies provide maternity leave for permanent employees and 10 per cent for contract workers.
- Unpaid work: The concept of informal work includes unpaid work of family members, in which women participation is three times more than men. Sixty-six per cent of work by women is unpaid, while male work is 12 percent unpaid.