New Delhi: Working women are two times more likely to be worried about availability of jobs and four times less confident compared to working men, according to a recently released survey by networking platform LinkedIn.
The survey, known as ‘LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index’, has termed the phenomenon a ‘shecession’ — a play on the words “she” and “recession”.
The survey is based on the responses of 1,891 professionals from 8 May to 4 June during the second Covid-19 wave in India.
Apart from findings based on gender, the data shows that India’s overall workforce confidence has declined after peaking in early March, with a composite score of +54 today (down four points from +58 in March).
The data also revealed that Generation Z professionals — born between mid-to-late 1990s and early 2010s — and working women are increasingly vulnerable to the uncertainty in today’s job market.
According to Ashutosh Gupta, India Country Manager at LinkedIn, the year-over-year hiring rate has had a “modest revival” from a low of 10 per cent in April to 35 per cent at the end of May, in a statement.
However, the lack of confidence among women and Gen Z professionals is still a concern.
“Remote jobs can be the ray of hope, to provide the much-needed flexibility and growth in opportunities to help them bounce back into the workforce,” he added.
LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index is a bi-weekly survey. It uses a scale from -100 to +100 to reflect professionals’ current sentiments about the jobs market, their financial status, career progression and their expectations going forward.
Women more worried about job availability, professional networks
According to the survey, working women are more worried than their male counterparts when it comes to the availability of jobs, their own professional network and having time to devote to job seeking.
The survey found that the individual confidence index (ICI) scores of female professionals fell from +57 in March to +49 in early June ー a four-time decline compared to working men which was +58 in March and +56 in June.
“This uneven impact has also bruised the financial stability of working women as 1 in 4 (23 per cent) female professionals are concerned about growing expenses or debt, in contrast with just 1 in 10 (13 per cent) working men,” noted the survey.
Gen Z, millennials more worried about lack of jobs
The survey also found that young Indians were 2.5 times more worried than older generations, about the impact of the pandemic on their careers. The importance of work experience and professional connections are key areas of worry.
Nearly 30 per cent of Gen Z professionals and 26 per cent of millennials are troubled due to lack of jobs, compared to 18 per cent of baby boomers.
Millennials refer to the generation born between 1981 and 1994 or 1996, while baby boomers are people born from 1946 to 1964, during the post–World War II baby boom.
In the survey, 23 per cent of Gen Z professionals and 24 per cent of millennials reported being worried about debt or expenses compared to 13 per cent of baby boomers in India.
Being in a healthy work environment and having a successful work life balance has also become a priority for job seekers, found the survey.
While 1 in 2 job-seekers value employee benefits (55 per cent) and salary (53 per cent) more post Covid-19, an equal number of job-seekers were found prioritising work-life balance (48 per cent) and location flexibility (50 per cent) when looking for a job today.
The demand for flexibility has been rising alongside with the increase in remote opportunities. According to LinkedIn data, remote job postings increased by 35 times across 2020 and grew further by almost three times year-on-year as of May 2021.
Aspirants also seek a sense of belonging and long-term growth within their new organisations as 2 in 5 job seekers prioritise workplace culture (43 per cent), internal movement and promotions (44 per cent), and a visible commitment to diversity & inclusion (42 per cent) from their potential employers.
(Edited by Rachel John)