Women’s employment figures fall

A report released by consulting and advisory firm Deloitte just ahead of women’s day, provides us with a grim picture on the day we are suppose to celebrate women’s equality. The report claims that women’s participation in India’s workforce has seen a massive fall from 36.7% in 2005 to just 26% in 2018. It goes on to say that there are as many as 195 million women employed in the unorganised sector or in unpaid work in the country.

The study blames the sorry state of affairs on the lack of access to quality education and the widening digital divide (which refers to the lack of access to information and technology) which limits women from gaining employable skill sets and entering the workforce.

Globally, as well as in India, there is a declining trend of women’s participation in the workforce; this in spite of increasing focus on reskilling and upskilling of workforces, especially with regard to women, in line with evolving industry needs.

However, a bright spot in this otherwise dull statistic has managed to emerge. The proportion of women employed in the services sector has risen in every G20 country, with the exception of Saudi Arabia. The G20 is an international forum for governments and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union and this chart depicts the increasing participation of women in the services sector of 10 out of 20 G20 nations in the time span of a decade from 2007 to 2017.

Several factors drive female participation in the services sector, including, but not limited to the fact that communication and interpersonal skills are at a premium, and women have a natural competitive advantage in both fields. In addition, many services positions are difficult to automate, such as health and personal care, psychiatrists etc.

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