India can’t achieve developed nation status until it finds a way to bridge the gap created by gender bias in terms of employment. The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap index 2017 ranked India at 108th place on gender equality, behind China, Nepal and Bangladesh. We are stuck in an ugly situation as of now and the reasons for it are deeply disturbing. For starters, we have a stagnant job market despite the economy growing at more than 7% growth rate. Secondly, government’s various initiatives to create jobs have barely made a dent in improving the unemployment rate and not to mention the number of youths graduating from colleges at much faster rate than getting placed. But the biggest worry of all is the unbelievable size of women employees missing from the Indian work force.
From molestation to gender discrimination, women in our country survive unspeakable horrors on daily basis. Their plight draws attention but sadly, not much action. For a country that is known to worship women as deities, Indians have an odd way of showing their respect for women. The general perception suggests that a woman is supposed to stay home to take on the household chores especially after getting married irrespective of the educational background she might have because a working woman is perceived as emasculating according to the males in a typical Indian family. Hence, most Indian men consider keeping the family women under their thumb as justifiable from societal point of view, which is not only appalling but severely damaging to our economy as well.
Furthermore, the labour force participation rate for women has taken a dive from 37% in 2005 to the present rate of just 28%, which is lowest in South Asia. Women are being paid 43% lesser than men for doing the same type of work despite having same education qualification. As per the latest government data, the female work force only comprises a little over 25% of the total employment of 131 million, that is, there are just 33 million women employed in India. According to the predictions of Catalyst, a global NGO, if India were to increase its women’s labour force participation by ten percent in next seven to ten years, then we could be looking at a 16% GDP growth.
However, the amendment made in the Maternity benefit Act last year brought hope. The noble decision to offer working women a 26-week paid maternity leave instead of earlier 12 weeks was a progressive step forward to retain women in workforce after delivering a child. But call it our bad luck, this move has been predicted to be counterproductive; a loss of more than one million jobs for women in 2019 is estimated. Many of the medium scale business ventures and startups have welcomed the move but the micro and small enterprises with turnover of 1-1.5 crore find it hard to bear the costs of a 26-week period maternity leave.
“The need of the hour is to change perception, many working women in cities change their priorities after marriage by choosing kids over career. The biggest reason is the pressure from the in-laws, it is frowned upon if a woman chooses work over taking care of the children. People fail to see the positive attributes of a working woman, all city households demand educated daughters-in-law but only few are allowed to pursue careers,” expresses Rachit Jain, CEO of Youth4work.
Youth4work skill tested over 3 million youths all over India, including both male and female candidate profiles. These candidates were sorted through yTesting on three parameters, that is, course, talent and location. Out of 3,169,900 total skill tested candidate profiles so far, 765531 profiles comprised of female candidates. The number of female candidates has increased by 14 % in the last eight months.
In Tier 1 cities, the male-female ratio in terms of employable talent has now reached 70:30, which is better than last year’s ratio of 84:16.
As per the findings…
- The total number of employable talent in Delhi is over 2.54 lakh, out of which employable female talent is around 31% of the total pool.
- The total number of employable talent in Bangalore is over 1.5 lakh, out of which employable female talent is around 35% of the total pool.
- The total number of employable talent in Mumbai is over 1.53 lakh, out of which employable female talent is around 33% of the total pool.
- The total number of employable talent in Hyderabad is over 29 thousand, out of which employable female talent is around 31% of the total pool.
- The total number of employable talent in Chennai is over 29 thousand, out of which employable female talent is around 32% of the total pool.
Talent Distribution of talent in Tier 1 cities
|Number of skill-tested Boys||Number of skill-tested Girls||Total skilled talent|
The number of skilled females in major cities of India are substantially lower than the number of males. This also explains the lower number of women in Indian workforce. Youth4work is expanding its user base, especially in rural India so that more girls can be a part of our online self-assessment platform.
In 2017 Youth4work signed MoUs with All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and Management and Entrepreneurship and Professional Skills Council (MEPSC), which led to talent mapping of more than 8 million students from technical and management institutions.
Recently, Government of Haryana, Higher Education department and Youth4work entered into a collaboration to facilitate skill profiling of all higher education students in Haryana to provide online learning Internships and employment opportunities to these students.
Apparently, the number of girls who complete their education is astonishingly lower and the dropout rate among girl students is higher in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Girls who complete their class 12 education in rural areas are more likely not to study further due to family pressure.
Youth4work is working towards collaborating with more states, our focus is on profiling more than one crore youth from rural India in next two years. We are prepared to urge the state governments to lend us their support in persuasion and education of rural masses to ensure more women participation in near future.