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More women in India seeking entrepreneurial opportunities compared to men: Report

More women in India seeking entrepreneurial opportunities compared to men: Report


More women in India seeking entrepreneurial opportunities compared to men: Report

India has low representation of women in leadership positions in the workforce but more women are seeking entrepreneurial opportunities compared to men, according to a report.

The conclusion is part of a report based on an analysis of anonymised and aggregated profile information of users on professional networking site LinkedIn, which has around 88 million users in India and 830 million users worldwide. According to LinkedIn data, published in the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap report, the share of women founders grew 2.68 times between 2016 and 2021.

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In comparison, the share of men founders grew by only 1.79 times during the same period. The figures are in terms of founders of startups. The report, prepared by LinkedIn, said the growth rate of women entrepreneurship was at its highest in 2020 and 2021. The representation of women in leadership roles in the workforce is around 18 per cent, as per the report.

LinkedIn’s Senior Director of India Talent and Learning Solutions Ruchee Anand said the new data is indicative of one thing that working women in India are being held back by more barriers in the workplace when compared to men. “But despite the adversity, many women remain undeterred and continue to chart their own path by pivoting to entrepreneurship and building careers that allow them to work on their own terms with greater flexibility.

“We saw this especially in the years of the pandemic (2020 and 2021), when women sheltered from a shrinking job market by starting their own businesses that also created opportunities for other women,” she said. On the other hand, the report said that besides being under represented in leadership roles, women are also not being promoted internally to leadership in companies at the same rate as men.

As many as 42 per cent men are more likely to be promoted into leadership positions than women. This could explain why women in leadership roles also increasingly lag behind their male counterparts in the senior stages of their careers, with the proportion of women in the workforce decreasing along the corporate ladder, the report noted. In India, the representation of women leaders dropped from 29 per cent at the senior level to a staggering 18 per cent at the managerial level, it added.

Anand said that as employers navigate this challenge of making work ‘work’ for women, they must remember that factors like internal mobility, fair hiring practices with a focus on skills, and flexibility are going to prove key for levelling the playing field for women. It would also be key for improving efficiency through balanced representation, diversity of perspectives and inclusive leadership at the workplace, she added.

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