As per a survey conducted by community engagement platform LocalCircles, which got over 7,000 responses from startups, MSMEs and entrepreneurs across 104 top business districts in India, 31 per cent of such firms across the country have reduced their women workforce in the last 8 months.
Coming to the women workforce in the MSMEs and startups, the survey showed that not a single business reported increase in the number of women employees during the past 8 months. (Representive image, source: Bloomberg)
Many startups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have suffered due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the lockdown. As many as 31 per cent of the MSMEs and startups across the country have reduced their women workforce in the last 8 months. But according to a recent survey, 43 per cent of such companies are seen hiring women in their businesses over the next 6 months.
With revenues and operations getting severely impacted for a lot of such businesses, many MSMEs and startups ended up cutting costs and some even had to shut down temporarily or permanently, a survey conducted by community engagement platform LocalCircles showed.
The survey got over 7,000 responses from startups, MSMEs and entrepreneurs across 104 top business districts in India. It looked at the workforce adjustments and impact on women employment because of Covid-19, and the outlook on hiring over the next six months.https://images.indianexpress.com/2020/08/1×1.png
The survey showed that 25 per cent of startups and MSMEs had their businesses shut down and all workforce had to be let go, 15 per cent of respondents said their workforce got reduced by 50 per cent or more. This apart, 19 per cent of respondents said that their workforce has reduced by 25-50 per cent while another 19 per cent said their workforce has reduced by up to 25 per cent. Just 6 per cent of the respondents said that their workforce has increased while 16 per cent said they have the same workforce as pre Covid-19 times. Overall, 78 per cent of MSMEs and startups in India have reduced the workforce in the last 8 months.
“The Government also took steps to help these small businesses through the Atmanirbhar Bharat scheme, but its advantages per feedback from businesses in July this year has been quite limited,” LocalCircles survey said.
Coming to the women workforce in the MSMEs and startups, the survey showed that not a single business reported increase in the number of women employees during the past 8 months. Instead, 7 per cent respondents said women workforce reduced by 50-100 per cent, 12 per cent said women in their workforce reduced by 25-50 per cent and 12 per cent said women in their workforce reduced by up to 25 per cent.
Therefore, 31 per cent of MSMEs and startups have reduced women workforce in the last 8 months. The survey said that Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) among women in the country is one of the lowest in the world, and appears to have slid even further during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the LocalCircles survey showed that over the next 6 months some startups and MSMEs said that they will employ women in their businesses. As much as 30 per cent of the respondents said they plan to hire 1-5 women employees while 13 per cent said they plan to hire 6-10 women employees. 7 per cent respondents were unsure about hiring women while 50 per cent said that said they do not plan to hire any women employees.
“With growth coming back in many sectors, and given that Work from Home has become a new normal for many of the technology driven businesses and for white collar jobs, even in traditional businesses, it is likely to help more women find job opportunities in the coming months,” the survey said.