Startups as well as small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that were forced to reduce their workforce — rendering many women jobless — as part of desperate cost-cutting measures, will soon be hiring. As per a survey by LocalCircles, 43 per cent of these businesses will hire women over the next six months.
The survey by the community-engagement platform covered 7,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs from 104 districts across India, to study the effect that the pandemic had on women’s jobs.
Seven per cent of those surveyed admitted that the number of women in their establishments have dropped by 50-100 per cent! About 12 per cent small businesses revealed that women in their workforces had reduced by up to 25 per cent. A significant 46 per cent they have managed to retain the same number of women in the workforce as in the pre-pandemic times. However, not even one MSME or startup reported an increase in the number of women employees in the last eight months.
It was discovered that about 78 per cent small businesses and startups were forced to reduce their workforces in the past eight months. About 31 per cent such businesses had to let go of a portion of the women in their workforces. However, the only silver lining is that about 43 per cent of MSMEs and startups plan to hire women in the coming six months. While seven per cent of the small businesses surveyed are still unsure about hiring women, about 13 per cent MSMEs and startups will be taking on six to ten women in their workforces in the next six months. Another 30 per cent are looking to hire one to five women employees.
About 19 per cent businesses ended up with workforces reduced by 25 to 50 per cent, while another 19 per cent were left with 25 per cent smaller workforces. Sixteen per cent businesses witnessed no change in the size of the workforce, while six per cent saw the number of workers actually increasing!