In the past few years, more and more women have been giving up conventional career choices and moving towards entrepreneurship. Women are heading the entrepreneurial opportunities queue in India. As per the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, between 2016 and 2021, the number of women-founded companies grew by 2.68 times vis-a-vis male-founded companies that grew by 1.7 times in the same period. Though delightful and heartening for women entrepreneurs, this information has a flip side.
Some reasons for the phenomenal rise in women entrepreneurship are listed below:
Barriers at workplace
The 2022 Global Gender Gap Report also highlights the inequitably low representation of women in the Indian workforce (18%). Women may opt for the entrepreneurial route because of the lack of growth opportunities in the paid employment sector.
You might also be interested to read: Women In Technology: These Factors Weigh Them Down
Job losses due to COVID-19
While the pandemic disrupted health and financial systems globally, the gendered impact of the pandemic has been immensely skewed towards women. As per Mckinsey, world over, the rate of job loss among women resulting from COVID-19 was almost 1.8 times higher than their male counterparts. This resulted in a staggering 5.7% unemployment rate for women compared to 3.1% for men. The story was no different for India. The pandemic harmed women in the country in terms of increased unemployment, domestic responsibilities, and social injustices. It negatively impacted the revenue of 20% of women-owned businesses (Report by Bain and Company). Research also shows that while the pandemic had an initial negative impact, it also allowed women entrepreneurship to re-evaluate and modify to capitalise upon the consequent changes.
Not moving up the corporate ladder
Women experience considerable hurdles when being promoted internally to leadership positions. New LinkedIn data reveals that men are 42% more likely to get promoted to senior roles than women. It could be the reason for the decline in the proportion of women as one moves along the corporate ladder. LinkedIn research points out the diminishing percentage of women leaders, from 29% at the senior level to a paltry 18% at the managerial level in India.
The data reports some progress in recent times, though, with 1.3 times more women being hired for leadership roles since 2015. However, despite this increase, the proportion of women in leadership roles is still way behind the required numbers.
Despite all odds, women remain resilient and continue to overcome challenges. They are pivoting to entrepreneurship and creating careers that allow them to work on their terms and permit greater flexibility. No wonder the data shows that the growth rate of women’s entrepreneurship was at its highest due to the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021 when women took refuge from shrinking job markets by starting their ventures and creating job opportunities for others.
- Indian women outdo men in taking the entrepreneurial plunge during pandemic | The Hindu
- Deconstructing The Impact of Covid-19 On Women Entrepreneurs In India | SheThePeople TV
- Tales of grit and courage – The journey of women entrepreneurs in India during COVID-19 | ET Now News
You might also be interested to read: Women Entrepreneurship In India Sees A Multi-pronged Boost