According to LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index survey, working women are two times more likely to be worried about availability of jobs and four times less confident compared to working men. The survey has termed the phenomenon a ‘shecession’ — a play on the words “she” and “recession”. Working women and young professionals still remain vulnerable to economic turbulence and burnout is a reality. The survey found that the individual confidence index (ICI) scores of female professionals fell from +57 in March to +49 in early June ー a four-time decline compared to working men which was +58 in March and +56 in June. “This uneven impact has also bruised the financial stability of working women as 1 in 4 (23 per cent) female professionals are concerned about growing expenses or debt, in contrast with just 1 in 10 (13 per cent) working men,” noted the survey.
Apart from findings based on gender, the data shows that India’s overall workforce confidence has declined after peaking in early March. The survey also found that young Indians were 2.5 times more worried than older generations, about the impact of the pandemic on their careers. The importance of work experience and professional connections are key areas of worry. Nearly 30 per cent of Gen Z professionals and 26 per cent of millennials are troubled due to lack of jobs, compared to 18 per cent of baby boomers. The average time taken for new graduates to find jobs has increased from two to over three months. In the survey, 23 per cent of Gen Z professionals and 24 per cent of millennials reported being worried about debt or expenses compared to 13 per cent of baby boomers in India.
Being in a healthy work environment and having a successful work life balance has also become a priority for job seekers, found the survey. While 1 in 2 job-seekers value employee benefits (55 per cent) and salary (53 per cent) more post COVID-19, an equal number of job-seekers were found prioritising work-life balance (48 per cent) and location flexibility (50 per cent) when looking for a job today.
The demand for flexibility has been rising alongside with the increase in remote opportunities. According to LinkedIn data, remote job postings increased by 35 times across 2020 and grew further by almost three times year-on-year as of May 2021. A little more than seven in 10 companies in India are keen on moving to a completely remote setup. Commenting on how 'remote work' (working from home) is here to stay, LinkedIn stated that it offered "a glimmer of hope to new graduates, women professionals, and the future workforce."
The survey is based on the responses of 1,891 professionals from 8 May to 4 June during the second COVID-19 wave in India.