43pc of Indian startups, MSMEs plan to hire women in next 6 months: LocalCircles

The survey conducted by LocalCircles shows that Indian startups and MSMEs are keen to bring women back into their workforce in the near future even as they absorb the impact of COVID-19.
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The COVID-19 pandemic impacted employment opportunities across sectors, with startups and MSMEs forced to reduce their workforce over the last eight months, especially women employees. However, there seem to be some positive signs now, highlights a survey.

LocalCircles, a community social media platform, in a wide-ranging survey across startups, MSME, and entrepreneurs found that 43 percent of them plan to hire women in the next six months. However, about 31 percent said they have reduced the women workforce in the last eight months.

The survey — which posed the question to startups and MSMEs on the prospect of hiring women in their workforce in the next months — reported that around 43 percent of them plan to hire between one to 10 women employees, while 50 percent said they do not have such hiring plans.

When asked about how the employment of women has been in their business during the last eight months, about seven percent said women in their workforce have been reduced by 50-100 percent, 12 percent said women in their workforce have reduced by 25-50 percent, and another 12 percent said women in their workforce have been reduced by up to 25 percent.

However, about 46 percent claimed that they still have the same number of women in their workforce as compared to the pre-COVID-19 era.

The LocalCircles survey also highlighted that not a single business reported an increase in the number of women employees during the course of the eight months of COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe impact on Indian startups and MSMEs. The LocalCircles survey pointed out that 25 percent of them witnessed their business being shut down while 15 percent reduced their workforce by 50 percent.

Around 16 percent have retained the workforce while six percent actually increased hiring.

The survey received over 7,000 responses from startups, MSMEs and entrepreneurs spread across 104 top business districts of the country.

Edited by Suman Singh

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