Women’s jobs more vulnerable than men’s to COVID-19 crisis
Women’s jobs are more vulnerable and prone to economic changes and business disruptions than men, according to new data from the economic graph on LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional social network. Data suggests that this vulnerability in the labor market has caused a setback in progress towards gender equality in the workplace.
The data – showing the percentage of hiring by gender between January 2020 and January 2021 – reveals that the number of women hired dropped dramatically between March and April 2020, before returning to pre-pandemic values. In Spain, women accounted for almost 47% of hires in January of this year, up from around 41% in April of the previous year.
Although the recruitment prospects for women are better today than they were in the spring of 2020, there is an urgent need to make up for the ground lost by the pandemic. The current improvement in the female recruitment rate does not compensate for the number of women who have been disproportionately affected by job losses, many of them leaving the labor market entirely. In addition to a sharp drop in the hiring of women during the first wave of Covid-19, the hiring rate slowed slightly in subsequent waves of the pandemic. And in most markets around the world, women are still hired at a lower rate than men.
The most affected sectors have had difficulty recruiting women
LinkedIn’s recruitment trend analysis found that the sectors most affected by the pandemic were struggling to hire women, which is a key factor in explaining the sharp drop in the hiring of women in economies. . In Spain, during the first ten months of the pandemic, most sectors saw their progress in hiring women affected. In the leisure and travel sector, the percentage of women recruited fell by almost 7 percentage points. However, the areas that proved to be the most resilient during the pandemic – such as software and IT, education or healthcare – saw gains of less than a percentage point each.
According to the latest edition of the LinkedIn Worker Confidence Index, Spanish women consider that the main obstacles they face in applying for a new job are “too much competition” (17%) and lack of training or experience (12 %). For their part, men believe that the barriers they encounter when looking for a job are the scarcity of job offers suited to their needs (20%) and a deficient network of contacts (13%).
On the other hand, the study also shows that professionals in Spain believe that to find their next job opportunity, they need to retrain professionally (32%); and men, on the other hand, are more likely than women to consider that their next job might be to start their own business (30%) or to relocate where the opportunities are (30%).
Higher likelihood that roles require face-to-face contact
The career prospects of women have also been affected globally by the fact that they are more likely to occupy positions requiring face-to-face service or to have fewer opportunities to telecommute, according to data from LinkedIn. These factors, which already existed before the pandemic, have been reinforced by the scale and speed of the decline in economic activity.
Rosario Sierra, Director of Corporate Operations at LinkedIn, says: “LinkedIn’s data tells a compelling story: The hiring of women has been found to be more vulnerable than that of men and Covid-19 has had a more detrimental impact on their career than theirs. We can all take steps to correct these differences, now. Training and learning new skills should be the north, so that we can all feel stronger and more competitive. Allowing a better work-life balance should be a priority for employers, as well as eliminating any bias in job descriptions. All of this requires public-private collaboration through policies that support informal caregivers. These changes are critical to repairing the damage caused by the pandemic and building equal people and societies. “
Improve gender equality in the workplace
Businesses can help improve gender equality in the workplace:
Apply progressive policies in the work environment allowing greater flexibility. The future of work will undoubtedly be more flexible. So that women do not have to choose between their family and their career, flexible employment opportunities are essential. Data from LinkedIn shows that women are 26% more likely to apply for telecommuting jobs than men. Carefully consider the language of job postings and the employer’s branding. The words companies use to explain everything from job descriptions to corporate culture influence their ability to attract a gender balanced workforce. The LinkedIn study found that 44% of women would consider not applying for a job if the word “aggressive” was included in the job posting. To encourage more women to apply for positions, companies should be aware of masculine language and instead use open and inclusive language, such as ‘support’ and ‘collaboration’. Expansion of existing talent pools. Businesses have the opportunity to tap into new talent pools that help them improve the diversity of their workforce and bring new skills to the business. To reach more diverse talent, companies need to consider their employer branding strategy and take an approach that seeks to partner with organizations that have a loyal community. It is also important to understand what matters most to women when choosing a new job and to ensure that priorities are factored into the policy and benefits of the company. Prepare managers for gender equality training. For this, LinkedIn provides all the free online learning courses: Communicate with your full attention, empathy and compassion, Non-verbal language for leaders, Manage your job interview by video conference and Successful strategies for women in the work environment (available from February 28 to March 31).