THE WOMEN IN INDIA’S GIG ECONOMY
The pandemic has changed the way we look at things. After being forced to work from home for almost 2 years, people have begun to understand the importance of staying close to their homes. Seeing the value in cost and the quality of life, a significant number of people have moved back to their roots. Organisations seem to have accepted the new normal and are now looking to hire independent remote talent that can operate from anywhere, more than ever.
Till not very long ago, the many forms of gig economy were driven by platforms in e-commerce delivery, food delivery, pharma delivery, package delivery etc.- mostly the blue collared jobs. But since 2020, the gig economy has opened up to accommodate the white collared jobs in a big way. Industries like BPO, KPO, fintech, edtech, fashion tech and health-tech are showing maximum job allocation for the white-collared workforce and especially women- thanks to the high demand for virtual work during the pandemic.
This adoption of remote work has opened up a whole new world of opportunities for women that were hitherto unable to get to a physical work location. If 30% of all workforce is now going to be made up of independent/gig talent, we predict that 80% of this will be 30+ female, India’s biggest untapped skilled workforce pool.
Women & Gig work, the win-win
Though there are no specific numbers on how many women are employed as gig workers as of today, a report published by Employment Outlook Report by TeamLease Services says, in 2019, women gig workers in India stand at 67,900. However, this number has seen a rapid rise post the pandemic. In 2020 alone, there is an increase of about 40% women’s workforce in the gig sector and further, these numbers have seen a 300% surge in the second half of 2021, and the trend is expected to continue.
Reasons why women in gigs win:
- Quality of job – Driven by 30+ females, this work pool is largely experienced in work and life and are serious about work compared to the 20 something work at office resources
- Flexibility of work hours – This fits in perfectly well with companies wanting on-demand resources for a few hours a day, a few days a week or a few months a year. A regular primary income resource is unable to offer this flexibility. With no physical space involvement, this flexibility allows for massive scale, both ways
Stickiness & Low price sensitivity – This workforce is a committed lot, they do not switch jobs for a few hundred or a thousand rupees. Once they get set to a specific work slot, they continue to work and do not want the burden of change every few months.
A look into the crystal ball:
So what’s the future for these female gig workers? In a survey conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), with support from the government of Japan, it is found that 57% CXOs working in various multinational firms in India agree that the gig economy will itself expand and boost women’s employment. 38% of the executives interviewed agreed that Work from Home would boost women’s participation in the labour force. The study also states that a boost in the use of digital technology and increased acceptance of virtual working for sales and distribution jobs could open opportunities for women to enter fields where interactions are managed through apps and phone calls.
According to Mr. Vineet Patil, Co- founder & CBO at VOIZ, a platform for entry-level white collared gig jobs,
“Gig economy offers many opportunities for women to work while being in the comfort of their homes & families. Add to this, the flexible work hour engagements allow for an even larger audience to participate in. At VOIZ, we endeavour to enable hundreds and thousands of women to work from anywhere by providing them with simple online jobs that are easy to learn and easy to earn.”
– Vineet Patil, Co- founder & CBO at VOIZ
A look at the women in VOIZ
Post the covid breakout, VOIZ has seen a surge in the number of female users on the platform. Out of the overall Gig workers registered in VOIZ, 67% are women. The numbers also reveal that more than 75% of the women workforce come from the metros and close to 25% are from Tier2 and Tier3 cities. The data also reveals that 66 % of women preferred to work part-time with an option for flexible timings. Women candidates, who had applied at VOIZ mainly prefer job roles of Customer support, Tele-sales, Chat or Email Support, Virtual Assistance etc.
What do you think? Are we on to a big bang new economy?