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  • Chitra Iyer

Digitization and Re-skilling in Encouraging Women to Rejoin Workforce Post Pandemic


Digitization and Re-skilling in Encouraging Women to Rejoin Workforce Post Pandemic and Generating New Employment Opportunities

A younger workforce is advantageous, energizing significant increase and progress from an economic standpoint. However, while a segment of India's youth moves the country toward becoming a worldwide powerhouse, many are left behind. Moreover, women's labour-force participation in India has been grossly inadequate, and this must alter if India is to achieve the long-term benefits.

While 37.1 percent of young people are in the labour force, there is a significant gap between men's (57.1 percent) and women's (57.1 percent) participation rates (12.7 percent) (Source). Moreover, because of India's unequal labour structure and gender disparities, three out of four women do not participate in any recognized economic activity.

Encouraging Women in Rejoining Workforce Post-Pandemic:

New technology and the influence of the Covid-19 pandemic on the workforce have radically changed how we do business and the skills required in the workforce. To ensure that young people obtain the skills they will need to thrive. We must invest in large-scale, job-relevant skills and restructure our education systems. As a result of the pandemic and preparing for the future, learning new skills will put you better positioned to take advantage of a stronger economy. While digitalization had already begun previous to COVID, the pandemic has accelerated the emergence of the digital economy. It has resulted in a significant increase in new apps, systems, and software. As a result, employers must retrain their employees to use this technology. Digitalization is generating new career opportunities that did not exist ten years ago.

Women's empowerment is an integral part of a country's growth, and it is a balancing equation of her education, health, employability, and decision-making authority. To solve the issues of an underrepresented section of youth in the Workforce, India must embrace a gendered perspective in education and skilling initiatives and support women in securing and retaining jobs.

Stereotypical gender biases are one of the most common barriers to women's employment. Therefore, India must restructure its policies and incentives to encourage women and bring equality in development and the workforce, enabling social and economic revolution.

Innovative thinking and societal restructuring are required to bring about a change by bringing women into formal education and training programmes and, therefore, into the workforce. Increasing women's labour-force participation can raise India's GDP by 27% (Source). Today's skilling programmes must enable access and integrate digital training to equalize and bridge the digital divide.

The shortfall in the workforce:

The gender diversity gap in the corporate sector is far; yet, a reskilling revolution might significantly accelerate the rate of change. If corporate leaders increase their investments in reskilling, they can ensure that women are not losing employment disproportionately and take advantage of hidden female talent. Simultaneously, an emphasis on upskilling can empower female employees with the abilities they'll need to be leaders in the new digital era.

Organizations are already having difficulty recruiting employees with advanced digital skills, which are necessary for a growing number of occupations. It has been estimated that at least 54% of all employees will require major reskilling and upskilling. (Source)

Women hold 56% of total university degrees but just 36% of STEM degrees, and they make up only 25% of the STEM workforce. According to a WEF-LinkedIn report, only 22% of AI professionals and 12% of machine-learning experts are women.

Importance of Digitization, Reskilling, and Upskilling:

Rather than allowing digital changes in the workplace to marginalize women, reskilling provides a clear means to gain an advantage in difficult times and significantly accelerate the progress on diversity.

Reskilling can change the odds and provide many possibilities for women, particularly in high-demand STEM fields. Women should learn new skills which pay more than their existing jobs, and they can be reassigned if the demands of their employers change.

Reskilling is a curriculum for re-engaging women who have left the workforce in the middle of their careers can make a significant difference. Women tend to leave the workforce at a higher rate than men, and the rapid pace of change in skilled digital jobs is likely to make them hesitant to return.

Foundational and 21st-century skills, in addition to vocational training, are crucial for empowering women in developing a strong foundation for employment. However, literacy alone cannot translate into gainful employment. Instead, we require a slew of women-centric integration initiatives that include socioeconomic support, relevant skills, guaranteed jobs, and investments to break down barriers and carve out an accessible pathway for women to enter various sectors of the economy, actively contributing to India's progress. Moreover, women's empowerment necessitates sustained work to achieve financial and social inclusion on numerous fronts.

Women in the Workforce signify a stronger economy and long-term social transformation and welfare. Gender equality and the resulting "opportunity to work" will eliminate injustice, disparities, and deep-rooted obstacles for women in Indian homes.

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