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Women Now Surpass Men in Seeking Entrepreneurial Opportunities, Though Only 18% Occupy Leadership Roles: LinkedIn The growth rate of female entrepreneurship was the highest during the pandemic, i.e. in 2020 and 2021.

By Soumya Duggal

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The share of female founders in India grew by 2.68 times as compared to 1.79 times among men between 2016 and 2021, according to data compiled by LinkedIn for publication in World Economic Forum's latest report on the gender gap prevailing across the world.

Despite a dismal representation (18%) in leadership roles in the country's workforce, more women are now seeking entrepreneurship opportunities as compared to men, found LinkedIn. The report indicated that the growth rate of female entrepreneurship was the highest during the pandemic, i.e. in 2020 and 2021.

Some of the key highlights of the "World Economic Forum's 2022 Global Gender Gap Report" with regards to India are as follows:

  • India ranked 135 on the Global Gender Gap Index 2022, scoring 0.629, its seventh-highest score in the last 16 years. The country's female population is approximately 662 million.
  • Recovering ground since 2021, India registers the most significant and positive change to its performance on the Economic Participation and Opportunity front. The gender parity score for estimated earned income improved; while values for both men and women diminished, they declined more for men. Labour-force participation shrunk for both men (by -9.5 percentage points) and women (-3 percentage points) since 2021.
  • The share of women legislators, senior officials and managers increased from 14.6% to 17.6%, and the share of women as professional and technical workers grew from 29.2% to 32.9%. However, men have a 42 per cent higher chance of being promoted into leadership positions than women. In India, the representation of female leaders witnessed a shocking drop from 29 per cent at the senior level to 18 per cent at the managerial level.
  • There are small, insignificant changes on the Educational Attainment and Health and Survival front. ICT STEM gap, slanted against women, is wider in online education than in traditional education.
  • Political Empowerment records a declining score (-0.010) due to the diminishing share of years women have served as head of state for the past 50 years.
  • When considering the combined impact of all factors on gender-based wealth gaps, India is among some of the most unequal economies with less than 65% of wealth equity.
Soumya Duggal

Former Feature Writer

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