New LinkedIn Data Reveals That More Women Are Creating Their Own Opportunities Through Entrepreneurship

● The growth rate of female entrepreneurs surpasses male entrepreneurs, growing by 2.68x since between 2016 to 2021 ● There was a marked increase in women setting up businesses during the pandemic ● LinkedIn data also finds that women are not being promoted internally as quickly as men in the global workforce ● More needs to be done to create equal opportunities for women at work


New LinkedIn data, published in the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, reveals that despite India having disproportionately low representation of women in leadership in the workforce (18%), a higher share of women in the country is now seeking entrepreneurship opportunities as compared to men. In fact, the report finds that the share of female founders grew by 2.68x between 2016 to 2021. Comparatively, the share of male founders grew only 1.79x during the same period.

The report further reveals that the growth rate of female entrepreneurship was at its highest in 2020 and 2021.

Apart from being underrepresented in leadership roles, the data also reveals that women are also not being promoted internally to leadership in companies at the same rate as men, with men being 42% more likely to be promoted into leadership positions than women.

This could explain why women in leadership roles also increasingly lag behind their male counterparts in the senior stages of their careers, with the proportion of women in the workforce decreasing along the corporate ladder. In India, the representation of female leaders drops from 29% at the Senior level to a staggering 18% at the Managerial level.

Ruchee Anand, Senior Director, India Talent & Learning Solutions, LinkedIn, said, “Our new data is indicative of one thing: working women in India are being held back by more barriers in the workplace when compared to men. But despite the adversity, many women remain undeterred and continue to chart their own path by pivoting to entrepreneurship and building careers that allow them to work on their own terms with greater flexibility. We saw this especially in the years of the pandemic (2020 and 2021), when women sheltered from a shrinking job market by starting their own businesses that also created opportunities for other women.”

Steps in the right direction: More women are being hired into leadership today

Despite this, LinkedIn’s data reveals that there is progress being made – more women are being hired into leadership roles from 8 years ago, shooting up to 24% this year – 1.36x since 2015.

Targeted action is needed to address the global gender imbalance

“As employers navigate this challenge of making work ‘work’ for women, they must remember that factors like internal mobility, fair hiring practices with a focus on skills, and flexibility are going to prove key in not just levelling the playing field for women, but also improving efficiency through balanced representation, diversity of perspectives and inclusive leadership at the workplace.” says Anand.

To support female entrepreneurs, and women in the workforce, LinkedIn will unlock these courses for free until 22 August 2022: 

● Gender in Negotiation 

● Getting to Yes: Advice for Female Founders on How to Get Funded 

● Leadership Strategies for Women 

● Success Strategies for Women in the Workplace

Additionally, follow these LinkedIn Top Voices in India, who post insightful content and shaping conversations around gender equity, both in and outside of the workplace.

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