The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sector, a significant contributor to the economy in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), exports and employment generation, has recorded a relatively higher rate of women participation in the workforce than in other sectors.
According to the findings of the study conducted by the staffing and recruitment firm CIEL HR Services and titled Employment trends in the MSME Sector, women’s participation in the MSME sector is 24%. However, it is dismal in leadership with only 10% of women on the executive team.
The findings further stated that more than 20% of proprietary MSMEs are owned by women with West Bengal leading at 23.4% followed by 10.4% in Tamil Nadu.
Commenting on the survey, Aditya Narayan Mishra, Managing Director and CEO, CIEL HR Services, said “There has been a steady increase in the women’s participation rate in the MSME industry, our study has also revealed the need for better gender representation at an executive level for improved organisational climate and better financial performance.”
This has positive implications for women’s employment considering that over the past two years, the MSME sector has witnessed a whopping 45.5% growth in employee headcount. Furthermore, attrition is less of a challenge for the core traditional manufacturing sector having 3.6 years of median tenure, when compared to that of Environment/ Renewables and ITES (new age companies) sectors in MSME having 2.9 years and 2.5 years median tenure respectively. The report suggests that due to the lack of skilled manpower and hesitance to adopt technology, only 7% of the employees work in the IT field.
Engineering, operations and sales/business development are the major business functions in the MSME sector. According to the findings of the report, there is intense demand for talent in the sales and business development domain with more than 50% of job postings. The finance function also stands out with 17% of the job postings.
A possible downside for women in the sector is that 99% of recruiters are offering an on-site job. MSMEs are unwilling to continue remote working post the pandemic, although remote work tends to benefit women more.