Women hold a third of the sorting, packing, loading, and customer support jobs this year which enable the ongoing e-commerce festive sales frenzy, up from about a tenth even three-four years ago, staffing firms said.
As many as 3 lakh to 5 lakh temporary jobs are estimated to be created between August and December this year, with e-commerce giants Flipkart and Amazon each saying they will hire a little more than 1 lakh positions during the festive season.
A majority of the roles are for last-mile delivery of products, where companies prefer male candidates with a driver's licence. But the next largest chunk of the jobs goes towards these warehousing operations where women occupy 30% of the roles, recruiters said. It also includes jobs such as picking, loading, unloading, hub operations, health and environment officers, and managing information systems.
"To fulfill the heavy demand of the festive season a lot of the support function roles like voice, chat, and email support executives are also hired where women and work-from-home employees are preferred. About 30% of these roles are filled by women employees. In FMCG and FMCD companies, this can go as high as 40%," said CIEL HR Services director and CEO Aditya Narayan Mishra.
Similarly, workforce management firm Quess Corp's president, Lohit Bhatia, points out that the share of women in the workforce has grown to nearly 30 to 35 per cent from a meagre 10 to 15 per cent a few years ago.
"We have noted that for a few in-house roles such as sorting centres, warehousing and the likes, the share is as high as 40 per cent plus in 2021. Over time, we believe some job roles might be fully aligned to women," said Bhatia.
Online festive sales by Flipkart, Amazon, Myntra, AJIO, Meesho, and Snapdeal are all underway. Homegrown player Flipkart said 15 per cent of its 1,15,000 festive season hires are women and people with disabilities. Rival Amazon, on the other hand, said it has hired 50 per cent more women, nearly 60 per cent more people with disabilities, and more than 100 per cent more LGBTQAI+ representation compared to last year among its 1,10,000 seasonal jobs in India.
"Diversity and other inclusive hiring, such as in grocery staffing and day shifts across warehouses, also augers well for talent in tier-2 to tier-5 cities where women workforce prefers to work locally and stay closer to homes instead of migrating to larger cities and towns," said Bhatia.
Women would account for 50,000-60,000 of the total number of hires this year, CIEL's Mishra estimated. The contracts for seasonal jobs are for three months, sometimes just 30-45 days.
"With brick-and-mortar stores opening up since last year, the first preference of these resources is to look for jobs in these stores rather than the e-commerce division," he said.
The pay of e-commerce temporary hires in warehousing is up to Rs 18,000 a month, while delivery personnel may earn Rs 22,000 a month. The typical contract period of FMCG and FMCD festive hires is for 11 months where they focus on year-round festive season demand. The pay margins of these companies are at a slightly higher band, the staffing firms said.
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