Jobs in the top 20 female occupations have plummeted 40% year-on-year as the pandemic disproportionately affects women*
Ahead of International Women’s Day on Monday 8th March, Adzuna analysed hiring activity within the top 20 occupations held by men and women in the UK, to discover if either gender has been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Advertised vacancies within the top 20 occupations historically employing the most women have slipped 40.2% year-on-year, according to the research. This includes a 38.1% decline in jobs for sales and retail assistants, the top occupation held by women in 2020, with just 6,370 openings on offer in February 2021.
Compared to a year ago, hiring has fallen in 19 of the top 20 occupations historically employing the most women. This includes substantial declines in opportunities for receptionists (-52.0%), nursery nurses and assistants (-42.9%), personal assistants and other secretaries (-49.3%) and hairdressers and barbers (-37.3%). Care workers and home carers was the only occupation to see a hiring rise (+45.9%).
By comparison, hiring activity within the top 20 occupations historically employing the most men has fallen just 11.8%. Job openings increased year-on-year in 6 of the top 20 male occupations, namely warehouse workers (+37.0%), large goods drivers (+76.6%), van drivers (+14.0%), electricians (+12.8%), carpenters and joiners (+15.9%) and construction and building trades (+26.0%).
Women account for 49.8% of the UK’s professional and technical workers, but make up just 36.3% of legislators, senior officials and managers, according to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Report.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of women are employed in other sectors severely affected by pandemic restrictions, including the Wedding Industry (80% women), Beauticians (64% women), Childmilders (95% women), and Travel agents (86% women). With just 2,498 Travel vacancies currently up for grabs and only 2,956 event manager roles available, opportunities for those affected to find new roles are limited.
The research also reveals a gender-pay gap within the top 20 female and male occupations. Adzuna data finds the average advertised salary on offer for jobs historically employing most women is £32,749, compared to £39,482 for men, showing women are more likely to be in lower paid roles.
Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, comments: “The pandemic has hurt job prospects for women. Hiring in jobs historically employing women has been hit hard. Covid-19 has left many women with lower pay, fewer options, and often shouldering the burden of increased caring needs. There is a danger that the last twelve months could widen the gender pay gap and increase inequality. We must not allow that to happen.
“We need to take a long hard look at how we support women through the pandemic and into work. Part of this is about opening up more roles to women, through better flexible working and improving childcare options. But we also need a shift in mentality to encourage more women into high growth sectors like Logistics, Tech & Manufacturing, ensuring they benefit from the opportunities being created in these areas.”