The representation of women in Indian businesses is rising

The representation of women in Indian businesses is rising

  • Gender diversity in Tier I cities is higher, with Bengaluru leading the index, the study says.
  • Women representation in Indian companies grew from 21% five years ago to 30% now..

Low women representation is a cause of concern for investors. According to the 2019 Zinnov-Intel Gender Diversity Survey, gender diversity prioritization and concerted efforts such as return-to-work and women mentoring programs initiated by organizations across India have had a positive impact on gender diversity ratios.

Women’s representation in corporate India has risen from 21% five years ago to 30% now, with higher representation in non-technical roles (31%) over technical roles (26%), the study conducted by management consulting firm Zinnov, in collaboration with Intel India, showed. Only 11% of senior leaders, however, are women, compared to 20% in mid-level positions and 38% in junior roles, it said.

According to the report, which assessed 60 firms, including global resource centers (GCCs), technology service providers and start-ups, and examined various organizational policies and practices, the number of women on company boards grew from 5 percent in 2012 to 13 percent in 2018. It, he said, was primarily due to the requirement to have at least one woman on the board of directors of each business.

The report said that large firms have the highest gender representation at 33%, while medium-sized firms have 27% and small firms have only 21%. Approximately 25% of the workers of global multinational corporations or MNCs (international organisations with a presence in India) are women, while women make up just 30% of the workforce in domestic MNCs and 31% in non-MNC firms.

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Gender diversity in Tier-I cities is 31% higher, while in Tier-II and Tier-III cities it is around 25% higher. Bengaluru is leading by 34%, followed by Mumbai by 33% and Pune by 32%.

The study focused on the tremendous gender disparity that continues to exist in Indian workplaces and pointed out that for many years, most of the businesses surveyed have been operating diversity programs, leading to incremental change.

It also revealed that in the non-MNC category, especially in startups, the increase in gender diversity ratios is the steepest. The study added that startups usually do not concentrate on race-based recruiting on a small scale as they strive to quickly take on the best talent irrespective of gender.

Intel India has made efforts to reduce the gender gap, resulting in women being 25 percent of its employees. “Our gender diversity efforts at Intel India go beyond recruiting, retaining and cultivating talent, including supporting women innovators and entrepreneurs, and expanding the technology pipeline to encourage more women to join and succeed in the workplace,” said Nivruti Rai, country manager, Intel India, and Data Center Group vice president, Intel Corp.

“A key initiative we’ve taken in this space is Be-WISE (Women Innovators, Social Leaders and Entrepreneurs), aimed at accelerating women’s inclusive participation in the workplace,” she said.

According to Sindhu Gangadharan, its senior vice president and managing director, commitment to diversity and inclusion is also critical to the success of SAP Labs India. “To make SAP an employer of choice for more women, we have put in place a set of programs and policies that meet the needs of our female employees at all stages of their careers, paying particular attention to their challenging periods such as life events or crucial career moments to help them navigate these changes,” said Gangadharan.

“In the senior leadership group, we have 26 percent women, and we are working to increase that,” she said.

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