The following is an excerpt from media article that appeared in DATAQUEST on the occasion of International Women's Day 2021. Read the complete article here.
India could be 27 percent richer with a more gender balanced workforce, says the IMF. Gender inequality has remained a buzzword internationally within the business sector. Although we have seen significant progress, much has yet to be done.
This year the International Women’s Day is taking place against a strong background of global action in favor of women’s rights, equality and justice. This year’s IWD theme is #ChooseToChallenge. A smart woman learns from her failure, smiles during her lows and grows stronger when faced with challenges. You are one of them. Happy Women’s Day!
Women’s full and effective participation and leadership in of all areas of life drives progress for everyone. Though what has been different in women’s leadership? Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. The pandemic has also bought its own unique challenges for women. Can we choose to address gender-bias and inequality, and create a more inclusive, gender-balanced world?
The government has been proactive in promoting women empowerment through schemes, facilities and awards such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao; Matru Vandana Saptah; Mahila E-haat; One Stop Centre Scheme; Working Women’s Hostels; Swadhar Greh; and Nari Shakti Puruskar. There have been various efforts in areas of education, skill and entrepreneurship as well.
As such this year we plan to approach the celebration of International Women’s Day with some tremendous ladies from various industries.
Rashmi Gupta, Associate Vice President, Infogain: “Over the years things have changed significantly, with many organizations offering increased opportunities to women. There are many industry sectors with women employed in strong leadership positions. A recent study by the World Economic Forum (WEF) shows that women constitute nearly 13.8% of boardroom employees in India. That makes us ahead of other emerging markets including China and Russia in terms of corporate diversity.
Although there has been a shift in mindsets, more effort is still required for women to achieve equal opportunities. For example, we cannot ignore the parallel reality that exists in some environments, where women must prove their mettle more than their male peers and risk losing their jobs if they commit even the slightest of errors.
While we are well on our way to bridge the inequality, there is long way to go to achieve gender pay parity across roles – including boardroom employees. A World Economic Forum showed that the gender gap runs deep; and globally we are still many years away from experiencing equal pay opportunities for men and women.
Compared to prior years, women do receive more leadership opportunities now. However, there is still room for growth in women’s boardroom presence. In a survey by NASSCOM, 88.5% of companies reported that less than 10% of their C-Suite is female and 80% companies had less than 20% females at senior management levels.”