Gender Diversity Challenge: Only 5% Employers See a Rise in Women CXOs in India

October 6, 20168:43 am1244 views

Talks pep-up around diversity, but gender diversity has a long way to go, as just 5% employers are willing to have more women leaders in CXO positions, reveals TimesJobs latest study.

Around 40% organizations anticipate more female employees at the mid level in their workforce, however; only 5% see a rise in number of women at CXO levels reveals the latest TimesJobs Study on Gender Diversity in India.

Speaking about the importance of gender diversity Aniruddha Ganguly, Group President HR, GMR states “Emphasis is on diversity at the workplace by giving preference to women candidates for critical and senior level roles.”

While gender diversity has been the talk-of-the-town with most leaders stressing the importance and benefits of it across various forums, the TimesJobs study reveals that there still lies a yawning gap, between aspiration and reality. This needs to be addressed by India Inc. for it to truly realize the potential of diversity.

In this TimesJobs study on the ‘State of Diversity in India Inc.’ nearly 35% organizations out of the 860 surveyed are focused on increasing representation of women at senior levels, however, due to looming challenges only 5% actually feel they will achieve any gains.

A further 30% are planning to increase women’s representations at the middle level, and here, they are far more optimistic at making a positive impact.

“India Inc. has made significant strides in building consensus on the benefits of gender diversity lately. However, this TimesJobs’ study clearly shows there is still a big gender imbalance in their talent pipelines. Many organizations still suffer from diversity issues as massive HR potential is lost due to stringent work timings causing a lack of female talent, primarily at senior levels,” says Nilanjan Roy, Head of Strategy, Times Business Solutions.

“This imbalance can be overcome with flexible women-centric policies and a consistent employer branding strategy backed by skill development and training that enhances their organization’s reputation as a great place to work for women.”

According to the TimesJobs report, currently, 65% employers feel gender diversity is ‘moderately’ represented in the workforce, 25% say it is ‘significantly’ represented while the rest (10%) state their workforce have no representation on gender diversity whatsoever.

See: Gender Imbalance: Are females missing out on Singapore’s tech revolution?

Delving into the reasons for this imbalance, TimesJobs reveals that 30% organizations cite lack of supply as the prime hurdle in having more women leaders. About 20% say there are too few opportunities for women to develop at work and another 20% blame it on the biases in the recruitment process itself.

Explaining the benefits of women in senior profiles, Sasha Sanyal Senior Vice President Strategy, Diversity & Inclusion Leader, Genpact says “Companies with the highest number of women board directors and senior management teams outperformed those with the least on several counts like higher returns on sales as well as innovation, group effectiveness in solving problems.”

The Top 5 Reasons why almost all organizations are focused on gender diversity are as follows:

  1. 40% organizations are doing it access wide talent pool
  2. 25% are doing it to improve business performance
  3. 20% surveyed organizations said they are doing it to enhance corporate reputation/brand image
  4. 10% are doing it for better corporate governance
  5. 5% are doing it out of compulsion as they are pressurized to take it up by internal and external stakeholders

The TimesJobs study also revealed, that 55% organizations admit that there is still a compensation gap between women and men in their organization, and they are taking measures to amend this by offering intangible benefits to the women in their workforce – including flexible working hours, targeted opportunities for development, training programs and support networks in their organization, etc.

In addition, as part of their future gender diversity and inclusion programs nearly 40% organization state they have assigned gender targets/quotas for recruitments/promotions, 30% say they will put in place rigorous recruitment/selection processes and 20% aim to design jobs keeping in mind the flexibility and other training needs of women employees.

Also read: A Perspective on Thinking Diversity at Work

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