Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

The Importance of Promoting Workplace Diversity There can be career breaks, paid maternity leaves, remote work or flexible working hours to encourage women's economic participation.

By Bipin Preet Singh

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


As the International Women's Day approaches us, it is time for all to think of their role in the fast-changing world of work being impacted by rapid globalisation and new digital technologies.

Undoubtedly, there is a fundamental case for empowering women as they represent half of the global population. They must have equal access to health, education, earning power and political representation.

In recent years, there has been a definite growing demand for concerted action to facilitate women's integration in the workforce, close the gender pay gap and create equal opportunities in the overall economy. Public and private sectors are examining existing policies and innovating to accelerate progress towards gender equality.

But overall – in most geographies around the world – progress has been rather slow to realise the full potential of half the humanity. India – with 1.3 billion people – has much to catch up with.

I recently came across a report which says the gender pay gap in IT services sector is as high as 34 per cent. While men earn Rs 360.90 per hour, women earn only Rs 239.60. The story is no different in manufacturing, a major job generating sector.

Among the most common reasons identified for this gender pay gap relate to socio-cultural factors and career breaks of women due to parenthood duties. While the law mandates non-discrimination in hiring women, ground realities are different.

Various studies and survey prove that men often get higher salaries than women vying for the same position in an organisation at the time or hiring or promotion. This is not acceptable.

It is critical to note that economic benefits are proportional to the percentage of women in the workforce. For example, in FMCG and FMCD sectors, women form 23 per cent of the workforce and 13 per cent of top management. In manufacturing, they comprise 12 per cent of overall workforce and only two per cent of top management.

On the other hand, in corporate functions, women constitute 32 per cent of workforce and there is a relatively lower pay gap of 14 per cent. This proves that gender pay gap is a manifestation of the lack of gender diversity.

India Inc must initiate measures to hire more women and retain new mothers when they return to the workforce. Care-related policies can be formed to reconcile professional and family obligations as women tend to bear most of care-giving responsibilities of children, elderly and others.

There can be career breaks, paid maternity leaves, remote work or flexible working hours to encourage women's economic participation. Though the costs and trade-offs associated with such practices are long-term investments, they generate societal and economic returns.

In coming years, talent and digital technologies will determine how the Fourth Industrial Revolution delivers sustainable economic growth and innumerable benefits to the society. As India embarks on a rapid growth path in the turbulent globalised world, it should prioritise gender diversity for innovation and inclusive development.

Bipin Preet Singh

Founder & CEO, MobiKwik

Business News

Apple iPhone 7 Users May Be Owed a Slice of a $35 Million Settlement — Here's How to Claim Your Share

Previous (and current, no judgment) iPhone 7 users may be entitled to up to $349. The deadline to file a claim is June 3.

News and Trends

Walmart-owned Flipkart Gets $350 Million Investment From Google

Reportedly, Google's proposed investment and Cloud collaboration would help expand Flipkart's business and advance the modernization of its digital infrastructure

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

News and Trends

Gurugram-based Wealth Management Firm Finvolve Closes Maiden INR 100 Cr Fund, Launches Two New Funds

Finvolve also announced the launch of two new funds, pre-seed Accelerator Fund and Scale Fund, including a GIFT city, with an investment capacity of around INR 500 crore to widen its investment spectrum: Accelerator, Seed, and Scale.

Growth Strategies

AI Agents Startup Secures $4M to Revolutionize Customer Onboarding & Retention

Under the leadership of Gaurav Aggarwal and Anuja Verma, Truva AI has created an innovative solution for customer onboarding and retention, leveraging sophisticated AI agents.