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Women Representation on Company Boards Increased From 5% In 2012 To 13% In 2018 Overall presence of women in corporate India has increased from 21 per cent five years ago to 30 per cent now, according to a study

By Tahira Noor Khan

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The number of women on company boards has increased from 5 per cent in 2012 to 13 per cent in 2018, according to Zinnov-Intel India Gender Diversity Benchmark, a study by management consulting firm Zinnov in association with Intel India. The significant rise in the percentage of women on company boards level can be attributed to the mandate of having at least one woman as board director.

Location Matters for Workplace Gender Diversity

The study also found that the work location affects workplace gender diversity. According to its findings, Bengaluru has the highest gender diversity at the workplace with 34 per cent women employees, followed by Mumbai with 33 per cent diversity and Pune with 32 per cent. The average gender diversity for Tier-I cities is better than tier-II and tier-III cities. Workplaces in tier-I cities have a gender diversity of 31 per cent while tier-II and tier-III cities stand at 25 per cent. Similarly, large companies have the highest gender representation at 33 per cent while medium-sized ones have 27 per cent and small companies have a mere 21 per cent.

STEM Fields Have Fewer Women

The number of women in technical fields is fewer compared with non-technical fields. Non-technical fields have 31 per cent of women workforce whereas technical fields have 26 per cent women representation. There is an overall 30 per cent representation of women in corporate India.

Pari Natarajan, CEO, Zinnov, talking about the low percentage of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, said, "The commitment to change needs to move beyond an organizational setting and include an ecosystem-wide lens. Enabling STEM career options for young women, supporting women-led start-ups, and encouraging other women entrepreneurs are some of the more impactful initiatives that organizations need to actively look at."

Long Road Ahead

Though the number of women in the workforce has increased, a huge gender imbalance still persists. The study found out that women make up 48.2 per cent of India's population and the number of women in the workforce is still much below the required mark. The report states that in order to make significant progress in the inclusion of women in the workplace, companies across the board need to align on a few common priorities and themes, and more importantly, collaborate.

Zinnov-Intel India Gender Diversity Benchmark is a part of an industry initiative Be-WISE (Women Innovators, Social Leaders and Entrepreneurs), that aims to accelerate inclusive participation of women in the workplace. In its report it has evaluated 60 companies from the Indian ecosystem, comprising global capability centers (GCCs), technology service providers, start-ups and Indian companies.

Tahira Noor Khan

Former Junior Features Writer


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