Gender diversity has been the buzz word now and many of Indian companies are experiencing a steady growth in number of women in different roles, reflecting the impact of their efforts to increase diversity. Gender diversity is essential for any business while many Indian companies are catching up quickly with the fast pace changes in this field. Gender diversity is a global issue and believes that diversity starts at the top.
Traditionally, the IT industry has been haunted by allegations of lack of diversity, gender gap being the major one. The aim of gender equality in the workplace is to achieve extended outcomes for women and men, not exactly the same outcome for all individuals. Diversity makes us smarter and more innovative and allows firms to bring innovative solutions to the clients.
Gender discrimination includes paying people of different genders differently for performing the same job, hiring and training only one gender for a certain type of work. Achieving gender equality is important for workplaces not only because it is ‘fair’ and ‘the right thing to do’, it is also vitally important to the bottom line of a business and the productivity of our nation.
Career experts believe that gender diversity is not a women’s issue, men have to be involved in the dialogue and action to get gender equality. It is also important that, women should keep their emotions check at work, should learn how to draw the line between their personal lives and the workplace.
According to the Pew Research Center study, millennial women earn degrees at higher rates than men and are more likely to work in managerial roles, at near pay parity with men. Here’s how gender diversity benefits at personal and professional level.
- Gender equality attracts top talent
- Gender equality can reduce expenses
- Companies with gender equality perform better
- Gender equality improves national productivity and competitiveness
- Gender inequality wastes resources
Recent studies found that that gender balanced and racially balanced teams are more likely to experiment, share knowledge and fulfill tasks. Today women comprise of 40% of the company’s leadership team. Companies believe in sensitizing men at the CXO level to encourage gender diversity.
Gender diversity & equality in Hyderabad work places
Majority of the information technology companies are based in Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Kolkata, Thiruvananthapuram and Bhubaneswar in India.
Though there are more women in the IT industry than other sectors, they are mainly at entry level. In the IT sector, they comprise of 40% at the entry level, 25% at middle level and only 8% at the top level. Only 4% of the company boards have women. Over 50% of the boards never thought of having women on boards. Globally 9.8% of the board directors are women.
While, companies are offering various gender diversity management programs and practices like diversity training sessions, mentoring and coaching, flexible working hours, female networking groups, workshops and seminars on diversity,patrental leave policies, protection against mobbing and sexual harassment, gender quota in hiring, protection against gender discrimination and enough funding and commitment by top leaders. However, companies are also trying to remove the gender gap by implementing women-centric policies and helping them improve their work-life balance.
But obstacles like stereotype, sexual harassment, work life balance problems, masculine culture, lack of flexible work solutions, no prior information about company policies, lack of leadership commitment, lack of opportunities and discrimination in promotions are discriminating the gender diversity. The IT and ITES-BPO sector introduced secure working atmosphere, higher salaries, gender neutral policies, free pick-up and drop off facility to home, part time and flexible time, as well as flexible career policies. All these efforts made IT industry as a favorable destination for women to work.
As far as comparative global statistics are concerned, women’s participation in the work force is very low in India even when compared to other countries. However, companies are now making a conscious effort to bridge the gender gap across levels and the initiatives they are taking are geared towards attracting and retaining the best. An IMF study mentioned that India’s GDP would rise by 27% if women’s participation in the labour force were equal to that of men.
Many companies are facing high attrition rate when several high-performing women employees, especially in the middle and senior management levels, gave up their careers for family. This apparently seems to have led the company to carefully structure its gender diversity policy by enabling women to get the right work-life balance.