The study has shown that there is only 30% representation of women in corporate India.

Only 7-8 of senior leaders in tech MNCs are women finds studyImage: Intel Zinnov study
Atom Women in Tech Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 18:17

There are only 11% senior women leaders in corporate India, a study by Intel and Zinnov has revealed. The number of women on company boards is only 13% as of 2018. While this is an increase from 5% in 2012, it is only because there is a mandate of having at least one woman on every company’s board of directors.

The study titled, “Zinnov-Intel India Gender Diversity Benchmark,” evaluated 60 Indian companies comprising Global Capability Centers (GCCs), technology service providers, startups, and Indian companies to gain an understanding of the current diversity landscape.

The study has shown that there is only 30% representation of women in corporate India. Of this, representation of women in technical roles is only 26%, while that in non-technical roles in 31%.

In global multinational companies, there are only 7% women holding the top roles in tech companies and 12% in non-tech companies. When it comes to domestic MNCs, only 8% of the top-level job posts are held by women in tech and 12% in non tech.

The number gets worse for domestic companies (classified as non MNCs). Here, only 4% of the top management are women in tech companies, and 6% in non-tech.

However, the gender diversity gets slightly better for junior and middle-level roles.

Large companies have the highest gender representation at 33%, while medium-sized companies have 27% and small companies, only 21%.

The study has found that even though women make up 48.2% of India’s population, a huge gender disparity continues to exist in Indian workplaces. Despite several companies running diversity programs for many years, numbers have still failed to move the needle; the big leap is missing. 

In terms of locations, Bengaluru has the highest gender diversity at the workplace with 34% women employees, followed by Mumbai with 33% diversity and Pune with 32%. The average gender diversity for tier-1 cities stands at 31% and for tier-2 and 3 cities at 25%.

The study also observed that gender diversity in non-tech roles is comparatively higher than tech functions in all tier 1 cities of India.

However, the picture isn’t very different globally. According to a survey done in the US called The Ivanti Women in Tech Survey 2019, 53% of women say that they aren’t taken seriously at work. 62% of respondents of this study said that stereotypes still favour men in leadership roles and that men and women judged by different criteria for similar roles.

A study in the UK by a career marketplace called Hired, titled ‘The UK Tech Workplace Equality Report,’ revealed that women are offered 4% less salary than on average than men. Findings of the study show that pay discrepancy and discrimination still exist.

The study by Intel and Zinnov says that though awareness around gender parity has improved over the years, it is now time to step on the gas. The government, business leaders, influencers, and individuals from all walks of life, need to come together to create a greater impact.

The role of the government and regulators too, plays an important role. In 2014, SEBI made it mandatory for all listed companies to have at least one woman director starting October 2014. This ensured that the number of women on company boards increased from 5% in 2012 to 13% in 2018.

However, the effort needs to go beyond that. For example, Australia has set up a ‘Workplace Gender Equality Agency’ which was created by the Workplace Gender Equality Act 2012. This agency works on promoting and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces.

The Zinnov study also states that the role of organisations cannot be overlooked either.

“Each company should design an approach to diversity and inclusion that suits their business and brand. Those operating in the organized sectors, should take a lead in the agenda of gender diversity. It is a wrong idea that women lack ambition; it is a conducive workplace to fulfil their ambitions, which is missing. Companies, thus, need to create the environment that ensures the growth of their women. This will also involve encouraging the male employees to champion the gender diversity cause by being strong allies in order to level the playing field for their female counterparts,” the study concludes.

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