According to an analysis of voluntary Business Responsibility and Sustainability Reporting disclosures by 134 companies conducted by the CFA institute, India’s IT sector had the highest female participation rate of 30 per cent, followed by financial services companies at 22.4 per cent during the financial year 2021-22.
The survey further revealed that the IT sector, considered the largest employer of the country’s white-collar workforce, has the highest representation of women in the workforce, while FMCG and industrials occupy the last two spots in the listing with 5.5 per cent and 4.3 per cent representation, respectively.
The CFA analysis is based on a sample of voluntary BRSR disclosures to provide an initial perspective on how Indian women are faring in corporate workplaces. The BRSR disclosures are voluntary for companies during the financial year ending 31 March 2022 and compulsory for the top 1,000 companies ending 31 March 2023.
However, a deeper look at the data from the analysis shows that career progression for women is poor even in IT and Financial Services, data shows. For instance, within financial services companies, women represent 21.7 per cent of employees and only 15.9 per cent of key management personnel (KMP), a difference of 5.8 percentage points. Within the information technology sector, the difference is more pronounced, at 18.7 percentage points, with women accounting for 27 per cent of employees and only 8.3 per cent of KMP. Overall, Indian women’s participation rates in the workforce averaged 12.7 per cent across companies in the sample. Calculated as the number of women employed as a percentage of total employees, this means there was one woman for every eight people on the payrolls.
The data also showed that women had higher turnover than men in the sample (18.3% versus 16.1% for men) and higher turnover in all sectors except two. Defined as the number of people who left employment in the financial year as a percentage of the average number of people in that category, the report pointed out that the finding mirrored what happened in other countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, “More women than men left their jobs. A reason for this pattern might be that the burden of child and elderly care tends to fall disproportionally on women,” the report said, adding that the higher attrition among women is worth tracking given the already low participation of women in the Indian workforce.