On the occasion of International Women’s Day, it is essential for India Inc. to work towards the emancipation of women. According to research conducted by Grant Thornton, the percentage of senior management positions held by women in mid-market corporations around the world is 32%, but in India, that percentage jumps to 36%. A worrisome nine percent of these companies around the world do not have any women serving in positions of executive leadership in any capacity.
In light of the findings of the survey, Pallavi Bakhru, Partner at Grant Thornton Bharat, offered the following commentary on the matter: “Growth in the number of women in executive roles is positive as we work towards gender equality in the workplace.” If a company adopts a flexible or mixed strategy, cultivates an open and tolerant work environment, and invests in the health and happiness of its employees through mentorship and support programmes, it will be able to assist women in advancing their careers. Working towards expanding diversity, especially at the higher levels of an organisation, is not only the thing to do because it is the morally right thing to do, but also because it is the financially wise thing to do. It has been demonstrated to raise levels of both efficiency and production.
Analyzing data at the regional level offers yet another fascinating fresh viewpoint. For the very first time, the proportion of women working in positions of upper-level management rose above 30 percent in every region (Africa, Asia-Pacific, ASEAN, Latin America, North America, and the European Union). The most striking change was the increase in the ASEAN area, which increased from 37% to 40%, making it the region with the biggest percentage point gain of any region. The only region to see a decrease was North America, which went from 33% to 31%, while APAC grew from 30% to 32%. Because of this, Asia Pacific has surpassed North America for the first time since the year 2018. In comparison to the average for all countries (28%), the BRIC countries (34%), and the G7 countries (30%), the percentage of women holding top positions in India is significantly higher at 36%.
It is possible that the unwavering commitment of businesses to the provision of adaptable working conditions is the single most essential aspect in the effort to achieve gender parity in the workplace. Recent studies have revealed that the percentage of women working in upper management positions at businesses that provide their employees with the option of working from home or in a hybrid setting is significantly higher. Just 36% of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are office-based only at this point, while 53% employ a hybrid strategy. Sixty-two percent of these businesses in India are utilising a hybrid model, while twenty-seven percent are still predominately office oriented, five percent of employees work from home full time, and five percent of employees have complete freedom over their schedules and locations.
Notwithstanding this, there has been a notable rise in the number of women serving as CEOs/MDs and CIOs this year, even though there has only been a moderate overall rise in the number of women in senior leadership roles. In 2019, just 15% of organisations have a female CEO or MD in their midst. As of right now, this ratio has grown to reach 28% across the entire planet.
It is crucial to locate and keep top personnel when one’s goals include growing and diversifying the business. According to the findings of the study, members of India’s business elite are of the opinion that there are actionable steps that may be taken by businesses in order to guarantee a continuous supply of highly skilled future executives. According to our findings, the three indicators listed below were the most significant:
34.5 percent say that more money should be invested in the appropriate technologies to encourage participation and diversity.
Develop efficient wellness education and/or assistance programmes (31.7% of the total)
31.3 percent: Inspire new ways of thinking and behaving through utilising educational programmes.
Regrettably, in India, barely 5% of organisations in the mid-market have any women working in executive roles. In order to hasten the process of change, there must be an increase in the number of programmes that are driven by policy or change, there must be a more direct path to leadership, and there must be a deeply ingrained culture in the business world that welcomes and encourages a greater representation of underrepresented groups at the highest levels.
The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) is the largest survey of its kind in the world. Each year, about 10,000 business executives from 28 different nations are questioned for the report.
During October and December 2022, interviews and surveys were conducted with over 5,000 CEOs, MDs, chairs, and other high-ranking executives from mid-sized firms in 28 different countries. The replies to these interviews and surveys were used as the basis for this research. In India, a survey was conducted on around 281 enterprises operating in the middle market.