Indian Women: About 36 pc of senior positions in India’s mid-market biz held by women: Report

Indian Women: About 36 pc of senior positions in India’s mid-market biz held by women: Report

Over 36 per cent of senior management positions in mid-market businesses in India are being held by women, which is more than the global average of 32 per cent, according to a report. According to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report on ‘Women in Business 2023 – The push for parity’, 32 per cent of senior management positions are now held by women globally, in mid-market businesses, and the same stands at 36 per cent in India.

Around 9 per cent of such businesses still have no women in senior leadership roles globally, the report said.

“As we continue to strive for gender parity in the workplace, it is encouraging to see progress in the representation of women in senior leadership positions.

“To push for better parity, businesses must adopt a hybrid or flexible approach, create a supportive and understanding culture, and focus on employee well-being and mentoring programmes that support women,” Grant Thornton Bharat Partner Pallavi Bakhru said.

Working towards improving diversity, especially at senior levels, is not only the responsible thing to do but also the right thing to do commercially as it has been proven that it drives performance, she added.

The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) is the world’s leading mid-market business report, surveying around 10,000 business leaders in 28 countries, annually.

The findings in this report are drawn from around 5,000 interviews and surveys conducted between October and December 2022 with CEOs, MDs, chairs and other senior decision-makers from all industry sectors in mid-market businesses in 28 countries. In India, around 281 mid-market businesses were surveyed for this report.

The report further revealed that all regions (Africa, APAC, ASEAN, Latin America, North America, EU) surpassed the 30 per cent figure for women in senior management for the first time.

The ASEAN region experienced the most significant percentage point rise, increasing from 37 per cent to reach the 40 per cent mark, the report stated.

APAC’s rise to 32 per cent from 30 per cent in 2022 places it ahead of North America for the first time since 2018, and North America was the only region to experience a dip, from 33 per cent to 31 per cent.

With 36 per cent of women in leadership roles, India is ahead of the current global (32 per cent), BRIC (34 per cent) and G7 (30 per cent) averages, it noted.

According to the report, continued commitment from businesses to provide flexible working is perhaps the most significant boost to achieving gender parity.

It also showed that businesses — which offer hybrid, flexible or home working — outperform when it comes to women in senior management.

Globally, 36 per cent of mid-market businesses are now working purely office-based, and 53 per cent have a hybrid approach, it said.

In India, 62 per cent of such businesses are adopting a hybrid model, 27 per cent are still primarily office based, 5 per cent of staff are permanently home-based, and 5 per cent have a fully flexible schedule and choice to choose where to work from, the report added.

Despite only a slight increase in the percentage of women in senior leadership positions this year, there are big increases in the percentage of women occupying the chief executive officer (CEO), managing director (MD) and chief information officer (CIO) positions, according to the report.

In 2019, just 15 per cent of businesses had female CEO and MD, it said, adding that currently, that number is 28 per cent on a global level.

However, in India, 5 per cent of mid-market businesses still do not have any women in senior leadership roles, said the report.

To accelerate progress, we need more policy or change-driven programmes, increased transparency on leadership pathways and a business culture that continues to support greater diversity in senior leadership fully, it added.

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Author: Shirley