Gender diversity – a necessity at workplace
If India’s gender diversity at the workplace improves, then it will not only result in a better standard of living but will also improve India’s GDP.
In everyday conversation, the topic of “gender diversity” has always been in vogue. In literal sense, whenever we talk about gender diversity we talk about ‘the equal treatment and acceptance of both the genders – male and female’. We often tend confuse gender diversity with the candidature and issues related to females. But inclusion of both men and women is equally crucial.
Imbalanced gender diversity is not just an Indian phenomenon. However, across the globe, if we look at the gender ratios, it is usually imbalanced in companies or organizations irrespective of sectors or job categories. Women always have hard choice to make between professional success and personal fulfilment. As compared to men, women do not negotiate much when it comes to salary and if men attribute their success to themselves, then women attribute it to external factors. Data shows that, undoubtedly, success is positively co-related for men and for women it is on the negative side.
Gender inequality is not only a social concern but also a critical economic challenge. Women comprise of atleast half of the world’s working-age population, and if they do not reach their economic potential, there could be negative repercussions on the global economy. Similarly, if India’s gender diversity at the workplace improves, then it will not only result in a better standard of living but will also improve India’s GDP. Albeit, the presence of women is increasing in the field of business but unfortunately the rewards and compensations are not rising as expected. This maybe due to the discrimination at the workplace.
Women’s participation in the labour force sectors like agriculture is much higher compared to white-collar jobs in big towns and cities. Overall, female workforce participation has been falling — from 37 percent in 2004-05 to 29 percent in 2009-10. In 2011–2012, women made up 14.7 percent of all urban workers, just a small increase from the 13.4 percent in 1972–73. The reasons behind the almost unchanged numbers for women in the workforce range from marriage, child birth, other familial responsibilities, socio-cultural reasons, and the lack of a support system, to mention just a few.
According to the Times Jobs Job Outlook Survey 2016–17, based on responses from 2,000 employers across India, a greater number will be focusing on gender diversity in 2017. Nearly 70 percent of organisations said they would be hiring more women in 2017. It is also interesting that 20 percent said they would hire women professionals for CXO roles in 2017. Ironically, the Board of Directors is still male dominated in India. And women comprise just 12.5%,whereas in the leadership role of board of directors she accounts for only 3.2%.
The McKinsey Global Institute report 2016 estimates that improved gender diversity can add $12 trillion to the world GDP by 2025. For this to be possible, the gender disparity needs to be bridged.
Scandinavian countries have very little gender gap as compared to African and Arabic countries. Indian States like Bihar, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh scored very low on the Female Empowerment Index while the highest score went to Mizoram, followed by Meghalaya and Kerala. By increasing gender parity, India can add 700 billion dollars to the global GDP.
Mr. Biplob Banerjee, Executive Vice President-HR and CSR ,Jubilant Foodworks Ltd. says "that society and organisations are trying hard to break gender stereotypes and encouraging gender agnostic career growth. Leaders are not defined by their gender but by their leadership traits that they showcase.It is important that leaders have to be passionate, assertive, prudent and constantly strive to improve their cognitive abilities.These traits need to be rewarded and respected irrespective of gender of the employee."
Therefore in today's world, where we perpetually talk of women's empowerment , gender diversity and feminism we hope to see more women- friendly changes in the economic , political and social sphere in future.