We are witnessing a time when most of the organizations are increasingly competing to attract skilled women in their workforce. India, Inc. is working hard to improve the gender diversity equation especially, at the top deck.
We see demand for female candidates increasing in most of the industries. From being female preferred to ‘only females’ requirement. We see there has been a 50-60% increase in roles where companies are looking to hire only women. This is remarkable change that we have seen in our past 25+ years history of operating in the HR space.
As we see a shift in the workplace where 80% of the workforce entrant (Gen Z) believe that gender does not define a person and capabilities has opened the way for gender diversity at the workplace.
The challenge is gender diversity is that many women are still in the process of adopting corporate workplace challenges. As per a research 80% of women professionals in India aspire to become leaders, over 70% of them don’t have a clear career strategy to align to these aspirations, and shockingly, over 60% women professionals feel they lack the skills needed to take on leadership-level positions.
More than societal pressure (like marriage, childbirth, family responsibilities, etc.), the bigger challenge is that only 30% women are confident in promoting their achievements and improving their personal brand internally within the organization.
As per NASSCOM’s - Women & Scorecard, IT 2019 report - There is an increasing trend among technology firms to have “only for women” jobs, but these efforts are hampered by the lack of women with necessary qualifications.
Technology field has always remained “men dominated”, leading IT firms are impacting IT knowledge, especially for females to include them in the workforce. As a balanced female ratio not only offer positive workplace but also encourages other women to join the organizations.
Google, for instance, created workshops to encourage women to nominate themselves for promotions, offered longer maternity leaves similarly Microsoft created “mentoring rings” to give its women more guidance from senior leaders. In 2008, a Harvard Business Review report highlighted 14 “innovative programs” targeted at increasing the representation of women in science, engineering, and technology. There were plenty of hackathons and dinners for women in tech, scholarships, and sponsorship of International Women’s Day.
It is important the company understands the importance of gender balance and owns the issue. Improving Gender diversity cannot be a ‘checkbox approach’. It needs to be embedded through the organizational DNA and integrated tightly across the talent-management lifecycle. Diversity inclusion is serious work which requires planning, measuring and analyzing and keeping up with the internal issue.
Organizations are constantly looking at strategies to remove roadblocks for women and create a more facilitatory framework for them. The legislation in many countries including India now is supportive of women in terms of getting the well-deserved break because of maternity. However, organizations need to complement the law by having systems in place to smoothen the transition back to the workforce for these women
As per UN Women, “investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth.”
HR’s/ Organizations need to find the right mix of push and pull to help women realize their personal and professional ambitions.
The goal is to keep your organization as strong as possible by having the strongest teams possible.