Workplaces and work cultures have developed immensely over time, but there still remains to be one problem – there are lesser women in the workforce than men.
The reasons for this inequality in the professional fields are many, but the most significant one that applies to the Indian context is the societal pressure for women to get married and create a healthy domestic life. While men are under pressure to get married too, this problem affects women more as society imposes gender roles. Women are known to be the ‘nurturers’, which forces them to be more participant in taking care of the family. Juggling work and family becomes tough, which leads many women to keep their careers on hold and focus on family. Even in cases of working women with families, they are constantly on the run because they are responsible for handling domestic work as well (cooking, cleaning, feeding the children, etc.) Ultimately, women suffer the brunt of the patriarchy, and are forced to leave work to manage household duties.
Fact remains that this gap in women’s careers often acts as a barrier for still many companies during the hiring process. In fact, studies show that India falls among the lowest ranks in the Gender Parity Score (GPS), with the lowest scores in gender equality in the workplace, legal protection, political representation, and labour-force participation rate.
But the scenario is on a gradual change.
More women are coming forward to revive their careers after taking gaps. Some companies offer women flexible hours (in the case of new mothers), and some companies even offer to take their female employees back after their career gap.
Apart from embracing gender equality, here is a list of reasons to have more women in the workplace:
- It can increase revenue and GDP. A McKinsey Global Institute report pointed out that India’s GDP 2025 could boost by 60% if more women are hired and used to their full potential in the workforce, and if gender equality is enforced. Studies have also shown that women usually outperform men in Mathematics, and coding.
- It will add another perspective in the working of the company. Having a dominant number of males in high (or low) positions often can give a skewed output when it comes to making decisions. Having a healthy and equal mix of women in all teams can add another perspective, and together the company can find new ways to solve problems.
- Hiring more women can get your company profit. Studies have shown that companies with at least 30% women at the senior management positions are about 15% more profitable than companies with an all-male team. This advantage is mainly because gender diversity is related with skill diversity – women bring different sets of skills to the table, and that is profitable.
- IT companies across India are hiring more women. Tech giants like Tech Mahindra, Capgemini, and Google are working efficiently towards bridging the gender gap in the IT sector. In some places, the diversity ratio increased to 26%, and the aim is to keep increasing the number. The recruitment process ranges from hiring small-level employees to senior levels. Other methods are being adopted to create more visibility of women. Companies like Wipro hire equal number of women and men in all their departments.
- Statistics don’t lie. Worldwide, surveys have shown that Fortune 500 companies with more women on their boards tend to be more profitable. Higher number of women in boardrooms typically exhibits a higher level of organization, above average operating margins and higher valuations, a McKinsey report showed. And finally, a NASA report says that crew members have reported a sense of ‘calmer missions’ with women on board, and 75% of male crew members noted a reduction in rude behavior and improved cleanliness.
Women and men should be represented equally on all fronts, and starting this process at the workplace will definitely prove to be more beneficial to your organization. A mix of different opinions, styles of working, and approaches to problems will make a great positive change in your company.
To know more about how you can bring about positive changes in your workplace, get in touch with us. We are a team of highly qualified experts in the field of HR and OD, based out of Pune. Contact us to know more about how you can take your organization forward.