India Inc has long way to go for true gender equality at workplace: Mercer

Mercer data showed continued trend of females’ improved representation at professional level ranging from 20-30% across industries


India Inc | Gender equality | workplace

BS Reporter  | 

India Inc. still has a long way to go for true gender equality at the workplace, said a study. According to Mercer’s 2021 India Total Remuneration Survey (TRS), highlighting female participation in the India workforce and representation in leadership positions insufficient representation of women at leadership roles continues to impact pay equity analysis.

The data showed the continued trend of females’ improved representation at the professional level ranging from 20-30% across industries. In the technology sector, the female representation was seen at 43% at the entry levels, but the representation drastically reduced to 12-17% in managerial level and was an abysmal 4% to 8% at executive levels.

One interesting insight was that, keeping all variables the same, female compensation to male pay ratio was 95-99% at entry level. However, the unfortunate part was that this ratio drastically dropped, with women executives at mid to senior levels earning only about 87-95% of their male peers. Some reasons for this drop in pay were slower pace of promotions, development opportunities, and women representation in roles which drive organisation value creation or P&L ownership.

The industries with a better female representation were IT, Customer Service, Engineering and Science, Human Resources, Data Analytics and Business Intelligence, among others. Jobs such as Legal, Compliance and Audit, and Sales, Marketing and Product Management had a poor representation of females.

Mansee Singhal, Sr Principal, Rewards Consulting Leader India, remarked: “Organizations are broadly committed to Diversity and Inclusion, but there seems to be a lack of accountability to drive the progress internally. While the new Labour codes focusing on improving women employment, pay and security at the workplace are welcome, companies have to take quick strides in truly integrating and empowering women. Our research shows that if women representation improves in roles that are closer to value creation, then equity would seem to be a more achievable goal.”

Over the years, India Inc. has adopted progressive practices in bridging the gender pay equity and inclusion gap – Sensitization workshops for recruiters and hiring managers, focus on campus diversity hiring, career reboot and women alumni rehiring, career and professional development for women, hyper-local, proactive safety solutions for women, targeted high potential women leadership succession candidates, focused increased representation of women in leadership roles, fuelling the commitment to a culture of inclusive leadership by top management, male employees as advocates for gender diversity and inclusion.

Mercer survey gathers data from 900 companies, across 5700 job functions and over 14 lakh cumulative employees.

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