The Women in Business report by Grant Thornton has good news ahead of Women’s Day. India has done quite well compared to other countries, given the fact that women still find themselves more entangled in domestic chores and family commitments than professional work. With 39 per cent of women occupying senior managerial roles, India is surprisingly on the third spot in the world, in terms of women’s inclusivity. Globally, the average is only 31 per cent. That is not all, 47 per cent of the businesses have women as chief executive officers (CEOs) or in the position of managing director, compared to 26 per cent globally. Here again, India fares rather well. There are 41 per cent chief financial officers (CFOs), 33 per cent chief information officers (CIOs) and 32 per cent chief operating officers (COOs) in India!
About 26 per cent of businesses, globally, have women occupying CEO position, followed by 36 per cent CFOs and 22 per cent COOs.
Already 59 per cent businesses in India are working towards promoting work-life balance and flexibility and creating a workplace environment where people can express themselves freely. Globally, this figure stands at 45 and 43 per cent respectively. About 55 per cent of the Indian organisations surveyed are actively creating equal opportunities at the workplace while 49 per cent are building an inclusive culture, with provisions for mentoring and coaching in place.
Globally also, it is good to see that after being stagnant at 29 per cent for two years, the proportion of women leaders has increased to 31 per cent. With more women occupying senior roles, there will only be more opportunities for women to grow.
Given what a disruptive year 2020 was, and the way the boundaries between work and personal life have merged, the challenges for professional women have only grown. As the report suggests, corporates will have to focus on gender diversity and inclusive cultures to encourage more women’s participation in the workforce.