India ranks at 120 among 131 countries when it comes to gender gap at the work place, making the rate of female labour participation in the country on of the lowest among developing nations. As per the World Bank, 20 million women dropped out of the workforce in India between 2005 and 2012 (when only 27 percent of the women in India had jobs).
In the current climate of economic meltdown, it is important to note that increasing women's participation in labour force is key to increasing productivity of any institution. Several studies in recent years have shown that organisations with narrower gender gaps showed recorded higher outputs.
In fact, according to World Bank South Asia Vice President Annette Dixon, India could increase its growth by 1.5 percentage points if 50 percent of women were employed. (At 2012, only 17 percent were part of the work-force)
With that in mind, everywoman, a United Kingdom-based organisation with over 30,000 members across 113 countries and one that works for advancing women in business, is hosting the first "everywoman Forum - India" this September. The Forum aims to provide aspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect with peers, industry leaders and influential persons from a spectrum of fields including Yes Bank's Prashanthi Reddy, Sandhya Vasudevan of Deutsche Bank and Tina Vinod of ThoughtWork among others. The learning and networking forum, for both male and female talent, will focus on an in-depth understanding of how gender diversity has a positive impact on performance, and how achieving a better gender-balanced workforce is vital for all businesses.
The event will also host panel discussions and keynotes on several stimulating topics such as ‘Preparing for Leadership, Designing Work Life integration and Boosting Career Opportunities’ with experts providing key tips to improve leadership and navigate through the workplace.
With India's sagging GDP (the recently released data for India's first-quarter records the GDP growth rate at 5 percent, a fall from 5.8 percent in last quarter), the need to increase women in the workforce is inevitable and the sooner we get there, the better for the economy as well as lakhs of women in India who continue to face a denial of basic rights and forced to be dependent due to lack of income.
For booking delegate passes and further information about the event, slated to be held at September 26 in Mumbai, visit the everywoman website.