Take the pledge to vote

For a better tommorow#AajSawaroApnaKal
  • I agree to receive emails from News18

  • I promise to vote in this year's elections no matter what the odds are.
  • Please check above checkbox.

    SUBMIT

Thank you for
taking the pledge

Vote responsibly as each vote counts
and makes a diffrence

Disclaimer:

Issued in public interest by HDFC Life. HDFC Life Insurance Company Limited (Formerly HDFC Standard Life Insurance Company Limited) (“HDFC Life”). CIN: L65110MH2000PLC128245, IRDAI Reg. No. 101 . The name/letters "HDFC" in the name/logo of the company belongs to Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited ("HDFC Limited") and is used by HDFC Life under an agreement entered into with HDFC Limited. ARN EU/04/19/13618
LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
»
3-min read

Millions of Women Are Dropping Out of Work. Here’s How India’s First Full-Time Woman Finance Minister Can Stop It

In India, women make up 42 percent of new graduates, but only 24 percent of entry-level professionals. Of these, approximately 10 percent reach senior-level management roles and only 1 percent reach the CEO level.

News18.com

Updated:June 11, 2019, 6:51 PM IST
facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp
Millions of Women Are Dropping Out of Work. Here’s How India’s First Full-Time Woman Finance Minister Can Stop It
File photo of defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman. (PTI)
Loading...

The Sixth Economic Census released by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation shows women constitute a meagre 14 percent of the total entrepreneurs in India, i.e. 8.05 million out of 58.5 million entrepreneurs.

This could be due lack of role models and resources and the many ecosystem biases. In the run up to the Union Budget 2019, especially with India's first full-time woman Finance Minister, consumers and businesses alike will be expecting an alleviation process to begin.

How can the government help with recruiting/retaining women at the top?

In India, women make up 42 percent of new graduates, but only 24 percent of entry-level professionals. Of these, approximately 10 percent reach senior-level management roles and only 1 percent reach the CEO level.

Data from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs shows that nearly 21 percent of publicly listed companies have not complied with the provision of appointing a woman director to their boards. So, clearly, there is a dearth of top-level women managers due to lack of policies that aid in widening the talent pool and measures to retain and promote women at the higher level.

The change, however, is slowly seeping in. JobsForHer, a consultancy, is asking companies to set aspirational goals to increase the percentage of women in leadership roles, focus on unconscious bias training, initiate mentoring programmes, call for internal reviews-all with the intention of strengthening the pipeline of women leaders. So, they are seeing a change in attitudes and mindsets, although slow.

For real change, there needs to be government intervention to mandate a wide variety of measures like compulsory annual diversity reports, leadership training for women, diversity training programs for corporates, mentor networks and programs and reconstruction of internal hiring operations, etc.

What should we expect in this Budget for women empowerment?

A scheme to enable women entrepreneurship and employment, called STEP or Support to Training and Employment Programme for Women, saw a stark reduction in allocation from Rs 40 crore to Rs 5 crore in 2018. The collective hopes to see a revival of this scheme in order to enable more women to enter the workforce.

Budget 2018 saw a Rs 60 crore allocation made towards promoting safe and convenient accommodation for working women. But there needs to be more accountability on the implementation level. The government needs to ensure more safety measures for all working women.

The National Creche Scheme saw a reduction in allocation from Rs 200 crore to Rs 128 crore last year. It is crucial that more allocation of funds towards this scheme is provided. An online survey for women re-starters said that 38 percent cited childcare as one of the biggest challenges to rejoining the workforce. With the Indian government’s Rs 400 crore proposal this year to reimburse employers for seven of the 26 weeks of extended maternity leave, one would hope to see an increase in female participation in the workforce.

Outdated skill sets is yet another reason women are keeping out of the workforce. Nearly 34 percent of the women on the same survey mentioned reskilling as a necessity for their career restart, progression and job role changes.

One would hope to see Budget 2019 focus on skills development programs for women, a focus on reducing or eliminating hiring biases, family leave policies that include both parents, diversity and inclusion initiatives, equal pay policies to close the gender pay gap, recruiting more senior women leaders and Board members and compulsory anti-harassment training to ensure safer working environments for all women.

The only perceived benefit Budget 2018 did to promote women’s employment was a change in the rate of EPF (Employee Provident Fund) from 12 percent to 8 percent, which increased their effective take-home. But is this enough of an incentive for women leaving the workplace by the millions?

Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwitterskypewhatsapp

Live TV

Loading...
Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results