Post economic reforms India has been steadily heading towards corporate reforms and one such positive trend is the increasing presence of women in the corporate arena. A lot of employment opportunities have stemmed from the incredibly high economic growth, and women have also benefited from it immensely. Previously, the senior management positions were majorly dominated by men, but there has been a drastic change in the recent years, where women have occupied a pie of the upper end of the corporate ladders.
And this trend is surprisingly more prevalent in India, as in the west, both in North America and Europe there has been a steady decline in the ratio of women on top slots. But, in India, there has been a significant rise of 14% in the females on the top jobs. This is the result of a global survey by none other than leading consulting firm Grant Thornton. This is confirmed by a joint survey report presented by KPMG and WILL Forum (Forum for Women in Leadership). According to them, in India corporate sector has realized that many women have contributed towards the success and profitability of the organizations being in top leadership roles. Many progressive business units have already implemented inclusion programs at the middle and top level with women-centric initiatives.
It’s true that there are certain sectors, where female candidates are preferred, such as fashion, PR, modeling, primary teaching, and cosmetics. Similarly, there are certain job profiles, where HR people give preference to females and these profiles are customer service, nursing, telecalling, counseling, reception desk, attendants, translators, sales and marketing etc. This trend has increased in the last decade. In some of the countries and some of the companies the sales and marketing jobs are meant only for women. Dubai is an example in the case, wherein you’ll be surprised to see a lot of marketing and sales jobs adverts mentioned as “only female candidates need apply.”
There are obvious reasons for this and this growing trend indicates that in certain demographic regions, such as gulf and Asia, female candidates are considered to be far more productive and effective. For example, life-insurance sales are considered to be a “tough” proposition by market standards, not only because there are cultural hindrances to promote life insurance in this region, but also because of the growing operators in the market and increasing risk because of its exposure to equity market. Female candidates get less resistance as compared to their male counterparts, as far pushing these products is concerned. Surveys have revealed that the male dominated working class is found to be more comfortable and inclined to talking to females than the male executives, even if all a female candidate wants is to push a product. This is especially true in regions such as Asia, Gulf and Africa, where cultural hindrances prohibit free-mix-up of males and females.
Even the foreign firms having presence in India have taken steps to promote gender diversity to bring forth better results. The headhunters and HR executives of top notch brands such as Amex and Airtel Bharti have already been instructed to recruit more talented women at the middle and top slots. However, much of corporate India is still marred by the gender inequality and inadequate representation of women at all levels. If they want to introduce the diversity of decision making and want a more balanced and rich approach to decision making, they have to continue this practice in future.