Diversity and Inclusion Still at a Nascent Stage in India, says a JobsForHer Report on Gender Diversity

  • Vinutha
  • in
  • Talent Management
  • |
  • 21 Jun 2019


Diversity and Inclusion programs were formally introduced in only 29% of companies that entered the JobsForHer DivHERsity Awards Survey, as stated in the DivHERsity Benchmarking Report 2019.

The JobsForHer DivHERsity Benchmarking Report 2019 is based on quantitative data received from 300+ companies that entered the DivHERsity Awards.

According to the data, 38% of companies have special initiatives to hire returnees and 38% of companies have women-specific L&D programs.

This shows that companies are making greater investments in initiatives that help recruit, retain, and advance women in the workplace. A highlight of the report is that D&I and returnee programs have surged from 10% before 2007 to 78% between 2015 to 2018.

 How are Diversity and Inclusion initiatives helping companies in India?

  • 72% of employers said it drove better business results
  • 68% said it helped them in hiring and retaining top female professionals
  • 67% said that it positioned themselves as employers-of-choice for women


However, the survey also revealed that there are gender gaps at every level of the corporate pipeline, with the greatest disparity at senior levels of leadership.  The leaky talent pipeline was reflected in the data provided with companies hiring over 30% women at the entry level and less than 10% at the senior-leadership level.

Hence, companies are striving to increase the number of women leaders through mentoring, engagement and recruitment initiatives. Nearly 59% responded that they ran L&D programs specifically for women.

 Why are gender sensitization programs important?

Only 46% of the companies surveyed had gender sensitization programs to measure the impact of gender mainstreaming.

 Even though 80% of the companies mentioned gender sensitization programs were helping them hire, retain and promote more women in the workplace, the numbers still remain stark.

Work-life balance initiatives can help more women enter the workforce and stay in it.

Almost half of all companies surveyed are rolling out flexible work policies to attract and retain female talent.

  • Around 59% offer flexible work timings
  • 59% offer work-from-home options, and
  • 55% offer sabbatical leave policy

 What about inclusive policies around maternity/paternity leave?

The DivHERsity Benchmarking Report states that while 10% of companies offered even more than the stipulated 6 months of maternity leave, the data on paternity leave was alarming.

80% of the companies surveyed mentioned that they either did not provide any paternity leave, had less than 2 weeks or did not answer the question at all.

Infact, 4% offered between 1-3 months of paternity leave and just 1% offered more than 3 months of paternity leave.

Commenting on the Report, Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO, JobsForHer, said, “We hope to see more companies focus on reducing or eliminating hiring biases; implement gender-neutral policies that include both parents; design comprehensive leadership development programs for women, and run strong Diversity & Inclusion programs to finally have more senior women leaders and board members. ”

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