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Business News/ Companies / People/  India Inc sees increase in overall percentage of women in senior roles, but gaps remain: Study
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India Inc sees increase in overall percentage of women in senior roles, but gaps remain: Study

According to the LinkedIn report, women face an evident challenge advancing into leadership roles in Indian organisations, even though there is a relatively strong female representation at the entry level.

The report said more women are joining the workforce, but the leadership gaps have remained. (Pixabay)Premium
The report said more women are joining the workforce, but the leadership gaps have remained. (Pixabay)

New female leadership hires in Indian companies have grown "significantly" since 2016, however, there are gaps, according to a report released on Thursday.

A LinkedIn and The Quantum Hub report highlighting Gender Disparities in Corporate Leadership in India shared that new female leadership hires increased from 18.8% in 2016 to 23.2% in early 2024. They peaked at 25.2% in 2021.

The report said more women are joining the workforce, but the leadership gaps have remained. The data showed an overall increase in female representation in the workforce over the years, rising from 23.9% in 2016 to 26.8% in 2024.

However, the report found slight fluctuations between 2022 and 2024, with a decline of 0.5 percentage points.

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The percentage of women in senior leadership roles increased from 16.6% in 2016 to 18.7% in 2023 but dipped slightly to 18.3% in 2024. The report said the percentage is expected to be corrected by the end of the year.

According to the LinkedIn report, women face an evident challenge advancing into leadership roles in Indian organisations, even though there is a relatively strong female representation at the entry level (28.7%) and senior independent contributor levels (29.53%).

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“There is a significant drop as women advance to managerial positions at 18.59% followed by a continuous decline in female representation in leadership positions, with 20.1% at director roles, 17.4% at Vice President roles and at 15.3% at C-suite positions," the report mentioned.

Female representation at every seniority level across industries
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Female representation at every seniority level across industries

The report also highlighted that although some industries, such as Consumer Services, have seen overall improvements in female leadership hired, industries like Construction and Utilities have shown relatively stable percentages over the years, indicating consistent but slower growth rates in female leadership hires.

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Consumer Services experienced a significant increase in female leadership hires, from 30% in 2016 to 37% in 2024. The lowest female representation in leadership was found in Construction, Oil, Gas, Mining, and Utilities, each with 11%.

“Boosting women’s leadership in Indian businesses is crucial for better outcomes," said LinkedIn India's Aditi Jha.

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The report shows that despite progress, women still face obstacles in reaching leadership roles due to bias, societal norms, and structural barriers, she added that recent focus on 'women-led development' has led to concerted efforts by policymakers and business leaders to tackle these challenges.

"I hope this report will inspire tangible steps towards narrowing gender disparities, particularly in senior leadership positions," Jha added.

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Published: 30 May 2024, 07:08 PM IST
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