Only 37 of Every 100 Jobs Created in India in 2019 Went to Women

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Nov 14, 2019

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Image Credit: PTI

Companies hired women for only 37 of every 100 new jobs created in India in the financial year 2019, concluded a new analysis of listed companies’ annual reports by Business Insider. It’s an improvement on the previous financial year, when only 25 of 100 new jobs went to women, but still shows the vast gender disparity in opportunity within India Inc.

The reasons are not new. Companies blame social mores that prioritize marriage and parenthood, deprioritize women’s education, and limit women’s mobility for a small pool of female candidates from which to hire. But some say these are as much external obstacles to working women, as they are the biases of hiring managers. “Mindsets and biases of managers in [heavy engineering, manufacturing, real estate, and oil and gas] sectors that it will be difficult for women to work in the remote corners where their factories are located add a further barrier to the few women who choose to make careers there,” Deepa Krishnan, the head of marketing, digital and loyalty at Tata Starbucks, told Business Insider.


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Overall, India’s current female labor force participation rate stands at 21.79%, according to the World Bank, a drop from 27% in 2013. The intervening years have seen a number of (imperfect) policies aimed at facilitating women’s participation in the workforce — most notably the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, and the Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act, 2017 — but which have yet to have an encouraging effect. Instead, some predicted these measures would increase the workforce gender gap, as corporate mindsets struggle to catch up to lofty parity goals. Later analyses bore out this effect; one August 2018 report found the country’s female labor force participation rate had dropped to 10.7%. Now, hiring managers still commonly remark, “it is better to not hire women; this sounds like too much hassle,” Kalpana Tatavarti, founder of a consultancy that helps corporate clients build inclusive workforces, told Business Insider.

The analysis is one installment of a four-part series exploring inclusion (or lack thereof) within Indian industries. Previously, Business Insider reported that people with disabilities constitute only 0.46% of corporate employees, despite making up 2.21% of the population.

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Written By Liesl Goecker

Liesl Goecker is The Swaddle’s managing editor and has been living and writing in Mumbai since 2010. She is passionate about women’s rights, everyone’s health, and caffeine.

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