India Inc turns increasingly women-friendly
66% of Indian businesses offer flexi-conditions; women in senior management on the rise.
Some good news for Indian working women on International Women’s Day. A survey has found a perceptible increase in the presence of women in senior positions in India, and more companies are now offering flexible working conditions for women in their ranks.
The latest International Business Report (IBR) by global consulting firm Grant Thornton shows that the presence of women in senior management positions in India increased in 2012 to 14 percent, up from just 9 percent the previous year. However, the global average stands at 21 percent, barely higher than the year before.
More importantly, Indian businesses now score even higher than their global counterparts when it comes to offering their female employees flexible working conditions. The survey found as many as 66 percent of Indian businesses offer flexible working conditions for women, compared to a much lower 52 percent globally. Flexible conditions include offering flexible working hours and alternative locations to women employees.
Among preferred functions, human resources seems to be the favourite for Indian working women, with 23 percent of women holding senior positions in this space, followed by 16 percent in financial positions and 10 percent in sales.
Significantly, in 2012, 10 percent of CEOs were women, while this figure was just one percent in the previous year. The figure stands at 5 percent each for CFOs (chief financial officers) and COOs (chief operating officers) and at 23 percent for HR directors.
Analysts believe that, given the global averages, this is just a beginning, but the fact that an increasing number of women are entering Indian boardrooms is a good sign as well. The increasing adoption of flexible working conditions for women in India is seen as a good way in which India can climb up the global league table as far as women-friendliness in business is concerned.
(For a detailed analysis on some of India’s top women entrepreneurs, get your copy of the March 2012 issue of Entrepreneur magazine, now on stands.)
Around 800 widows participated in the festivities in ashrams of Vrindavan in four-day Holi celebrations that began on 24 March.