India’s best employers for women are racing to balance the workplace gender ratio by the year 2027 revealed the fourth edition of Working Mother and Avtar 100 Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI) 2019. The study reveals that companies are progressively increasing women’s employment rates in their workplaces, by implementing cutting edge practices, whereby a perfect 50-50 gender balance is statistically attainable by the Best companies, in the next eight years.
Flexible working, which was a much sought-after, fought-for enabler, has become a norm in all these companies, while the potential of second career women (women on career breaks) has been recognized with 53% of companies having formal returning recruitment tracks.
Over the four years, since the inception of the BCWI, women’s representation in the 100 Best companies for women has continued to increase. According to the study, women’s representation rose from 31% in 2018 to 33% in 2019, which was at 25% in 2016 among, the 100 Best Companies that together employ over 4.9 lakh (half a million) women professionals in the current year, 2019. As per the projections, these companies will get to a 50-50 gender balance by 2027. Further, women leading business roles is currently at 16% and all set to grow to 25% by 2025.
Conducted by Avtar with Working Mother Media the study further revealed that emotional well-being and phase back programs for returning mothers have contributed to the steady increase in Maternity retention rate in India Inc., which is at an unprecedented 93% in 2019 compared to 88% in 2018. As an indication that companies are strategic about diversity initiatives, the study found that 49% of organizations have employed Diversity Coaches for senior leaders on Diversity & Inclusion.
This year’s BCWI also covered a range of Diversity & Inclusion practices across various diversity strands amongst companies to provide deeper insights about the overall inclusion in corporate India. Titled as Most Inclusive Companies Index (MICI) 2019, the study covered critical parameters in the inclusion of five strands of diversity - Persons with Disabilities(PwD), LGBTQ, Generations, Culture and of course, Gender.
As per the MICI findings, all companies identify gender as the basic foundation of diversity – 100% of all companies are invested in this essential aspect of inclusion. The study also found that more companies are increasingly focusing on Generations (83%), followed by PwD (58%), Culture & Nativity (39%), LGBTQ (23%) and socio-economic diversity (7%). The study found that in 61% of companies, business managers have D&I goals as part of their KRAs and in 6% of companies, the CEOs drive the D&I agenda.