A stubborn story that prevalent at workplaces is- with age and motherhood, women lower their career goals. They miss out on opportunities because they are not ambitious. According to a BCG report, women start their careers with just as much ambition as men. Women’s ambition levels do vary, but they differ by company and not by family status. When companies create a positive culture and attitude regarding gender diversity, all women are hopeful to advance. However, in a recent report by BCG: From Intention to Impact- Bridging the diversity gap in the workplace, Indian organization’s effort in creating a gender diverse workplaces are failing.
BCG surveyed about 1,500 senior men and women leaders across 25 large Indian private and public companies.
Here are the key insights from the report:
An Organization’s efforts on creating gender-diverse workplace:
Women represent around 27 percent of the country’s total workforce. Globally, this number is 38 percent. At senior and leadership positions, women represent only 17 percent of the senior management positions as compared to 26 percent in emerging Asia Pacific countries.
Nearly 60 percent of the respondents agree that their company is focused on promoting diversity, but only 29 percent believed that they are getting benefitted from those initiatives.
Commitment to Gender Diversity- Men are more optimistic than women:
81 percent of men at the workplace believe that the entire management team is committed to gender diversity. However, only 56% women share the same views. Additionally, 61 percent men think that they are the change agents for the gender diversity and only 38 percent of the women agree with this opinion.
Obstacles to gender diversity:
According to the survey, men and women perceive impediments to gender diversity very differently. 36 percent women think that advancement is a critical obstacle to gender diversity as compared to three percent of men who feels the same. Commitment from leadership and senior managers to improve gender diversity is seen as a challenge by 28 percent women as compared to 12 percent men. The most prominent obstacle to gender seen by men was the women representation in the overall recruitment of firm.
The BCG India gender diversity survey suggested that there are some time-tested methods which were found useful in many organizations. These measures include:
1. Anti-Discriminatory policies and grievance system.
2. Parental leave and childcare support.
3. Flexible working models such as flex-hours and flex-locations.
4. Building positive role models to inspire women.
Priyanka Aggarwal, a Partner at BCG who leads Women@BCG in India, stated in media, “Companies are investing time, energy and money in diversity initiatives, but progress is slow and results woefully short of expectations.