There has been a remarkable increase in the number of women being hired at mid-management to senior levels in India over the years. The representation of women in senior and leadership positions has increased by almost three-fold from 13% in 2021 to 37% in 2022 which is equal to the proportion of women at the entry-level, according to data shared by HerKey (formerly JobsForHer), a search portal and career engagement platform for women.
The survey also revealed that many companies prioritise gender equality and diversity in their workplaces. In the survey, 63% of participating companies have women-specific hiring drives within their organisation.
Over 300 companies from across various industries, including large enterprises, SMEs, and startups participated in the survey. Apart from hiring for senior and leadership roles, the hiring of women at mid-management to senior levels accounted for 19% of the hires in these positions, and by 2022, this percentage rose to 26%. This trend reflects the growing participation of women both at the entry level and in leadership roles within corporate India.
Companies are prioritising gender diversity in their hiring processes and actively seeking to bridge the gender gap through inclusive policies and practices. By valuing diverse perspectives and experiences, they create an environment where everyone can thrive and contribute their unique talents.
The survey also found that 70% of companies have a clear gender diversity goal in hiring, a 13% increase from last year. Encouragingly, 91% of large enterprises and 90% of startups and SMEs have successfully achieved their gender diversity hiring goals in the past 12 months.
Around 63% of companies prioritise gender equality and diversity in their workplaces by having women-specific hiring drives within their organisation.
The Power of women returnee Programmes
Realising the need to adopt a systematic approach to encourage the return of women to corporate India, a considerable number of large enterprises (57%) and startups/SMEs (43%) have reported implementing special initiatives to facilitate the re-entry of women who have taken career breaks.
An intriguing observation is that approximately 33% of returnee programmes were established between 2018 and 2021, while 38% were introduced after 2021.
This indicates a growing trend where an increasing number of companies are introducing initiatives to support women returning to work.
The Returnee Programme has had a significant impact on the company's business across large enterprises and SMEs/ startups. It has led to an increase in applications from women returnees, successful performance of hired individuals, greater sensitivity among recruiters, satisfaction from leadership, and employee pride.
Around 51% of these companies have partnered with job platforms to connect with potential candidates and advertise their job openings. This serves as a bridge between employers and job seekers, attracting qualified individuals seeking employment. Additionally, 20% of companies prioritise a reskilling programme for women in both hard and soft skills.