Gender Disparity in C-suite Hiring Despite Increased Entry-Level Recruitment in Indian Companies

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Mumbai: Indian corporations are ramping up efforts to foster diversity and inclusion by boosting entry-level hiring of women. However, a significant drop to 19 per cent is observed at the mid-management and senior levels, exposing a notable “broken rung” in the corporate hierarchy, as per the findings of the 6th edition of the DivHERsity Benchmarking Report 2023-24.

At the entry-level, large enterprises lead with a 38 per cent participation rate among women. Nevertheless, the proportion dwindles sharply at higher echelons, with women comprising only 24 per cent of C-suite positions, down from 37 per cent in 2022.

The survey reveals that overall female participation in surveyed Indian enterprises stands at 34 per cent, showing marginal improvement in startups and SMEs to 36 per cent of the workforce.

According to the report, 84 per cent of the companies surveyed have specific initiatives for recruiting women, with 98 per cent of large enterprises committed to gender diversity goals in hiring, of which 88 per cent have successfully met these targets.

Success rates for returnee programs, which provide a formal pathway for professionals re-entering the workforce after a period of absence, are notably high. Large enterprises report a 93 per cent success rate in such initiatives, compared to 83 per cent for startups and SMEs.

The statistics underscore both progress and persistent challenges in achieving gender diversity across corporate India, despite concerted efforts and high-level commitments.

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