Nov 10, 2009

Gender Parity in the workplace



Interesting discussion about gender disparity in the Indian workplace. The funny thing is, in the large unorganized sector which accounts for more than 90% of the workforce, the Indian woman is present - and their strength is being leveraged by self-help groups and other civil action bodies. Maybe it's time for corporate India to take some pointers from them?

Excerpts from the article:

Women indeed seem to be getting to that goal of parity at least in the huge organisations headed by Ms Nooyi & Ms Kochar. Ms Nooyi revealed that 30% of PepsiCo’s global workforce are women, and Ms Kochhar noted that 26% of ICICI’s 40,000 employees are women, 80% of them below 30 years of age and for whom ICICI has provisions for maternity and child rearing leave.
Mr Ghosn said that in 1995 Nissan had 1% women in the workforce and today it has risen to 5% women working in all verticals.” But Mr Seth persisted in averring that equality had to be taken in totality, with womens’ contribution and impact being judged not only by their presence and experience in the workplace.
But who says the road to gender parity is smooth anywhere? When a woman employee at PepsiCo asked for six months leave to take care of her ailing mother, Ms Nooyi had to come up with a creative solution. “When we distributed her work to other employees,” recounted Ms Nooyi, “they resented it.” And when Mr Ghosn contended that there should be paternity leave for male employees even as he echoed the need for more women in workforce, Ms Nooyi snapped, “Provided they actually stay at home and take care of the child!”

And here's some related news: India slips a notch on gender index.