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Survey Finds Increase In Hiring Women For C-Suite Roles

Female leaders

A recent surge in the appointment of women to C-suite positions is signalling a positive shift towards gender diversity within the corporate realm of India. 

Executive Access conducted a survey, which was reported exclusively by The Times of India.

It finds there has been a notable increase in women climbing the corporate ladder to the highest echelons of leadership. 

Women constitute around 16 percent of all C-suite hires, with 8 percent occupying the CEO or Managing Director roles. 

This marks a rise from a decade ago when women CEOs constituted a mere 2 percent, and their representation in C-suite positions hovered around 7 to 8 percent.

The journey towards gender parity in leadership is gaining momentum, particularly in sectors traditionally dominated by men, such as marketing and finance. 

However, the real challenge in achieving diversity lies in more male-centric fields such as manufacturing, construction, and project management

Despite this, the trend is promising, with projections suggesting a 50 to 60 percent increase in women occupying top roles within three to four years.

It is driven by a reservoir of highly capable and talented women.

The survey reviewed 1615 placements across more than 1200 companies between January 2023 and mid-February of the current year.

It found a broader acceptance and inclusion of women in pivotal roles. 

Sectors traditionally seen as male domains are witnessing a transformation, with women taking on senior positions in finance, project management, and even manufacturing. 

DCM Shriram's executive director and CHRO, Sandeep Girotra, pointed out a remarkable example of a chemical manufacturing unit in Gujarat operated entirely by women.

Prem Singh, president - group HR, JK Organisation & president, National HRD Network said: "If we don't embrace diversity, we are missing half the talent pool. 

“While the sectors like IT, ITeS, financial services, banking, telecom etc have high diversity quotient due to the nature of the work, the real litmus test of diversity is how inclusive and diverse the sectors, like manufacturing, construction, projects etc are. 

“Organisations will have to take concrete steps and make it attractive for women to work on the shop floor. 

“The second metric we have to track is the number of women dropping out of the workforce after marriage and once they have children." 

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Prominent examples of women leadership in manufacturing include Tractors and Farm Equipment (TAFE) chairperson and MD Mallika Srinivasan and Kinetic Green, led by Sulajja Firodia Motwani. 

FMCG giant Dabur recently inaugurated an all-women production line at its new plant near Indore, showcasing a commitment to gender diversity in all business operations.

Research from the Harvard Business Review supports the efficacy of women in leadership.

It demonstrates that women are often perceived as equally, if not more, competent than their male counterparts across various competencies. 

Women excel in roles that require excellent communication skills, such as corporate communications, where they constitute a majority of hires. 

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