Despite substantial rise in the number of women joining workforce in India, gender parity continues to suffer, especially at senior positions, as 16 per cent of organisations have no women on board level, says a survey.
As per the survey, 16 per cent respondents reported having no women on the board and 47 per cent reported that there are no more than 5 per cent women in senior management roles.
The pan India survey of organisations was launched by Confederation of Indian Industry's (CII) Indian Women Network (IWN), in association with EY.
Some of the major challenges that hinder the progress of diversity and inclusion initiatives include, unconscious bias, ineffective implementation of policies, fewer women in leadership roles, lack of awareness about the benefits of gender diversity, the survey noted.
According to the survey, 42 per cent female respondents said they face managerial bias. This bias is known to be present at senior levels and affects the growth of women in the workplace.
Moreover, 33 per cent female respondents believe that there are different performance standards and expectations for male and female employees working at the same level.
"This is the tipping point; we need to walk-the-talk on gender equality and women empowerment. India fares rather poorly on the Gender Disparity Index, which is extremely worrying," said Pallavi Jha Chairperson, CII IWN Western Region and Managing Director, Dale Carnegie India.
The report further noted 69 per cent of organisations have been unable to understand the financial benefits of diversity.
"Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) policy implementation is crucial and needs to be monitored by senior management to assess the efficacy of the same," said Aashish Kasad, Partner and India Region Diversity and Inclusion Leader, EY.
Responses in the survey came from over 17 states covering multiple sectors like services, manufacturing, IT, pharma, healthcare and education.