DE&I

World of HR: Trust and well-being are driving DEIB success in India, report finds

Employers say they’re making progress toward gender diversity goals, but are struggling to recruit women for manager roles.
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Francis Scialabba

3 min read

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From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.

Employers in India are making progress toward diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) goals, thanks to technology, inclusive company cultures, and leadership development programs.

Where in the world? ManpowerGroup India, a staffing firm with offices in 75 countries, surveyed 3,150 employers in India, and found that 77% are investing in DEIB initiatives, according to its Diversity Outlook Survey.

The report found that companies in certain industries, like IT, healthcare and life sciences, and financial services, reported more often that they were “on-track in increasing the number of women candidates and strengthen[ing] their diversity ratio,” compared to industrials and materials and consumer goods and services.

Companies reported making more progress toward recruiting women for administrative roles than for higher-ranking positions like top- and mid-level managers.

Furthermore, 18% of companies said they’re “a long way” from achieving full equality, while 37% said that they’re close to full equality. Another 37% believe they’ve achieved gender equality.

The surveyed companies attributed their progress to a variety of initiatives, including internal leadership development programs (43%), flexible work policies (42%), and inclusive work cultures (35%). Most (80%) employers believe technology has allowed for more flexibility.

“It is encouraging to see women participation in the workforce increasing at a rapid pace,” Sandeep Gulati, managing director of ManpowerGroup India and Middle East, told the Economic Times. “Organizations have realigned their hiring strategies by mandating women hiring at every level across sectors.”

While workforce participation among women in India has risen to around 33%, the rate is still among the lowest in the world, and the country has among the lowest gender parity levels, according to a recent Global Gender Gap report from the World Economic Forum.

Satellite view. Japan, South Korea, and China have found in recent decades that having women in the workforce has helped economic growth, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In the US, the labor participation for women hit a record high in 2023 and is among the world’s highest, HR Brew previously reported. This is, in part, thanks to women’s higher educational achievement, as well as employer flexibility and paid leave laws.

“The work that was done, the push to have some access to paid sick days, some infrastructure investments on child care—those investments mattered enormously. You can’t discount that,” Jocelyn Frye, president of the National Partnership for Women and Families, told 19th News.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.