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Gender gap: 4 out of 5 retail firms hire less than 10% women, finds World Economic Forum study

The Financial Express logo The Financial Express 08-10-2018 FE Online

Highlighting the major gender gap in Indian corporates, a study has found that four out of  five retail firms hire less than 10% women. According to a survey by the World Economic Forum, companies in India experiencing the highest growth prefer hiring men and that technology-led job growth benefits men more than women. Notably, while one in three companies preferred hiring men, only one in 10 companies said they wanted to hire more women, accentuating the gender gap rampant in the country.

The ?Future of Work in India? survey of of 770 companies conducted by the WEF (World Economic Forum) included various sectors such as textiles, banking & financial services, transport & logistics, and retail. The report found that  just 2.4% of these have half or more female employees, and as many as 71% have fewer than 10%. Out of this 71%, 30% companies have no female employees, and another 32% have less than 5%. The sector-wise breakup showed that 79% companies in retail, and 77% in transport & logistics, have less than 10% female employees, while banking & finance companies have 61% female participation and textiles 64%.

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The international body highlighted that India?s female workforce participation is mere 27% and stands 23% points lower than global average. Jobs in India are experiencing highest growth and companies are hiring women at only 26%. Women in India are entering workforce at a slower rate than current female workforce participation, noted the report.

More than 33% of the total companies said that they prefer to hire men, as compared to just over one-tenth that said that they are looking to hire more women going forward. In the last five years, the surveyed companies stated that they hired just 26% female workers in the job roles that saw the most growth, which is less than India?s already low female labour force participation of 27%, noted the WEF report.

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