History shows that women, the world over, have had to fight for equal rights, be it the right to vote, the right to work or even the right to reproduce. Even today when the world has advanced so much technologically, women are not considered at par with men and are often discriminated against even though there are laws that ban discrimination.
In India, as elsewhere in the world, as more and more women have access to a higher education, have awareness of their rights, have aspirations and capabilities, their numbers at the workplace are steadily increasing. Indian women are not only handling administrative and clerical jobs but are also taking on managerial positions. But is this increasing presence of women at all levels in the workplace also fetching more rewards and success? Women are often discriminated against and receive less remuneration as compared to men for the same/ similar work. A woman may be more qualified but may be passed over for promotion.
Gender diversity is the need of the hour. What is gender diversity? Gender diversity in a workplace is when an organization has equal and fair representation of both men and women.The advent of multi- national companies in India has played a major role in increasing gender diversity. But the Indian companies do not seem to be adopting this mantra of gender diversity. Studies show that women make better leaders than their male counterparts, women in leadership roles are more loyal to their organization, women are more creative and innovative, have better crisis management skills, are good at multitasking and are compassionate. So, Indian companies need to employ more women not only for gender diversity in the workforce but also to increase their productivity and hence profits.
But the onus for increasing the gender diversity rests not only on society but also on the policy makers in the companies. The company policy should increase the number of women being employed and should also increase the number of women at the top level. Both men and women employees should get equal pay and women should be given the option of flexible hours to fulfill their family responsibilities and the company should provide childcare options.
Finally, we women need to be the change we want to see in the world around us. So, women should support other women, stand by them, appreciate them and celebrate their accomplishments.
This article is written by Ritu Kapila.
(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)
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