Bangalore: Most of the Indian girls get married at a young age and so they are unable to pursue higher education and can’t move up the corporate ladder. According to a report by management consultancy Mckinsey and Company suggested that most of the Indian women face the problem of ‘double burden’ of holding job and taking care of family responsibilities, which prevents them from taking a step further.
In other countries like Australia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore the family duties doesnot exert much influence. According to the report 50 percent of the graduates in Asia are women but only few of them make it to the middle management. Women account for 6 percent on corporate boards and 8 percent on executive committees in an average. This estimates are low as compared to the estimates in Europe and United States, where the figures are little more.Instead of the low representation of the women at the senior levels the gender diversity is not high on the strategic agenda in most Asian companies. Few senior managers believe that this will change soon. To reach at senior positions more women have to be present at the conduit that fills those positions. Still very few women enter the conduit as the female participation in the labour force itself is low.
In India the female labour participation is 35 percent which is lowest in the world. Jin Wang the co-author of the report and the Partner of Mckinsey’s Shanghai Office says that even if the women do not enter the corporate world they often fail to progress much as they either get stuck in the pipeline early in their careers or decide to leave at middle management.
For instance, China has one of the world’s highest female labour force but still they account to only 8 percent of corporate board members and 9 percent of executive committee members. Currently women make 50 percent of Asia’s graduate group and 57 percent in Australia, Malaysia and Indonesia which is actually a waste of talent.
In India because of the low female literacy rates the number of women entering higher education has been affected. It was found that in 2009-10, only 10 to 15 percent of students admitted to the Indian Institute of Management were female. In the latest research by McKinsey Global Institute has projected that by 2020 the skill gap in China will be 23 million whereas in India the medium skill gap will be the order of 13 million.
They suggested that bringing more women into workforce would help bridge the skill gap. Wang continues to say that it is time to enhance women’s participation at all levels of the work force and especially at the senior management levels. The Asian companies compete in the global market and if they do not work to improve women’s participation will be loosing out on two important features. The important features are that of having the best talent in an age of talent scarcity and the particular performance benefits that women in leadership positions bring to an organisation.