[Answered] Do you think that the proverbial glass ceiling has been broken in India’s corporate sector? What are the implications of gender gap in employment and how can they be addressed?

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Introduction: Introduce by giving some data on gender inequality in India.
Body: Write the status of gender disparity in corporate sector. Write the implications of gender gap in employment. Write some measures to address this issue.
Conclusion:  Conclude contextually.

As per the Global Gender Gap Report 2021 India is ranked at 140 out of 156 countries. India is ranked 151 out of 156 countries in terms of economic participation and opportunity. This shows the existence of constraints (Glass ceiling) for the growth of women in economic sphere. 

The corporate sector in India is inflicted by same disparities. An IIMA study on gender balance in top organisations has found that: 

  • Unequal pay: The average compensation paid to senior women executives was on an average ~15% lower than that paid to men.  
  • Increase in pay gap: The pay gap widened as women advanced in their careers. The gap increased from 2.2% at the beginner level to >6% at the senior management level.  
  • Gap in representation: The proportion of Women in Top Management is only 5% and in the board of directors is 16%. 

This confirms the existence of glass ceiling in the corporate sector.  

However, the whole economy suffers from this issue. The Women’s LFPR in the latest PLFS before the pandemic (2018-19) was just 18.6% compared to 55.6% for men. This low participation along with pay gap and lack of representation in top position have several implications. 

  • Economic implications: The gender gap in employment results in weaker economic condition of women, which leads to feministaion of poverty and also lower economic output for the country. 
  • Social implications: Lack of economic opportunity affects their ability to take independent financial decisions and results in lower social standing. This strengthens patriarchal setup of society. 
  • Promotes Gender inequality in society: The inequality in economic sphere spills over to other sphere like political and cultural, which undermines the efforts to reduce inequality in those spheres. 
  • Other related implication: 
    • It may lead to reduced opportunity for education and development of women. 
    • Social evils like female infanticide, child marriage etc. are promoted.  
    • Makes women vulnerable to crimes like trafficking, prostitution etc. 
    • Lack of economic resources lead to lower access to nutrition and healthcare. 

To address the gender gap in employment following step can be taken 

  • Steps by the Government:  
    • The government should focus on effective implementation of scheme like Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, that ensure empowerment of women. 
    • Making women empowered in political sphere with reservation to state assembly and Parliament. It will spill over to the economic sphere. 
    • Improving the gender balance in government owned entities. 
  • In corporate sector: 
    • The first step towards gender balance is recruiting in a gender-neutral manner on the basis of merit. Companies can come out with clear recruitment policies in this regard. 
    • Assigning cross-functional roles to women to remove stereo-types about gender roles. 
    • Corporate should create diversity action plans that should include diversity councils, diversity cultural training, increased women intake, family friendly policies like increased maternity and paternity leave, child care facilities and allowance, spouse job considerations for transfer and mentorship and support from the organisation 

Women constitute about 50% of our population, their economic empowerment through better participation in the economic sphere is not just in the welfare of women but also the welfare of the country as a whole.  


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