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Gender discrimination at workplace in India

Published: Saturday 12th December 2020

Amidst a global pandemic, the economy of the world has been hit hard, but as we begin a slow climb to our recovery in India, we need to being back attention to one of the biggest and most insidious problems that exist in the Indian business-scape for employment: gender discrimination at workplace.

The year 2020 has been a year of several life-changing shifts and revolutions including Black Lives Matter that created a snowball effect and shed light onto women’s issues, which also cover the audacious gender pay gap they are subject to globally and in India.

According to recent research, for every Rupees 242 earned by men on a given day, women are paid Rupees 46 less for the same job and working hours.

We have compiled some other gender discrimination statistics for your reference as given below:

  1. The gender pay gap in India between men and women is a staggering 19%.
  2. Only 1 out of 10 women in India are directors.
  3. More than 72% of women have reported experiencing gender discrimination at workplace environments.
  4. The most notable form of gender discrimination is the idea that women are less serious about their career once they marry (47%).
  5. About 46% women perceive that maternity leads to an impression to the employer that they will quit their jobs.
  6. About 46% women also believe that there is a notion that women can’t put the same number of hours as men.
  7. UNDP published their Gender Inequality Index in 2013 and ranked India at 132 out of 148 countries.

If this huge gap makes you uncomfortable, it should. Companies often discourage colleagues from divulging in their salary details, but one must wonder why. This is because recent conversations shed light on how women found out from their subordinates or juniors, all men, that they are paid much more for doing the same job or even less.

Women are also stereotyped into certain job descriptions that seem more maternal in nature or are expected to perform assistive jobs while they are at leadership positions given to their inherent nature as a “caretaker”.

The Indian constitution against gender discrimination: 

“The Constitution of India grants equality to women in all aspects to life as an Indian citizen. It also ensures equality before the eyes of law while prohibiting discrimination against any citizen on the basis of religion, race, caste, gender preference or place of birth.

Given the current statistics regarding gender discrimination in India, what are the steps taken by organizations to reduce this rift?

  1. One of the Big Four Corporations, Deloitte announced a 26-weeks long maternity leave for female employees, whose example was quickly followed by PWC and other organizations.
  2. Intellecap and similar organizations focus on equal employment opportunities for both genders where 43% of their workforce consists of women while they strive to reach 50%.
  3. Corporates have begun to create uniform pay structures for designations irrespective of gender to eliminate the pay gap so that both genders earn the same salary.

While the three steps taken among several others may seem like revolutionary changes to eliminate gender discrimination, these are simply the bare minimum. To ensure that your organization does better from the get go, here are 5 ways you can bridge the gap between gender discrimination at workplace environments:

  • Leaders and high ranking officials should take the responsibility of retaining and grooming women to build the confidence required to be ambitious and climb the corporate ladder.
  • Avoid asking personal questions regarding motherhood, their marital status, life as a wife or daughter at home and how they handle domestic affairs during interviews. Stick to professional details and their work-skills only.
  • Do not give unsolicited advice to your female colleagues, seniors or subordinates regarding their work-life balance and personal life just as you would like your privacy honoured.
  • Correct the disparity in pay gaps by bringing in a uniform structure depending on professional metrics such as designation, years of experience, skill levels and professional expertise.
  • Create a welcome workspace that hires single mothers, widows, and divorcees because they need the job more than the majority of men in the line of recruits.

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