The 10 Best Companies For Women In India

by CXOtoday News Desk    Oct 17, 2017

women IT

Some companies go further than others to create an environment and culture that is great for women. A recently released Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI) study of the 100 Best Companies for Women in India has  reveals reveals a two-fold increase in Women’s employee spectrum in the last one year.

The 2017 Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India, listed in alphabetical order, include, Accenture, Deloitte, EY, IBM, Northern Trust Bank, People Combine Educational Initiatives, Procter & Gamble, Schneider Electric, Shell India and Tata Consultancy Services.

The selection was based on data of highest order granularity spanning seven key policy clusters, namely, Workforce profile, Flexible work, Women’s recruitment and retention, Benefits, Paid-time, Company culture and Safety and security, as provided by the applicant companies.

The study shows that the women employment count currently stands at 4,67,883 among the 100 Best Companies for Women in India as compared to 2,05,236 women employees last year.

The Best Companies for Women in India Study, instituted by Working Mother in partnership with AVTAR Group, aims to identify best practices and policies followed by companies for increasing women’s workforce participation. 

In terms of the gender diversity ratio in the 100 Best Companies, there has been a 5-percentage point increase from 2016 – 30.55% of the workforce of the 2017-100 Best Companies are women (up from 25.25% in 2016). This is substantiated by a significant increase in the hiring rates for women in the 100 Best Companies at 36% - a 15% surge from last year.

Expanding the canvas of their women oriented initiatives, 38% of the 2017-100 Best Companies provide support for women having postpartum depression, 20% provide support for employees with autistic children.  67% of the companies have formal phase- back programs (15% up from 52% in 2016) to help young mothers reintegrate themselves back to work post maternity. The study also states that 40% of the companies across industries have formal programs for returning women. In tune with the increasing pattern of millennial couples sharing familial responsibilities, 94% of the 2017-100 Best Companies offer fully paid paternity leave to their employees, the maximum being 56 days.

Commenting on the increase in women’s employee spectrum, Saundarya Rajesh, Founder – President, AVTAR Group, “Corporate India’s focus on recruiting and expanding their women employee base is laudable. Going by the data (a 5% increase in women’s representation in one year), the Best Companies for Women in India may get to their goal of gender balance in another 5-6 years’ time.”

However, she believes that while it is encouraging to note that many companies have introduced new policies to retain valuable women talent, this trend still remains nascent in traditional services industry and there is a need for industries such as manufacturing and infrastructure to leverage the opportunity of an increase in employable women talent. 

The key findings of the survey include:

- The 2017 - 100 Best Companies together employ 4,67, 883 of women (up from 2,05,236 women in 2016 – 100 Best Companies). The 2017- 100 Best Companies have an employee base of 15.36 Lakhs people. 30.55% of the workforce in the 2017 - 100 Best Companies are Women (5% up from 25.25% in 2016 – 100 Best).

- Notably, 34.36% of the workforce in the 2017 Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India are Women (2% up from 32% in 2016 Top 10). At the same time 33% of the entry level employees at 2017 - 100 Best Companies are women (11% up from 22% in 2016-100 Best Companies); 37% of the entry level employees at Top 10 are women (4% up from 33% in 2016 Top 10.).

- The study finds that 18% of 2017 - 100 Best Companies’ Board of directors are women (3% up from 15% in 2016-100 Best Companies); 15% of the 2017 - 100 Best Companies are helmed by women CEOs and 17% of direct reportees to CEOs are women in the 2017 - 100 Best Companies (3% up from 14% in 2016-100 Best Companies).

- In terms of being promoted to corporate executives, 2% more women than men at the senior managerial levels were promoted at the 2017 – 100 Best Companies. Nearly 13% of business leaders heading business units with turnover > 1000 Crores in the 2017 – 100 Best Companies are women; 11% of business leaders heading business units with turnover > 500 Crores in the 2017 – 100 Best Companies are women.

- The attrition rate of women steadily declines as they progress along the talent pipeline in 2017-100 Best Companies. From 23% at non-managerial level to 15% at managerial level to 13% at senior managerial level to 9% at corporate executive levels. However, for men the non-managerial attrition rate is similar to that of women at 22%, but at all the three subsequent levels this is at 14%. This is an indication that if companies are able to invest in the retention and advancement of women, healthy gender ratios are bound to follow.

-  40% of the 2017 – 100 Best Companies have formal programmes for returning women after a career break (10% up from 30% in 2016-100 Best Companies). Leadership training, networking platforms and mentoring are the three most effective initiatives for women’s career advancement.

women IT

- The Best in class maternity leave in 2017-100 Best Companies is 30 weeks. 94% of the 2017 - 100 Best Companies provided fully paid paternity leave (averaging 12 days). This is 8% up from 86% in 2016-100 Best. The BEST IN CLASS for paid paternity leave in 2017 – 100 Best Companies is 56 days; 87% of 2017 – 100 Best Companies provided fully paid adoption leave (averaging 12 weeks). This is 17% up from 70% in 2016-100 Best. The BEST IN CLASS for paid adoption leave was 26 weeks.

- The maternity retention rate in the 2017–100 Best Companies is 90.33% (Top 10 is 90.36%). Maternity retention rate refers to the percentage of women who resume work post their company provided maternity leave. Over two-thirds or  67% of the 2017 – 100 Best Companies have formal phase-back programmes (15% up from 52% in 2016-100 Best) to help young mothers reintegrate themselves back to work.  These are structured programmes to ensure that the transition back to work is smooth for young mothers. The average phase-back period was 5.45 months.

- In terms of care, 38% of the 2017-100 Best Companies provide young mothers support for postpartum depression. 34% of the 2017-100 Best Companies provide day care services for employee children; 20% of the 2017 – 100 Best Companies provide support to employees with autistic children; 63% provide tuition reimbursement for employees to pursue professional enhancement programmes (21% up from 42% in 2016-100 Best Companies).

- All of the 2017 Top 10 Best Companies train their managers to help champion gender diversity, 100% train their managers to understand the work-life issues of their employees.68% of the 2017 - 100 Best Companies train their managers to help champion gender diversity (24% up 44% in 2016-100 Best Companies), 59% train their managers to understand the work-life issues of their employees (25% up from 34% in 2016-100 Best Companies).

- As per the survey, 59% of the 2017 – 100 Best Companies conduct surveys to ensure gender pay equity (22% up from 37% in 2016-100 Best), 80% of the Top 10 do so. The study also reveals that most of these companies strive to create gender inclusive work environments. In 88% of the 2017-100 Best Companies there are senior male leaders championing the cause of gender inclusion.