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Catalyst Report Shows Diversity & Inclusion Efforts in India Lack Impact

New Catalyst study offers game-changing strategies to create more inclusive workplaces in India Inc.

Mumbai (September 9, 2015)—Facing a shortage of qualified talent, many leading organizations in India are increasingly tapping women as a source of growth and demonstrating their commitment to attracting, retaining, and advancing women through diversity programs and policies. Yet Catalyst's latest research report, India Inc.: From Intention to Impact, reveals that those well-intended corporate initiatives are not fully achieving the desired goal of creating more inclusive workplaces for women. Launching today at Catalyst’s D&I Logues event in Mumbai, where Catalyst’s IndiaLogues Task Force for change will be announced, the report is a call to action for Indian business leaders, offering concrete ways to accelerate progress.

Though companies are making efforts to spearhead change for women, Catalyst’s research with India-headquartered and subsidiary companies indicates that:

  • Men are three times more likely, on average, to be hired and promoted than women at every level.

  • Executive-level women leave at a rate (28%) double that of their representation (14%). This rate of attrition is higher than that of any other level.

  • While 88% of the organizations surveyed offer leadership training, and 80% of those organizations track overall participation among them, only three of the India-headquartered organizations participating in the study offer women-targeted leadership training programs, compared to 20 (74%) of India subsidiary companies. Moreover, just 20% of the organizations with such programs track advancement by gender—despite the fact that the most commonly stated purpose of these programs, especially for women, is advancement.

  • Despite available, and often generous, employee leave offerings, nearly half the organizations do not offer any family care support options (48%) and lack a formal and standardized approach (41%) to determining fair and appropriate performance reviews for employees who return after taking leave.

Catalyst’s report identifies important opportunities and success strategies for helping organizations in India transform good intentions into significant progress.

“Leadership accountability can serve as a game-changer in India Inc. for translating intention into impact,” says Deborah Gillis, President & CEO, Catalyst. “It is evident that organizations are taking steps toward creating diverse and inclusive workplaces; however, it is also imperative to measure the impact of relevant policies and efforts.”

Catalyst has identified five important areas where organizations in India can build on current efforts to be more inclusive:

  • Foundational approaches to set the stage for the recruitment, development, and retention of women.

  • Flexible work arrangements and cultures to address socio-cultural barriers.

  • Employee leave and reintegration programs.

  • Leadership development programs to grow all talent.

  • Employee inclusion efforts to promote culture change.

“At Catalyst, we see an opportunity in every challenge,” says Shachi Irde, Executive Director, Catalyst India WRC. “The culture of diversity should be woven into every level of an organization, from the executive level, all the way down to the entry level. The strategies in this report outline an unprecedented opportunity for organizations in India to make large-scale change for women and effective progress toward creating inclusive workplaces for all of India.”

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Media Contacts:

India: Elita Sequeira, Gutenberg Communications, +91 80 41133277

U.S.: Ellen Parlapiano, +1 646 388 7778

About Catalyst
Founded in 1962, Catalyst is the leading nonprofit organization expanding opportunities for women and business. With operations in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Australia, and Japan, and more than 800 member organizations, Catalyst is the trusted resource for research, information, and advice about women at work. Catalyst annually honors exemplary organizational initiatives that promote women's advancement with the Catalyst Award.