2017 Working Mother & AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India

Up until 2016, there was never really a comprehensive, unifying platform for Corporate India that takes a panoramic view of Women’s careers, one that cuts across industries and levels. In 2016 India's first diversity advocate and workplace inclusion expert, AVTAR, joined forces with Working Mother Media, a celebrated gender-parity champion in the United States, to bring the latter's prestigious three-decade old Working Mother 100 Best Companies study to India. The inaugural edition in 2016 saw more than 350 companies participating and the 100 Best and the Top 10 being listed, alphabetically. Companies spanning every major industry, geographical location and line of business were part of the applicants.

After a successful edition in 2016, this year AVTAR and Working Mother Group hosted the 2017 Working Mother & AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI) study. This is the second edition of the study in India. The study was launched on the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017. With its stellar legacy of a 32-year old existence in the US under the aegis of Working Mother, the second Indian edition saw an evolution in the expanse, in the canvas and in the entire participation spectrum. 360 companies – cross industry, pan-country participated in the second edition. The comprehensive application form required applicant companies to provide data of high-order granularity on their initiatives, programmes and policies to promote gender diversity. Companies across the industry spectrum and geographically diverse, submitted their applications between March 8, 2017, and June 30, 2017.

Key Findings

  1. 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.

  2. 30.55% of the workforce in the 2017 - 100 Best Companies are Women (5% up from 25.25% in 2016 – 100 Best).

  3. 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).

  4. 36% of all hires in 2017 – 100 Best are women (15% up from 2016 – 100 Best).

  5. 40% of all hires in the 2017 Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India are Women.

  6. 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.).

  7.  18% of 2017 - 100 Best Companies’ Board of directors are women (3% up from 15% in 2016-100 Best Companies);

  8. 15% of the 2017 - 100 Best Companies are helmed by women CEOs.

  9. 17% of direct reportees to CEOs are women in the 2017 - 100 Best Companies (3% up from 14% in 2016-100 Best Companies).

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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).

  14. Leadership training, networking platforms and mentoring are the three most effective initiatives for women’s career advancement, says the BEST IN CLASS.

  15. 92% of the 2017 – 100 Best Companies conduct annual employee surveys on work-life integration issues (8% up from 84% in 2016-100 Best Companies).

  16. All of the 2017-100 Best Companies provide Flexible Working Arrangements (as also the 2016-100 Best) – flexitime and telecommuting are the two most popular flavours of work flexibility this year.

  17. There is no gender divide in the access and utilization of flexible working in the 2017 - 100 Best.

  18. The Best in class maternity leave in 2017-100 Best Companies is 30 weeks.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 38% of the 2017-100 Best Companies provide young mothers support for postpartum depression.

  24. 34% of the 2017-100 Best Companies provide day care services for employee children.

  25. 20% of the 2017 – 100 Best Companies provide support to employees with autistic children.

  26. 63% provide tuition reimbursement for employees to pursue professional enhancement programmes (21% up from 42% in 2016-100 Best Companies).

  27. 16% of the 2017 – 100 Best Companies and 40% of the 2017 Top 10 sponsor infertility treatments for their employees.

  28. 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).

  29. 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.

  30. The 2017-100 Best 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. In recognition of this intent, this year Working Mother & AVTAR are instituting the very first edition of the Male Ally Legacy Award.