- Substantiating the retention potential of women, the rate at which women leave their workplaces are lower than men across the corporate hierarchy, states the report. At C-Suite Level, the attrition rate of women stands at 4%, half of men’s attrition rate at 8%.
- Increased focus on holistic well-being of returning mothers through structured Phaseback programmes, helps companies prevent attrition of women at the critical life event – maternity.
- Women hiring dips by 2.5% between 2017 and 2018
- While the Promotion rates for women and men to C-Suite Level is at par, men are more likely to be promoted to mid management levels, according to the report
Chennai, 17th September 2018: Besides career advancement programs like career sponsorship, leadership training, mentoring and professional development courses, increasing focus on holistic well-being (including emotional enablement) has led to increased retention of women, resulting in their progress to senior leadership levels reveals the third edition of Best Companies for Women in India (2018 BCWI) study. Conducted by AVTAR Group – India’s first diversity advocate and workplace inclusion expert and Working Mother Media, a celebrated gender-parity champion in the United States, the study shows lower attrition rates of women than men, at all levels in the corporate hierarchy. The study further revealed that the current attrition rate of women in C-Suite Level stands at 4%, half of men’s attrition rate at the same level which stands at 8%. With extremely volatile talent markets, this goes on to show that companies that invest in developing and growing women into leadership are more likely to retain their talent.
Substantiating the higher employability of women and their retention potential, the study further revealed that the average attrition rate of women across levels remained significantly lesser than men – Entry Level (women – 28% and men – 34%), Managerial Level (women – 12% and men – 16%), Senior Managerial Level (women – 8% to men – 12%) and C-Suite Level (women- 4% and men – 8%).
However, women hiring saw a 2.5% dip between 2017 and 2018. While in 2017, 36% of all hires were women, in 2018, this stat stands at 33.5%. While the promotion rates of men and women were at par at C-Suite level (at 5.3% and 5.6% respectively), at the mid management and senior management echelons, men were 3% more likely to be promoted than women.
A joint effort by Working Mother and AVTAR Group, The Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI) Study aims to identify best practices and policies followed by companies for increasing women’s workforce participation. The third edition of the study in 2018 was conducted among 345 employers in the country and listed the 100 Best Companies for Women in India.
The report notes that there has been increasing focus amongst participant companies in the holistic well-being of their employees, specifically women. Apart from instantiating organizational enablers to support various facets of their professional and personal pursuits like mentoring, skill building programs and child care services, companies are increasingly driving initiatives that address the challenges faced by women professionals, specifically around maternity. To help returning mothers reintegrate themselves to their workplaces, 71% of 100 Best companies have Formal Phase-Back Programmes (structured reintegration programmes for returning mothers). 49% of companies provide formal support to counter post-partum stress and depression (up 11% from 2017) through innovative practices like Buddy Mother Networks and pre-scheduled Stay-in-touch days. Such programs help in containing maternity attrition – the drop-out of women at the altar of motherhood. The 100 Best companies this year reported only a 12% maternity attrition, to mean that the vast majority of women who took their maternity breaks, joined back full-time work. The overall representation of women at the 100 Best companies stands at 31% in 2018 – a 6% surge from 25% in the launch year of BCWI – 2016.
There are also other interventions that cater to holistic well-being of professionals driven by the 100 Best. These programmes tremendously increase their engagement with their employers, translating to better retention. These are gender inclusive programmmes, which can be availed by all employees irrespective of their gender identity. 77% of companies intentionally invest in stress reduction programmes (up from 48% in 2017), 70% provide professional support towards mental health consultation (up from 53% in 2017), 63% provide marital/relationship counselling (up from 47% in 2017), 60% provide formal support on grief counselling (up from 44% in 2017) and 48% provide emotional support counselling (up from 37% 2017).
Commenting on this year’s study, Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, Founder – President, AVTAR Group, said, “Over the past 3 editions of the Best Companies for Women in India initiative (BCWI) – 2016, 17 and 18, BCWI has given the much needed momentum to corporate India’s conviction in gender inclusion. This comprehensive gender analytics exercise is powering the collective intent on inclusion, helping fragmented bits of ideas cohere into an intentional, vision-driven whole. To see organizations, evolve their enablement framework to one that acknowledges and supports the holistic well-being of employees, specifically women, is extremely heartening. Offering such support, especially at critical life events like maternity, help women professionals navigate emotion hurdles and move on to build successful, sustainable careers. With personalized handholding, their engagement with their employers are heightened and growth to leadership is a natural, logical extension. The 2018 BCWI data tells us just that – invest in women, they will leave you less! But, as we collectively move towards the elusive goal of gender balance, there is room to do more, add more! Women hiring has seen a dip between 2017 and 2018; at mid-management levels, men continue to be more likely to be promoted. Consistent focus to ensure osmotic reach of the inclusion intent is the way to go.”
Adding to this, Ms. Subha Barry, President, Working Mother Media, said, “Working Mother Media is proud to again partner with AVTAR to name the Best Companies for Women in India. The exemplary companies that made the 2018 – 100 Best Companies for Women in India list represent the most progressive companies for women. We applaud their vision and efforts to create and sustain a work environment where women can advance and thrive.”
2018 Working Mother & AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India: The List
The 2018 Working Mother & AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India study report also revealed the 100 Best Companies for Women in India list. This is, strictly, an alphabetical list and is NOT RANKED. The 2018 Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India are listed below (in alphabetical order):
- Accenture Solutions Private Limited
- ADP Private Limited
- Barclays Global Service Centre Pvt. Ltd.
- Deloitte in India
- IBM India Pvt Ltd
- Shell India Markets Pvt Ltd
- Tata Consultancy Services
- Tech Mahindra
- Verizon Data Services India Pvt. Ltd
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 & Work-Life Programs, Parental Leave, Company culture and Safety and security, as provided by the applicant companies.
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Key findings of 2018 Working Mother & AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI)
- 35% of the workforce in the 2018 Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India are Women (1% up from 34% in 2017)
- 24% of the workforce in the 2018 – 100 Best Companies are women (1% up from 30% in 2017 and 6% up from 25% in 2016).
- The 2018 Top 10 employ 2.82 lakhs of women. The 2018 – 100 Best together employ 4.41 lakhs of women. The 100 Best have an employee base of 14.1 lakhs.
- 34% of entry level workforce in the 2018 – 100 Best are women, 1% up from 2017. This is 39% at 2018 – Top 10.
- Women hiring saw a 2.5% dip between 2017 and 2018. While in 2017, 36% of all hires were women, in 2018, this stat stands at 33.5%.
- While the promotion rates of men and women were at par at C-Suite level (at 5.3% and 5.6% respectively), at the mid management and senior management echelons, men were 3% more likely to be promoted than women.
- Substantiating the higher employability of women and their retention potential, the attrition rates of women are lower than that of men at all levels in the corporate hierarchy in 2018 – 100 Best. At the corporate executive level, the attrition rates of men are double that of women. The attrition figures are as follows:
|Level in 2018 – 100 Best||Average attrition rate of women||Average attrition rate of men|
|Corporate Executive (C-Suite Level)||4%||8%|
- As women move up the corporate ladder, their chances of being promoted is on the rise. In the 2018 – 100 Best, the promotion rates for women and men to the top-most band of corporate hierarchy (corporate executives) is at par, at 5.3% and 5.9% respectively. This further establishes the fact that when organizations provide conducive environments for career enablement, men and women progress equally to leadership roles.
- The representation of women leaders in P&L roles/ as business heads has moved up by 5% between 2017 and 2018. While 13% of all Business heads in 2017 – 100 Best were women, 18% of all Business Heads in 2018 – 100 Best are women. This is 26% in 2018 Top 10 (as against 14% in 2017 Top 10).
- 17% of all direct reportees to CEOs in 2018- 100 Best are women. In 2018 Top 10 too, this is at 17%.
- 100% of the 2018 Top 10 (up 10% from 2017) and 51% (up 11% from 2017) of the 2018 – 100 Best have formal programmes for returning women/second career women.
- 23% of the total recruitment spent of the 2018 – 100 Best is for gender specific hiring.
- Leadership training, networking platforms and high potential programmes are the three most effective initiatives for women’s career advancement, says the BEST IN CLASS. Such practices are increasingly becoming gender agnostic in the Best Companies, with access being uniformly given to men and women – true to the spirit of inclusion.
- 70% of 2018 – 100 Best conduct structured surveys around women specific issues at least once annually.
- Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment is the norm in the 2018 – 100 Best in India. Apart from the legal mandates, all of the 100 Best conduct sensitization campaigns amongst their employees to create gender sensitive work environments.
- 100% of the 2018 – 100 Best Companies for Women in India provide Flexible Working Arrangements – flexi-time and telecommuting are the two most popular flavours of work flexibility. 77% of the 2018 – 100 Best have remote work options.
- At least 68% of the 2018 – 100 Best train their employees to be effective, smart flexible workers.
- Taking cognizance of the increasing need of the workforce to be given autonomy of their schedules, the Flexible Working Architecture in the 2018 – 100 Best, is rooted in trust. Very few companies adhere to strict monitoring of flexible schedules, it is a given.
- There is no gender divide in the access and utilization of flexible working in the 100 Best. The policies are increasingly becoming gender agnostic. 44% of women and 42% of men at the 2018 – 100 Best have utilized some form of flexible working (formally), over the last one year.
- The 2018 – 100 Best provide for an average of 27 weeks of fully paid maternity leave (This figure reported is the post the amendment in the Maternity Benefit Act).
- 93% of the 2018 – 100 Best and 90% of the 2018 Top 10 provided fully paid paternity leave (averaging 10 days)
- The BEST IN CLASS for paid paternity leave in 2018 – 100 Best was 40 days. The BEST IN CLASS for paid adoption leave was 26 weeks.
- The maternity retention rate in the 2018 – 100 Best is 88% (At 2018 Top 10, this is 90%)
- 71% of the 2018 – 100 Best and 90% of the 2018 Top 10 have formal phase-back programmes to help young mothers reintegrate themselves back to work. The average phase-back period was 5 months.
- 49% of the 2018-100 Best provide young mothers support for postpartum depression. This is up by 11% from 38% in 2017. 80% of the 2018 Top 10 provides this support. This is validation of the fact that the best companies are intentionally investing in the emotional well-being of returning mothers.
- Other initiatives companies provide for their employees (both men and women) for emotional well-being are – 77% of companies intentionally invest in stress reduction programmes (up from 48% in 2017), 70% provide professional support towards mental health consultation (up from 53% in 2017), 63% provide marital/relationship counselling (up from 47% in 2017), 60% provide formal support on grief counselling (up from 44% in 2017) and 48% provide emotional support counselling (up from 37% 2017).
- 45% of the 2018-100 Best (50% in 2018 Top 10) provide on- site day care services for employee children (up from 34% in 2017); The average monthly spent by 2018 – 100 Best on an employee’s child care is Rs. 6,000; the Top 10 spent is at Rs. 8700.
- 31% of the 2018 – 100 Best provide support to employees with autistic children. (11% up from 20% in 2017).
- 69% provide tuition reimbursement for employees to pursue professional enhancement programmes. 30% of the beneficiaries of tuition reimbursement programmes in the 2018 – 100 Best are women.
- 28% of the 2018 – 100 Best (12% up from 16% in 2017) and 40% of the 2018 Top 10 sponsor infertility treatments for their employees.
- 80% of the 2018 – 100 Best conduct periodical surveys to ensure gender pay equity. All of the 2018 Top 10 do so.
- 100% of the 2018 Top 10 Best Companies train their managers to help advance women, 100% train their managers to understand the work-life issues of their employees.
- 67% of the 2018 – 100 Best (as against 68% in 2017) train their managers to help advance women, 73% (up from 59% in 2017) train their managers to understand the work-life issues of their employees.
About AVTAR Group: AVTAR set up in 2000, is India’s first diversity advocate & workplace inclusion expert. Renowned for its extensive work in the space of Diversity & Inclusion and more specifically, women’s workforce participation, it is the country’s largest provider of second career opportunities for women and is also the earliest to begin working on diversity audits and measurement. Lead by the visionary Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, AVTAR has ventured into areas of women’s empowerment and career creation, which are firsts to India, such as – 1) Creating a marketplace for second career women to meet potential employers, 2) Developing a comprehensive set of career enablers which companies can implement in their workspaces, 3) Spearheading original research that has provided cutting edge insights to organizations 4) Re-Skilling, Up-skilling and Counselling of women to pursue sustainable career paths and 5) Building career intentionality amongst under privileged girl children. Over its 18 years of existence, AVTAR has helped charter Diversity & Inclusion plans for several organisations in the IT, FMCG and Financial sectors in the country.
About Working Mother Media: Working Mother is a role model, mentor and advocate for the U.S.’s more than 24 million mothers who are devoted to their families and committed to their careers. Working Mother is a celebrated gender parity champion in the United States. With their website, magazine, research, social networks, video, and powerful events, Working Mother provides its readers with the community, solutions and strategies they need to thrive. Their annual list of the Working Mother 100 Best Companies celebrates its 33rd anniversary this year. It is one of the most prestigious lists in the U.S. and sets the standards for work life practices for U.S. companies. It continues to raise awareness of the issues women face in the workplace and encourages the development of programs to address those issues.
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