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S5, E4 (BONUS): Women at work in India | Tell it like it is

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

Today’s episode is the third in our series on women’s participation in the workforce in India.


For some time now, I’ve brought you individual stories of guests with outsized abilities and wisdom. So, in a break from tradition, today, I bring you a panel discussion with 3 leaders, who have the unique distinction of being able to shape the participation of women at work in India and with a different perspective, and background. Joining me are Hema Hattangady, former CEO of Conzerv, an Indian family-owned enterprise acquired by Schneider Electric, who sits on the Board of multiple companies and an alumnus of IIM Calcutta, Dr. Murali Padmanabhan, Senior VP for Global Talent & OD at Virtusa, leadership coach and a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Hyderabad and Shonalie Gupta, Senior Director Organization Development at Indegene, diversity and inclusion coach and an alumnus of XLRI, Jamshedpur.


Every year, class XII grades show girls outperforming boys in science subjects. A McKinsey study on the future of women at work, shows that in India women make up 43% of those graduating but only 25% of those in entry level jobs.

That is a huge drop.


There are many explanations including marriage, childbirth, care for elders, being the trailing spouse, safety, and all of this compounds as you go higher in the career ladder. The burden of childcare and elder care almost entirely falls on women. The effect shows on the labor participation rate. At an effective 11% participation in manufacturing and services, we trail many mature and emerging countries.


In this episode, we discuss awareness of India’s dismal female participation, societal stereotypes, and challenges. But that is not all. We go further and give you practical, tested, tips and ideas on how to have the conversation around increasing female labor participation, beginning with small changes at an individual level to large scale organization impact. To cap it off, each of the panelists include their wish list of how they see corporate India 20 years from now.


Go on, grab a cuppa joe, a note pad and tune into this conversation between Manisha Kadagathur and the panelists.


Read a transcript of this interview


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