80 pc Indian employers believe tech added flexibility, helped promote gender equality

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New Delhi, May 28 (IANS) About 80 per cent of employers in India believe that innovation powered by technology has helped them be more flexible, promoting more gender equality, according to a new report on Tuesday.

The report by global staffing firm ManpowerGroup India is based on a survey on the state of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) initiatives across industries and levels within the organisations in the country.

The survey examined 3,150 Indian employers and revealed that more employers are taking active measures to promote equity through progressive policies, upskilling, and flexibility.

About 77 per cent said advancing technology is helping in gender equality. Technology is also helping companies to diversify their IT talent pipelines (74 per cent) and AI-based tools are aiding with the recruitment of the best candidates regardless of gender (70 per cent).

The Information Technology (IT) sector (58 per cent) leads the way in strengthening the companies' diversity ratio, closely followed by the healthcare and life sciences sector (54 per cent) and financials and real estate sector (54 per cent) but consumer goods and services sector (34 per cent) lags.

Sandeep Gulati, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup India and Middle East said that "India's gender diversity is among the best worldwide".

He added that "Technology has made flexibility possible coupled with specialised programmes to bring back women with long professional breaks, all of which have greatly contributed to this trend", he added, noting that "women's participation in the workforce is increasing at a rapid pace".

Gulati also expressed confidence in India’s ability to advance at a much faster growth rate if more and more women are added to the labour force.

Further, the report showed that over half (58 per cent) of employers' pay equity initiatives are on schedule, while the remaining 32 per cent are behind schedule and 10 per cent have no initiatives.

Efforts to expand the number of women candidates vary by role type, with administrative (57 per cent), front-line management (55 per cent), and operational (55 per cent) positions leading the way.

Less female representation is seen in top-level management roles (49 per cent) followed by science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) (53 per cent) and mid-level management (53 per cent).