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Women in leadership

India ranks third lowest in having women in leadership roles'

is among the countries where there are less number of women in business leadership roles, says a report.

According to the study by Grant Thornton, released on International Women's Day, a third of those surveyed in the country does not have women in senior positions at all.

"India ranks third lowest in the proportion of business leadership roles held by women for the second year consecutively," the study said adding that 34 per cent of the Indian businesses surveyed have no women in leadership.

While businesses increasingly understand the benefits of diversity in leadership and are committed to meritocracy, there can be a mismatch between what they say and how they unconsciously behave, the study said.

It noted, at the global stage, Eastern European countries dominate the international league table for senior female business leaders, including seven of the top ten, with at number one.

"However, the proportion of women reaching the top tier of the business world has shown little progress over the past decade," the report said.

The survey was conducted among 5,520 businesses in 36 economies.

"If change has to be leapfrogged, apart from the creative flexi working policies and strong development support provided by organisations to the women workforce, then government and industry bodies need to join hands and make amends to the existing labour laws wherein provision of childcare facilities be mandated across all industry sectors," Grant Thornton People and Culture Leader Kavita Mathur said.

She added, "Such facilities should be made affordable and brought closer to workplace. Industry bodies on their part should ensure enforcement of these policies both in letter and spirit."

The survey also revealed increasing support among business leaders for the introduction of quotas.

Globally, almost half (47 per cent) of both male and female senior managers now support quotas to get women on the boards of large listed companies, up from 37 per cent in 2013, the study noted.

This article appeared in Business Standard on 08th March, 2016.