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More Indian woman joining workforce but not reaching top roles

From just 15% in 2010 to now - the Indian women have made a significant stride into the workforce in today’s corporate India, and not just in traditional marketing or HR roles but technology fields like AI, chip design, R&D and more.

Rituparna Mandal, general manager, MediaTek and director of the advanced technology team, says “about 22% of our workforce are women and 99% of these women employees are a part of the R&D in technical and engineering roles across hardware and software design.”

The change can be partly attributed to more women taking up STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) courses. However, dropout rates are still a concern, especially around the 3Ms, that’s marriage, maternity, motherhood. Options like working from home, creches and so on exist, but limiting factors exist to reach the top jobs.

Women have entered the realm of critical jobs and are often even earning more than men, but their numbers among senior management still need a boost. The National Task Force on Women in Science states that women constitute just 15% of the Indian research and development workforce as against the global average of 30%.

Apart from frequent interruptions in careers, women believe they must work harder to get acknowledged. American Express’s recent report ‘Ambitious Insights’ noted that 89% of India’s university-educated women believe it is important to have ambitions and 70% of them are proud to call themselves ambitious. However, 65% of Indian women feel that they must work harder than their male counterparts to gain career recognition. In such a scenario, it is important for corporates to nurture their women employees.