The Indian economic growth in recent years fills us with extreme pride. According to the World Bank, India's GDP stands at USD 2.27 Trillion, with an annual growth rate of 7.3% as of 2018. However, the fact that India's female employment rate stood at a meagre 27%2 in 2017 is an issue of grave concern.
Absence of women in the workforce
When compared to China, where women contribute to 40% of the GDP, women in India only contribute to 17%3. The reasons behind this gender divide impeding India's future growth are plenty. A working woman in the family is often seen as an indicator of lower income status. When the family income grows, women are expected to stop working and stay at home. Working women do not get help with domestic chores from the men in the family, and are expected to sacrifice professional growth to take care of their family4.
A misconceived perception by the society, which considers only certain sectors appropriate or safe for women to work in, is not helpful either, and this is true for the finance sector. Predominantly viewed as a 'male arena', the finance industry is replete with factually incorrect societal notions such as lack of flexibility, need for aggressiveness, and similar 'nonfeminine' characteristics. This has kept a majority of bright and capable women away from joining the sector for many years.
Encouraging gender diversity in finance
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