How are Indian Universities helping to reduce gender inequality in the workplace? In India, women make up 46.2 percent of total enrollment in higher education but the female participation rate is only 21 percent, compared to the global average of 40 percent. In fact, not only is it a very low price, but for those who join the workers, there is a gap in the wages of men and women, and the proverb ‘glass roof’ has caused, on average in all sectors, only about eight percent of senior women in India.
The reasons for the low level of participation are many – from social and cultural norms, economic conditions, ease of use, lack of family support, lack of adequate job opportunities and so on. At the heart of the matter, however, the sadly high levels of higher education have led to higher employee participation, especially in better employment opportunities – in fact, backwards in recent years, when women’s participation rates (FLFPR) dropped in India from 31.8 percent in 2005 to 20.3% by 2020, at the World Bank.
The World Economic Forum in its Global Gender Gap Report 2020 ranked India at # 112 out of 153 countries listed. The positive enrollment of women in education confirms that in the ‘Education Attainment sub-index’ points in India have risen from 0.819 in 2006 to 0.962 in 2020 but India’s level in this index was 112, indicating that countries -111 in this study were very successful levels.
The issue of gender equality and higher education therefore needs to be addressed at university level and in public policy, because the purpose of education is to support meaningful employment and to contribute to the growth and development of the country. While primary education is the focus of debate for those involved in education and human development, higher education is vital to social mobility and employment. Policymakers need to ensure that women are able to find better jobs or start a business and take advantage of new opportunities in the labor market as the country grows. The policy framework that promotes and facilitates women’s participation should address the gender issues facing women, especially in rural India.
The question to consider is – How can Indian universities help reduce gender inequality in the workplace? According to the views of Dr. Rajini Gupte, Vice-Chancellor, Symbiosis International (Deemed University), the following steps may be helpful.
Continuing to improve enrollment in higher education: Empowerment through education can lead to an increase in the quality of life of women by helping them to enter the workforce and participate in governance.
Create a conducive environment: Make it easier for women to seek higher education by providing equal opportunities, testing multiple skills during entry exams, providing hostels, security, transportation, students etc.
Identify emerging backgrounds and develop a skills pool for women in emerging areas: Universities must make special efforts to find talent vacancies and mentors and train girls in future skills. Research shows that jobs are likely to be lost due to changes in the labor market with low and repetitive skills often handled by women and those that will see growing demand are jobs in AI, data analytics, cloud computing, digital transformation. There is a shortage of women in these areas – e.g. only 12% of women use cloud computing; women should be encouraged to study these courses.
Lead by example: Demonstrate that gender justice can be established, by creating equal opportunities for University staff for women workers, providing training and mentorship to potential women leaders, and clearly and consistently promoting diversity.
Train women in leadership roles: To train women to do jobs with confidence. Train women in leadership roles so that the workplace can reap the benefits of diversity. In this context it is interesting that the 2016 report ‘CS Gender 3000: The Reward for Change’ from the Credit Suisse Research Institute found that companies with a higher proportion of women in decision-making positions make a higher profit equally while using balance sheets.
Develop and implement Industry-Academia linkages: The role of universities should be to study emerging styles and create employable skills sets, tailored to the needs of employers and employees. Universities must ensure participation in all levels and business organizations, that they are informed about non-gender vacancies and the hidden talent base of women and the excellence of diversity in the workplace.
Robert Zoellick, the eleventh president of the World Bank, succinctly stated, “Equality is not something that should be done. It’s a smart economy. How can the economy achieve full potential if you ignore it, side by side, or fail to invest on the part of its people? ”
This story is provided by SRV Media.