Stats about Women Workforce in Corporate India

Stats about Women Workforce in Corporate India

We find all sorts empowering posts flying around social media when women's day is around the corner. No, this article isn't going to talk about the same old mediocre state of women in the Indian ecosystem. Well we’ve certainty risen above that. We are rather going to be talking about how the women workforce is at it and shattering the society glass ceiling and climbing the corporate ladder one step at a time.

Although social media tries to push the feminine button a dozen times, what we know is a drop in the ocean. The state of Indian women in corporates is notably growing but the pace is that of the tortoise who wins slowly and steadily.

It is safe to say we have come a long way from assuming that women were only confined to kitchens and producing babies. Especially in India, where so many women have little to almost no agency to take career oriented decisions, corporate offices still experience male dominance.

How many Women work in Corporate India
Women in Indian Parliament
Stats Around the Globe
Reasons for declining numbers of Female workers in India

How many Women work in Corporate India

According to the Fortune 500 list published in march 2020, only 29 Indian companies had women at senior management and executive levels. The number has grown by a measly 6% in the past decade. Today, women own around 20% of micro scale business in urban and rural parts of the country.

In July 2020, more than 1.3 billion people will have lived in India. Women constitute 48% of this large figure. Women account for 19% of India’s total labor force. Around 3.8% are CEOs and Managing Directors of listed companies in India. This number has seen a slight uphill from 3.2% in 2014.

Whereas only 8% women are found to be in top management positions, 13.8% women are board of directors in companies listed on the NSE. Chief Human Resource Officers, a global domain where countries like the US and South Africa overrule positions, and India is still trying to reach a mark, women attributes are only 30%.

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The history of International Women’s Day dates back to 1908, when some 15,000women marched on New York City in the name of better working hours, fairer pay,and the right to vote. Three years later in 1911, the first official IWD wascelebrated throughout Europe as more than a million women walked …

According to Fortune magazine, Listed below are the top 10 women in corporate India who are shattering the corporate glass ceiling

  • Nita Ambani- Non-Executive Director, Reliance Industries, Co-owner, Mumbai Indians
  • Zia Modi- Co-founder, AZB & Partners
  • Kiran Mazumdar Shaw- Executive Chairperson, Biocon
  • Suneeta Reddy- Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise
  • Renu Sud Karnad- Managing Director, HDFC
  • Samina Hamied- Executive Chairperson, Cipla
  • Vinita Gupta- CEO, Lupin
  • Kallie Puri- Vice Chairperson, India Today Group
  • Ashu Suyash- Managing Director and CEO, CRISIL
  • Roshni Nadar Malhotra- Chairperson, HCL Technologies

Smita V Krishna has been named the richest women in India with a net worth of 434 billion INR and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw was named India’s richest self made women and was ranked third in the overall ranking in 2019.

While we cannot stop raging about how Indian women are reigning top positions, we cannot forget the dip in the total female labor participation. One would rejoice as the country’s GDP has grown over 6% from 2014 resulting in more employment opportunities, but there has been a considerable decline in the rate of female labor participation, from 42% in 2005 to 23% in 2018.

It is as if half the female workforce just dissolved themselves. This could be a huge concern to the Indian Ecosystem, since it has abundant labor power and according to one estimate, India has the potential to grow its GDP by $2.9 trillion USD by 2050.

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Women in Indian Parliament

In 2019, only 78 of 542 seats in the lower house of the Parliament were filled by women. This is a record high figure. However, this percentage amounts to only 14% which is still a long way from equivalence.

Strength of Women in Lok Sabha
Strength of Women in Lok Sabha

Stats Around the Globe

The global participation of women in senior management has grown to 29%, the highest number ever recorded. In 2020, it maintains the status quo. 87% of global mid-market companies have at least one woman in a senior management role in 2020.

The women employees seem to crowd the areas like administration and support functions, while men are deep into Operations, R&D, P&L, qualities that are often reviewed for positions for CEO and Board of directors. Around the globe, 40% of women are Human Resource Directors, 17% are chief marketing officers and 16% are Chief Information Officers.

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Reasons for declining numbers of Female workers in India

Although Indian women are resiliently grabbing a chance at education, it seems that not many of them are looking forward for paid work. As said earlier, women, especially married and from rural towns, have no agency when it comes to the decision of taking up a paid job.

Many families believe that men are the primary breadwinners. This assumption is keeping women devoid work and are confined to schooling kids at home and taking care of the elderly. The gender roles are so engraved in our society that women are calling it quits and returning home to take care of their families.

Apart from this, gender pay gap, sexual harassment and proximity to work are major reasons why female workers don’t engage themselves in paid jobs.


What percentage of the workforce is female in India?

19.9% of the workforce is female in India.

Who is the first woman CEO in India?

Indra Nooyi is the CEO of Pepsi and ranked as the world's 100 most powerful women.

Who is the Highest paid female CEO?

Lisa Su is the highest paid female CEO according to the Associated Press' annual report on CEO salaries.

Who is the most powerful woman in India?

The non-executive director of Reliance Industries Nita Ambani is the powerful woman in India.


India is far from parity when it comes to gender based policies. We have to get better at giving women the agency and opportunities, and in such a way that women don't hesitate to accept jobs and excel in their fields. Women contribute to nearly half the country’s population.

We need to believe in the female workforce to accelerate the growth of Indian economy. We hope that more women empower themselves by not just being a meal maker but by becoming a meal earner.

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