Women rising at C-suite levels in the Indian finance sector

With more and more women rising to the C-suite level in the country, the percentage of women executives has reached 21%, according to a study by global executive research firm, EMA Partners International. The same source reveals that the percentage of women at high levels in India was just 11% in 2009. The firm also told Economic Times that amongst the 215 surveyed companies in India, 45 women currently occupy leadership roles.


According to the Spencer Stuart India Board Index 2012, amongst all the women in the 100 Bombay Stock Exchange companies, only four women are currently in leadership positions. The companies included in the study were, HUL, ITC, Reliance Industries, ICICI Bank, Aditya Birla Group, SBI, IBM, Intel, Accenture, LG Electronics and Maruti.


K Sudarshan, regional managing partner, EMA Partners says that the study focused on listed as well as unlisted companies; hence the results may not be accurate. He adds, “The companies – public, private and MNCs – have been chosen on the basis of their profile and influence within their respective industries. They generally have industry best practices and women friendly policies in place.” He also believes that many companies in the country are pushing for diversity, which will lead to better evolution of the business sector.


[Picture Courtesy: Business Sense]

Current studies reveal that out of 52 CEOs in the financial sector, 15 are women; and by the end of this decade, the position of women in such positions will only increase. More and more females are receiving good education, which is leading to a drop in social stereotypes- this is another reason for the rise of women leaders.


Indian companies too are playing their part by providing women with flexibility and a friendlier environment to ensure they can maintain a good work-life balance. Naina Lal Kidwai, the head of HSBC India says, “The sensitivity of these organisations has helped keep women in the workplace at a stage where they traditionally drop off, usually at the time when they approach middle management.”