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Want More Women Entrepreneurs / Leaders? Send Daughters To Engineering Coaching, Says BW-DeCode Survey

The survey says Indira Gandhi, as PM, did most for women, but ranks BJP as the most women-friendly party

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Ever wondered why there are so few women corporate leaders and entrepreneurs? 

While there have been belated attempts to promote women entrepreneurship, it’s public knowledge that women / girls’ representation in IITs and IIMs remains abysmally low, and the result is that there are so few women engineers, managers and leaders.

But why do we have so few women students in IITs and IIMs?

BW Businessworld chose the International Women’s Day to probe the question, and in partnership with Decode did a nation-wide and Corporate India survey to ascertain the reasons. A whopping 74 per cent respondents said that parents send sons and not daughters to coaching for engineering entrance!

Asked again, why do IIMs not have 50 per cent women students, a whopping 70 per cent felt that it was due to the fact the parents sent sons and not daughters to management entrance coaching! 

Close to half of the respondents (46 per cent) said that parents inculcated in daughters that marriage was their sole aim, as a result of which they were not conditioned to prepare for engineering / management entrance examinations.

Whether it’s entrepreneurship, management, or education, the place of girls or women therein is a crucial aspect. In India, however, there is a big question mark even over their birth: More than half (52 per cent) of the mood of the nation and Corporate India survey respondents said that girls never got an equal chance to be born in India.

As many as 78 per cent of the respondents said that female infanticide and foeticide never found a mention in national discourse and 90 per cent of the respondents felt that political parties should actively include this in their manifestos.

It’s not that political parties have done nothing for the girl child. As many as 82 per cent of the respondents felt that schemes like Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and Laxmi Ladli Yojna were great enablers in providing girls and women a level playing field.

Interestingly, asked to rank chief ministers who have introduced most women-friendly schemes and welfare measures, respondents chose Pinari Vijayan of Kerala right on the top, followed by Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal and then M L KHattar of Haryana. Narendra Modi’s work as former Gujarat CM ranks after them.

It’s often seen that girls outshine boys in school examinations and board examinations. Yet, often, they fail to make successful careers. 64 per cent of the respondents felt that it was due to the existing social mores and 60 per cent felt it was due to family pressure.

Yes, raising a family is a hindrance to a full-time career for women professionals, felt 60 per cent of the respondents.

Asked what measures can the government and corporates take to ensure greater women participation at the work place, the answers were interesting – 74 per cent of the respondents felt that women workers should be given flexi hour schemes while 72 per cent of the respondents felt that women should be given an option to work from home. 62 per cent also stressed for greater paternity leaves for male partners for more support at home.

Half of the respondents (50 per cent) felt that corporates don’t encourage these practices at the workplace.

Sixty six per cent of the respondents felt that women find it tough to be corporate leaders, and 70 per cent of the respondents felt that it’s the overall surroundings and environment that make it tough for women to become corporate leaders. For example, 66 per cent of the respondents felt that corporates don’t fulfil the mandatory clause of having at least one women director on the board.

However, 88 per cent felt that there are enough women leaders who inspire, and 78 per cent of the respondents felt that there should be a legislation for ensuring a minimum percentage of women at the workplace. 86 per cent favoured immediate legislation on one-third quota for women in legislations and parliament.

Asked to name the most women-friendly political party, 34 per cent voted for the BJP, followed by 24 per cent for the Congress and 22 per cent for the Trinamool. Twelve per cent voted for the Left and 8 per cent for the BSP-SP.

Asked to name the PM, who did the most for women, respondents chose Indira Gandhi at the top, followed by P V Narasimha Rao, Narendra Modi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Jawaharlal Nehru in that order.

Forty-six per cent of the respondents felt that women’s day should be celebrated everyday rather than earmarking one day for it.

The combined Corporate India + Mood of the Nation survey was conducted with 320 Corporate and 2080 General Population respondents from across 14 cities in India. The mode of the survey was online surveys.

Research Agency: The data compilation and analysis was done byDecode Research and Analytics --  led by Havish Madhvapaty (Co-Founder – Decode Research and Analytics; Founder – Havish M. Consulting) and Raunak Singh (Analyst).


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