Proportion of women in Indian workforce very low: Justin Trudeau
Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday said the proportion of women in the Indian workforce is “very low” at 26-27% and exhorted companies to “pledge” for increasing their numbers.
“In India, about 26 to 27 per cent participation in the workplace is women, which is very low. It is something which requires a lot of work,” Trudeau said during an interaction with ICICI Bank managing director and chief executive Chanda Kochhar at the Canada-India Business Forum in Mumbai.
He underlined that increasing the number of women is “not only a nice thing, but a smart thing” to do as their economic success leads to better impact on the broader society.
He asked business leaders to listen to successful women leaders in order to understand the challenges that they face in their career and how they have overcome it, which can be replicated in their respective organisations.
Trudeau held a roundtable meet with women business leaders, including Kochhar, Ipsita Dasgupta of Star India, fashion designer Anita Dongre, Accenture’s Rekha Menon, lawyer Zia Mody and i-banker-turned-entrepreneur Falguni Nayar, among others.
He said the meeting was so insightful that it went on for 90 minutes rather than the scheduled 60 minutes.
Kochhar said the women leaders at the meeting decided to come out with a pledge for companies, where they will commit for increasing the particpation of women in every economic activity.
“It is not about nice to have women. It is an economic imperative...We want a pledge to say that we would encourage more and more women participation in every field of activity,” she said.
Trudeau asked all the corporates present and other business leaders to adopt the same pledge in order to create a more diversified workplaces.
He said China has worked a lot on this front, but conceded that there is a greater amount of work to be done on the gender income disparity in his country.