As much as 81 per cent of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) jobs in India perceive a gender bias in performance evaluation and are more likely to quit jobs at mid-career level, a survey said.
Women in India tend to drop out of workforce at key phases in their lives, most notably around childbearing years and later at mid-management levels, the latest Kelly Global Workforce Insights survey on Women in STEM, said.
The most significant driver is the ‘double burden syndrome’ of women struggling to balance work and family in a culture where both men and women feel the family and household duties are primarily the woman’s responsibility, it said.
While women represent 46 per cent of all enrolled undergraduate students in STEM, not many continue to pursue careers, according to the survey released here.
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“About 41 per cent of women in technology companies leave after 10 years of experience, compared to 17 per cent of men,” said Kamal Karanth, Managing Director, Kelly Services & Kelly OCG India. “This is a very worrying scenario.”
Consequently, there are few women left to fill roles at the top, said the KGWI survey, adding, this glaring disparity is clearly visible in publicly traded companies.
Kelly Services, Inc provides workforce solutions offering a comprehensive array of outsourcing and consulting services as well as staffing on a temporary, temporary-to-hire and direct-hire basis across the globe.
KGWI is an annual global survey that brings together work and workplace insights sourced from across the Americas, EMEA and APAC regions. The study takes a look at the talent gap that exists between men and women STEM fields with feedback from 1,64,000 workers across 28 countries and a multitude of industries and occupations, it said.
In 2015, 12 per cent of the companies had failed to fulfil the mandate of having at least one woman representative on their board, the survey said.
Of the 50 companies in the NIFTY index, only five had two female directors. 53 per cent met this directive by appointing directors that were either wives or sisters of executives and not really independent members.
According to the survey, 77 per cent of female workers complained of double standards in training opportunities for women, 76 per cent believed that men have a genetic advantage in math and science and 66 per cent felt that women would never get top positions irrespective of their performance.
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