Women face wage gap, questions on their capabilities: Experts

Last Updated 20 March 2014, 11:27 IST

Some of the apparent challenges that women face in professional lives are similar to those faced by men, but the two real issues faced by the fairer sex are questions on their capabilities and wage gap, experts say.

At the entry level, most organisations do well in hiring and training women but the struggle with retention begins when women reach mid-managerial levels.

"The two real issues faced by women are poor perception of capabilities and wage gap - studies show that in the US, women still earn only 77 per cent of what men do for the same job," Tata Communications Global Head Human Resources Aadesh Goyal said.

Often, as a result of this, the higher-up one is promoted, the number of women gets fewer, resulting in fewer role models and mentors for women leaders, Goyal added.Women face domestic commitments that make them leave when they are at mid-managerial levels.

According to the new insight paper by global workforce solution provider ManpowerGroup on how to get women leaders and retain them, gender parity in an organisation can maximise the human potential and drive better business results.

"Growing the pipeline of women in leadership roles is critical to succeeding in the Human Age," ManpowerGroup Executive Vice President Global Strategy and Talent Mara Swan said, adding, women are being "funnelled" out of the leadership roles through 'one-size-fits-all' approaches.

"CEOs must adopt one-size-fits-one systems and re-examine their companies' policies and cultures to drive this needed change across entire organisations," Swan said.

Over the past decade, however, the attitude towards women professionals has evolved. Today, there are far more women at top positions in large global enterprises, experts said.

"With advancements in collaborative technologies and the consequent increase in flexibility, companies have become more open to the idea of introducing work from home, flexible working hours and leave policies for women employees," Tata Communications' Goyal said.

As per the World Economic Forum data, there is a strong correlation between countries that are most successful at closing the gender gap and those that are most economically competitive.

The research found the companies with a high percentage of female employees, particularly in board positions, fare better than competitors.

(Published 20 March 2014, 09:54 IST)

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