Transfer to distant places on promotion could be the "single most contributing factor" for women not taking up higher responsibilities in banks, a Parliamentary panel report has said.
In its report tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, the Committee on Empowerment of Women said it can never shy away from grievances of women employees.
The Finance Ministry had attributed women employees' unwillingness "to go higher cadres" to their "family responsibilities" and said the Public Sector Banks (PSBs) are giving two year leave and favourable posting. In the report 'Working Conditions of Women in PSBs', the panel said it had "found time and again that transfer of women employees on promotion to distant places have always been an obstacle in the way of career progression for them".
It also said this may be the "single most contributing factor as to why women represented in higher grades are in far less numbers than expected".
"At present women comprise 24 per cent of the workforce of PSBs and more than half are in the clerical cadre," the panel noted.
Women account for 1,96,374 of the 8,57,868-strong work force in PSBs, of which 72,625 are officers while 1,02,354 are clerks and 20,475 work at level of sub-staff.
Urban and Semi-urban branches have 26 and 20 per cent women staff while it is 13 per cent in rural banks. The Ministry had also informed the panel that 138 women are in the top executive grade and 1,719 in senior management grades.
The panel wanted the government to take measures to improve the percentage of women in senior positions.
It asked banks to set up special cells in their headquarters and zonal officers to deal with cases of women employees forgoing their promotions because of their inability to relocate on account of family or other reasons.