Diversity is being invited to the party but inclusion means being asked to dance

25 Jan 2021

Diversity is being invited to the party but inclusion means being asked to dance

To explore the state of gender diversity within India’s businesses, measure the progress towards a better balance, and hear the best practices that are making a difference. Odgers Berndtson invited female board members and CEOs from some of India’s leading companies to a roundtable discussion. This paper attempts to reflect the roundtable conversation and suggest ways that the drive for diversity might be accelerated to the benefit of all.

Our report ‘Gender Diversity in India' looks at the current situation of gender equality in Indian business leadership. Clearly, assembling diverse leadership teams should be a top priority for businesses that intend on building back stronger in the wake of Covid-19. Diverse leadership teams perform better financially, have a competitive advantage when recruiting for talent, and suffer from lower employee turnover was an important point brought out in the paper. Setting low benchmarks at an organisational level & deepening the talent pool of women are some of the immediate concerns for business leaders.

There are clear biases at work. A practical example shared was if a woman candidate negotiates for the industry benchmark in terms of pay, she would often be regarded negatively as money minded. This would not have been the case for a male counterpart, who might as well be praised for assertiveness in this regard. So when it comes to pay equity, it is definitely an organisational culture issue.

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Gender Diversity in India.

A roundtable of opinion on gender diversity from India’s leading woman business leaders.

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Our report explains and covers the following important areas:

  • The current situation of gender equality in Indian businesses
  • How Diversity of thought is a valuable asset
  • Explores questions around pay inequality
  • Hiring practices to overcome bias


If you’d like to find out more about how Odgers Berndtson India can help you identify talent to diversify your board, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.