Start-ups, SMEs Show Higher Female Workforce Participation: Report 

The DivHERsity Survey revealed that women constitute 34 per cent of the workforce in the surveyed companies. This figure improves slightly to 36 per cent in start-ups and SMEs.
Start-ups, SMEs Show Higher Female Workforce Participation: Report 

Herkey, a career community for women, announced the launch of its 6th edition of the DivHERsity Benchmarking Report 2023–2024. The DivHERsity Benchmarking Report is an industry-standard report on women's representation and diversity in corporate India. The report provides a compilation of data collected from more than 300 companies across India between January 2023 and January 2024. 

The DivHERsity Survey revealed that women constitute 34 per cent of the workforce in the surveyed companies. This figure improves slightly to 36 per cent in startups and SMEs, underscoring the importance of inclusive recruitment practices. Notably, large enterprises lead with a 38 per cent participation rate at the entry level. 

The share of women at mid-management and senior levels drops significantly to 19 per cent, highlighting a "broken rung" in the corporate ladder needing urgent attention, reads the report. 

The C-suite female hiring rate has also fallen to 24 per cent from 37 per cent in 2022, emphasizing the need for robust interventions to support women's progression to leadership roles. 

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Meanwhile, 84 per cent of companies have dedicated initiatives for recruiting women, with 98 per cent of large enterprises committed to gender diversity goals and 88 per cent achieving these objectives. Start-ups and SMEs have shown a 97 per cent success rate in meeting gender diversity targets, according to the report. 

The report mentions that despite a consistent increase in companies offering paternity leave from 86 percent in 2020 to 91 per cent in 2023, a concerning dip was observed in 2023, with 12 per cent of companies failing to provide paternity leave compared to last year's 6 per cent. This trend underscores a persistent lack of attention to the role of fathers in caregiving, highlighting the ongoing need for greater support in balancing professional and caregiving responsibilities. 

The report also reveals that 82 per cent of large enterprises and 67 per cent of SMEs and start-ups now conduct hiring drives specifically for women returning to the workforce. These returnee programs have a high success rate, with 93 per cent of women in large enterprises and 83 per cent in startups and SMEs being hired into full-time roles after participating in these programs. 

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