The Udaiti Foundation launches "Close the Gender Gap (CGG)" initiative to promote gender equality 

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Tuesday, December 12, 2023
the udaiti foundation launches "close the gender gap (cgg)" initiative to promote gender equality 

The Udaiti Foundation), a women's economic empowerment organization, launched “Close the Gender Gap” (CGG) data hub at “Women in India Inc” Summit today. The initiative aims to drive transformative changes in gender representation and policies within the formal sector. 

The CGG platform compiled longitudinal company-wise data from 2000 companies based on market capitalisation and brought to the fore gender dynamics within private sector organizations. Larger organizations have more women, but they face challenges in moving to senior positions. Smaller firms however have more women in leadership. When it comes to women’s leadership on boards, there is much ground to cover, 43% report one mandatory female Board member, plunging to a mere 11% with more than two female BoDs. This underscores the need for greater commitments for gender inclusion in leadership and beyond. Against this backdrop, a ray of optimism shines through—the formal sector witnesses a commendable 3% surge in women's representation over the last 3 years, led by the Healthcare and Services sector with an outstanding 5% increase.

High-level stakeholders from the corporate sector participated in the event that hold dialogues on hiring, retention, advancement, and leadership of women in corporate India. Some of the delegates include Naina Lal Kidwai, Former Group Head HSBC India & Former President, FICCI, Jasjit Kang, SVP & Business Head, Digital Operations & Platforms, Wipro; Manjaree Chowdhary, Senior Executive Director and General Counsel, Maruti Suzuki India; Pankaj Rai, Group Chief Data Analytics Officer, Aditya Birla Management Corporation Pvt Ltd; Sabeena Shaji, Vice President, Human Resources, Federal Bank, Shailja Mehta, Director, Dasra and Shalini Puchalapalli, Country Head and Director, Google Customer Solutions at Google among others.

Padma Shri Naina Lal Kidwai, Former Group Head HSBC India, Former President, FICCI said that “Rhetoric alone will not be enough to drive gender equality in corporate India. We need sharp baseline data, and top leadership accountability to drive meaningful outcomes and lasting change.”

Pooja Goyal, CEO of The Udaiti Foundation, highlighted the transformative nature of CGG, stating, “More than a platform, CGG is an invitation to companies, boards, experts, policymakers, and employees to join hands, leveraging our data hub to catalyze commitments and drive meaningful action for gender parity at work. It's not just a tool; it's a movement to accelerate progress, foster inclusion, and build a workplace where every individual thrives.”

Accessible through a user-friendly web interface, CGG aspires to provide data-driven insights and practical resources to cultivate a more inclusive workplace environment. It empowers users to seamlessly explore and interact with the data, enabling the generation of sector-wise, year-wise, and comparative reports. 

In his summit opening address Ashish Dhawan, Advisor, The Udaiti Foundation emphasized that “Women's economic empowerment is a key driver for national economic growth. Over the last 3 decades, India has seen a steady increase in women’s education levels but paradoxically that has not translated to higher female labour force participation rates. As India stands at the precipice of significant growth, it is critical that we build data backed evidence to improve the share of quality jobs, advance women’s enterprise and build gender infrastructure.”

Amid such challenges of stagnant women representation and nascent reporting, limited to a certain size of companies, disaggregated data, CGG aligns with broader industry movements, offering comprehensive evidence to understand the gaps, cross -learn and develop policies based on actual data, paving the way for a future where gender equality is actively pursued and seamlessly integrated into the professional realm. Therefore, CGG urges stakeholders to champion diversity, fostering tangible change with practical resources.

 

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