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Last Updated Friday April 27 2018 12:13 PM IST

Surprise, surprise: It’s not lack of ambition that holds women back

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Manju Warrier

Mumbai: Guess what, there’s no such thing as ‘ambition gap’. Well, at least in India. A whopping 87 per cent of Indian working women are seeking advancement in their careers, finds a survey challenging the commonly held view that women are not as ambitious as men.

However, only 60 per cent of women agreed that their company promotes diversity, while just 29 per cent reported having benefited from the program, revealed the survey led by global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG) titled ‘From Intention to Impact: Bridging the Diversity Gap in the Workplace.’

Conversely, 73 per cent of men believed that the workplace management is committed to gender diversity, suggesting that men were more optimistic about the company's commitment toward gender diversity than women.

"It is important to engage male employees to promote gender diversity. A strong correlation exists between men's support for gender diversity and its subsequent progress. Unless men are champions of equal stakeholders in this agenda, it will always remain a special interest women's support program," Priyanka Aggarwal, partner and director, at BCG, said in a statement on Monday.

"When men act as change agents, the program becomes free from any prejudices and policies are viewed as fair and neutral. Men can be involved as mentors for women or as core members of the design and implementation team of the programme," Aggarwal said.

Keeping in mind these disparities, the survey suggested that companies must spend their time and effort on time-tested and effective initiatives like anti-discrimination policies and regulatory requirements, providing parental leave and childcare and offering flexible working models.

The survey is based approximately on 1,500 employees across 25 large Indian companies seeking their perspectives on five categories of interventions-recruitment, retention, advancement, leadership, and culture to examine the diversity gaps in the workplace.

The opinions expressed here do not reflect those of Malayala Manorama. Legal action under the IT Act will be taken against those making derogatory and obscene statements.

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