Women constitute 36% of workforce in Indian start-ups and SMEs, finds HerKey report

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A recent study has found that the share of women hired in C-suite has fallen to 24% from 37% recorded in the previous edition. Women make up 36% of Indian startups and SMEs, found a study conducted by Her Key. According to the latest edition of HerKey’s DivHERsity Benchmarking Report 2023–24, women constitute 34% of all the surveyed companies.

The study was conducted across 300 companies of which large enterprises led with 38% women participation rate at the entry level. However, a drop was noticed at mid-management and senior levels–to 19%.

Further, the study found that the share of women hired in the C-suite category has fallen to 24% from 37% as compared to the previous edition. This drop points to a pressing need for robust interventions to support women’s progression to the highest echelons of corporate leadership.

Commenting on the findings, Neha Bagaria, Founder & CEO, HerKey said, “Women don’t face a constraint on ambition—they face a constraint on opportunity. The DivHERsity Benchmarking Report underscores the need for continued efforts to elevate women to leadership roles.”

According to the study, 84% of surveyed companies have dedicated initiatives for recruiting women and 98% of large enterprises have committed to gender diversity goals in hiring, with a noteworthy 88% successfully achieving these objectives. Start-ups and SMEs are also following suit, boasting a success rate of 97%.

Almost 82% of the large enterprises surveyed and 67% of the SMEs and start-ups have rolled out initiatives to hire women returning to work. Per the claims of the respondents, the success rate of such programmes is very high. Notably, a significant chunk of women employees in large enterprises (93%) and start-ups and SMEs (83%) get hired through such programmes.

Founded in 2015, HerKey claims to be working with over 15,000 companies across India, enabling them to hire women employees.

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