International Women's Day: Survey reveals Indian females deteriorating position

| Sunday, March 8, 2015 - 11:48
First Published |

New Delhi : The socio-economic standing of women in India is the lowest among 16 Asia Pacific countries, even less than Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, indicating that much more needs to be done to achieve gender parity, says a MasterCard survey.

According to MasterCard’s latest Index of Women’s Advancement, which measures the socioeconomic standing of women across Asia Pacific, progress towards gender parity is “still sluggish”.

“Although women in Asia Pacific are increasingly more educated than their male counterparts, progress towards gender parity is still sluggish, especially in the areas of business leadership, business ownership and political participation,” the survey said.

Across the region, New Zealand had the highest overall Index score of 77, followed by Australia (76), the Philippines (72.6) and Singapore (70.5).
On the other hand, India (44.2), Bangladesh (44.6), Sri Lanka (46.2) and Bangladesh had scores below 50, indicating that much more needs to be done to achieve gender parity.

A score under 100 indicates gender inequality in favour of males while a score above 100 indicates inequality in favour of females. A score of 100 indicates equality between the sexes.

The survey further said that five markets, namely New Zealand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and Thailand had a score of 100.0, indicating that women are on par or better represented in secondary and tertiary institutions than their male counterparts.

Comparatively, women in India (85.7), South Korea (85.9) and Bangladesh (87.6) have fewer opportunities than men when it comes to secondary and tertiary education.

Moreover, women in India (99.0), Bangladesh (102.4) and China (99.6) have made the biggest strides towards attaining gender parity in “Regular Employment” over the past nine years, rising 39.6, 21.1 and 16.0 index points, respectively.

Commenting on the survey findings, MasterCard group head, Communications Asia Pacific Georgette Tan said “in a highly competitive market, companies are beginning to understand why integrating talented women into leadership structures is imperative for sustainable economic growth and innovation in both developed and developing markets.”

Indian woman playing multiple roles, but ignoring health: Survey

As Indian women continue to endeavour to do the best in their life and profession, they are tending to neglect their health, shows a recent survey.

According to the survey by insurer ICICI Lombard, only 39 per cent of respondents (women) were covered by any health insurance.

“It is an irony that despite playing multiple roles, women ignore their own health and well-being. In fact, the multi-responsibility avatar is precisely the reason why they should ensure good health for themselves.

“Today’s woman needs to give her health its due importance and health insurance is the critical tool which can help them stay protected from the perils of her hectic lifestyle,” ICICI Lombard GIC Chief - Underwriting and Claims - Sanjay Datta said quoting the survey.

The online survey was conducted by the private general insurer in February 2015, and saw it reviewing responses from 1,009 women.

It revealed that out of 79 per cent respondents, 16 per cent did not go for any tests while 63 per cent went for health check-ups only if unwell.
This, it pointed out, is despite 71 per cent of them succumbing to illness at least once or twice a year.

The pattern was established by ICICI Lombard’s claims data analysis for 2013 and 2014, which showed that women were prone to and increasingly succumbing to chronic ailments like arthritis, anaemia, metabolic disorders and cancer as compared to men.

The survey further revealed that only 39 per cent of the respondents were covered by health insurance. Among those who were not covered, 53 per cent had never thought about it, the report added.

Of the 39 per cent respondents who were covered, only 22 per cent had purchased a policy by themselves while a large share of around 63 per cent owned it through their husband or father with another 16 per cent having it sponsored by their employer.

Forty-eight per cent of those with health cover were not aware of cover details while 40 per cent did not know the process of how to avail claim benefits.

Indian female millennials most confident about career: Report

 Indian female millennials are most confident of their career progression as a majority of them believe that they will be able to reach top positions in their respective organisations, says a PwC report.

Millennial is a term used to refer those who are born between 1980s and 2000s.

According to a PwC report titled the Female Millennial: A new era of Talent, female millennials in India (76 per cent), Brazil (76 per cent) and Portugal (68 per cent) are most confident about their career progression as compared to a global average of 49 per cent.

“Female millennials are more highly educated and are entering the workforce in larger numbers than any of their previous generations. But, this is not the only thing that has changed.  They also enter the workforce with a different career mindset,” PwC International Chairman Dennis Nally said.

However, 74 per cent of Indian females surveyed felt that opportunities are not equal for all. When asked about being promoted from within, 21 per cent of Indian female millennials surveyed felt their employer was male biased.

The report said, 90 per cent of Indian and 86 per cent of global female millennials seek employers with a strong record on diversity and 71 per cent of global female millennials do not feel opportunities are really “equal for all”.

Globally also 43 per cent of female millennials believe employers are too male biased when it comes to promoting employees from within.

Millennial women in Spain, France and Ireland view employers in their country as the most male biased, versus Malaysia and the Philippines where female millennials are more optimistic.

Interestingly, female demand for international experience has never been higher with 71 per cent of female millennials wanting to work outside their home country during their career. Despite this, only 20 per cent of current international assignees are female, the report said.

“Our research also dispels some significant myths, for example that women leave work to have families,” PwC Global Diversity Leader Agnes Hussherr said.

“The female millennial was least likely to have left a former employer because she was starting a family, and most likely due to a lack of career opportunities,” Hussherr added.

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