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‘Just 12 per cent women working in manufacturing sector’: Research

The number is abysmally low even when women representation in the sector has increased in the last three years, moving up 4 percentage points between 2019 and 2021 from 8% to 12%.

Published: 17th November 2021 03:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2021 09:48 AM   |  A+A-

A worker in a factory

Representational Image (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Women make for only 12% of India’s manufacturing sector, which employs 27.3 million people, suggests a GE and Avtar research released on Tuesday. 

The number is abysmally low even when women representation in the sector has increased in the last three years, moving up 4 percentage points between 2019 and 2021 from 8% to 12%.

The research released at GE’s BELONG 2021 conclave says, the impediments for workforce participation of women in the Indian context include gaps in educational attainment, social norms, restrictive institutional frameworks, etc., which in the manufacturing sector are compounded by challenges related to physical safety, infrastructural gaps, legal and regulatory challenges, shift working, conscious or unconscious biases in promotion or recruitment of women, among others.

On what impedes women career growth in these sectors, it reveals, “63% women said it was stereotypical notions about women’s abilities and 59% said it was biased appraisal process. Men responded differently, with 54% saying it’s the restrictive government regulation followed by a lack of support from supervisors (51%).”

In fact, it adds, more men (30%) than women (10%) identified sexual harassment at workplace as a discrimination faced by women in the sector.

Industry observations also indicate that women are not aware of the job opportunities in the manufacturing sector, says the research, adding the maternity retention rate in the sector has also been traditionally poor, with many women take maternity leave, never to come back.

In India, women’s workforce participation rate is amongst the lowest in the world and has declined from 26.4% in 2005 to 19.9% in 2020, according to World Bank data.



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