Equal Economy: Women’s Participation in the Workforce

The Problem of Low Female Labour and Work Force Participation

Background
India’s Female Labour Force Participation Rate (FLPR) stands at 17.5% as per the latest estimates. In the global context of women’s employment, India is among the worst performers, bettering only countries like the Arab nations.

Not only are we failing to bring more women into the folds of gainful and meaningful employment, we have also been unsuccessful in arresting the untimely drop out of working women from the labour force.

What is stopping Indian women from being part of the paid workforce?
Primary Responsibility of Care
Women bear the burden of familial care, often having to give up promising careers to shoulder domestic responsibilities

Entrenched Gender Norms
Gender norms in India do not recognise women as active economic agents. India exhibits a well-documented pattern of women’s participation in the workforce during times of financial distress, only to withdraw under prosperous circumstances.

Lack of Support Systems
India’s public infrastructure needs to evolve a gender-consciousness. Women are hindered by issues like lack of mobility, absence of career counselling, migration support among others.

Lack of Quality Jobs
The economic growth of the country has not translated into quality jobs. The informal sector represents 81.6% of the employment for women but is characterized by poor and unsafe working conditions.

Lack of Role Models
The potential of role models and peers to motivate women to join the workforce are well-known. However, unless such role models are identified, and their stories channelized effectively, and transformed more concretely into opportunities of learning, counsel and mentorship, it is a lost opportunity.

About Equal Economy

EqualEconomy is a multi-stakeholder platform which design and execute contextual, scalable and sustainable solutions towards increasing workforce participation of women. All solutions are driven by data, with a focus on adoption and sustainability.

We recognise the need for solutions that are systemic and comprehensive, and rooted in the knowledge that women’s inability to participate in the workforce is an interplay of several contributing factors.
Sattva_EqualEconomy_HowWeWork

What we do
Underpinning our solutions are the key levers that enable systemic change:

  • Building Gender sensitive workplaces and Understanding and exploring untapped segments of potential employment and growth for women – the MSMEs, customer experience roles, flexi-work, technology jobs.
  • Ecosystem-level support interventions, such as, affordable and safe transportation, childcare services, counselling etc.
  • Households that encourage and support women’s aspirations
  • Understanding and exploring untapped segments of potential employment and growth for women – the MSMEs, customer experience roles, flexi-work, technology jobs.

Training and On-The-Job Interventions
An employer-led, experiential, skilling program that enables young women to enter customer experience roles through a systemic intervention that involves skilling for employability, counselling and mentorship support and On-the-Job training.

Counselling and Awareness Building
Solution to foster agency and awareness among college students and build resilience and aspiration amongst women in the world of work.

Advocacy Initiatives
Action-oriented research undertaken to inform policy and civil society initiatives. Read our report: Work and Labour Force Participation in India – A Meta-Study – A 360-degree study that takes stock of academic, policy and civil society discourses on the reasons for low female workforce participation in India.

We are also working on several other solutions including, role-modelling and mentorship solutions, employer interventions for gender diversity, childcare, among others, for different profiles of women.
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Talk to us today to find out how you can partner with us or get involved: solutions@sattva.co.in

Abhishek Gogoi

Abhishek is an executive-search professional with our leadership hiring team, Careers In Impact. He has 4+ years of experience. Previously he has worked as a Research Analyst at Egon Zehnder and Heidrick & Struggles. During this time he has worked on mandates helping clients across the globe with their leadership hiring and executive assessment needs.

He holds a M.Sc in Economic Development and Policy Analysis from the University of Nottingham and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics Honours from University of Delhi.

CII Global Sports Summit ‘Scorecard’ 2018

The fourth edition of CII Global Sports Summit ‘Scorecard’ 2018 is scheduled to be held on 26 – 27 July 2018 at Hotel Le Meridian, New Delhi. The mission of the initiative is to get 300 crore children to play for an hour every day and the theme for this year’s summit is – ‘Sports @ 2022: Making India Play’

The CII Sports ‘Making India Play’ fund aims to invest in sports development so that sports education and sports infrastructure become more accessible to the youth of the nation. CII believes that sports is a tool for social inclusion and allowing it to grow beyond leagues and sponsorships can turn India’s sporting vision into reality.

The event will bring together top names from India and overseas operating in various segments of sports. Key industry stakeholders will have the opportunity to deliberate and discuss the most suitable course of action for boosting sports in India with a focus on sports education in schools.

At the event, our CEO, Srikrishna Sridhar Murthy will moderate a session on ‘CSR Funding in Grassroot Sports’ on 27 July from 10:00 – 11:00 hrs.

Sattva is privileged to partner with CII-Sports for this transformative initiative.

Be there to know how you can support every child’s hour of play. Register here.

Video: Design for Social Impact

“When you set off to make big social impact with product design, two things can make all the difference – the right social context and being prepared to take big risks.”

This was how our CEO Srikrishna Sridhar Murthy kicked off the Introduction to Design Thinking session for the applicants of the Design:Impact Awards.

The Awards promote visionary and transformative product design for social impact. The initiative has had a tremendous response and here is a quick glance at the applications received.

The applicants have been through selection processes and learning sessions and the finalists of Design:Impact Awards have now been selected. These life-changing innovations from all over the country are a great showcase of how great design can create great impact.

The initiative has had a tremendous response and Sattva is proud to partner with Design:Impact Awards to promote visionary and transformative product design for social impact.

Meet the finalistshttps://youtu.be/hIMYHuY97rM

Lakshmi Sethuraman

Lakshmi currently leads the sales function at Sattva. She has been with Sattva since 2010 and has led a diverse set of projects during this time working extensively with leaders of social organisations in building and scaling their operations sustainably. She has also worked with key CSR clients of Sattva in designing, implementing impactful programmes.

Prior to Sattva, Lakshmi has worked with the Manipal Group, Jubilant Retail and ITC Hotels across sales, business development and strategy functions. She holds a PGDM from T.A.Pai Management Institute.

Anita Kumar

Anita Kumar leads the Strategic Initiatives group at Sattva. She has over a decade of experience in both the private sector and the development sector and has worn various hats – employee in a large corporate, freelancer, and entrepreneur. She was with Procter & Gamble for five years in Sales & then Go-to-market Strategy for All-India. In 2009 she shifted to the development sector to use her skills to solve more complex social issues, and was consulting with different social organisations through her firm InsightsApplied including the Tamil Nadu Government, and various Foundations. For about 1.5 years, she consulted full-time with one of the large skill training organisations in the country helping them across a range of activities including mission alignment, impact measurement, sales strategy and partnerships.

Last year she co-founded a social enterprise which used technology to bridge information gaps about learning and livelihoods for disadvantaged youth. Anita is a graduate of IIM Calcutta (2004) and has an MSc in Development Management from LSE.

Vrunda Bansode

Vrunda Bansode leads Marketing at Sattva. She has co-founded two education sector ventures, which focus on experiential STEM education for children. She has been part of the management team at NSRCEL – the startup incubator at IIM Bangalore, where she was also involved in conceptualising and setting up an incubator for early-stage non-profits in association with MSDF. She continues to actively contribute to entrepreneurship development, early-stage venture incubation eco-system and women entrepreneurship development initiatives through workshops, sessions and writing. She has co-authored a book for children called “Become a Junior Inventor” published by Penguin Random House.

Her prior work experience includes working with large corporations such as Bosch, Honeywell, Apple and Intuit in different capacities. She holds a Master’s degree from University of Pune and a PGDBM from Indo-German Training Centre, Mumbai.

Sports in Education: CII Sports

India, with its large young population, increasing levels of opportunity, and with highly successful sporting leagues, is at the cusp of a sporting revolution. We are poised to take a giant leap – which can potentially catapult our standing on the world stage and create opportunities for employment.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Sattva strongly believe that the role of sports in holistic development and social inclusion has a ripple effect on socio-economic growth. Sattva is working closely with CII on the Making India Play Fund to realise its vision of bringing about a culture of sports in the country through the following actionable areas:

1. Evangelising sports with a strong emphasis on the grassroots level
2. Creating a culture of sports in schools through the formal education system
3. Optimal utilisation of sports infrastructure and efficient creation of new facilities
4. Enhancing the involvement of the corporate sector in scaling up the ‘business of sports’
5. Channelising corporate CSR funds for the development of sports.

SelectHER: Women in the Workforce

What would happen if 50% of the workforce in the world and in India were women?

. The world could add $12 trillion to GDP in 2025, doubling the contribution of women to global growth in the coming decade
. India alone can add $2.9 trillion to its GDP by fully bridging the gender gap in the workplace
. This means a 60% increase in GDP, than business-as-usual in 2025

What does this mean for Indian society?

. Gender equality in society
. Better education for future generations
. Improved family well being

Through our primary and secondary research, we have found that there is significant business value in hiring women, especially in customer experience roles.

. Gender-diverse business units have 14% higher revenue in retail and 19% higher average quarterly net profit in hospitality, as compared to less gender-diverse units.
. Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care

Having quality talent in customer facing roles has become a priority for the high growth industries with a B2C focus.

. 89 percent of companies worldwide expect to compete mostly based on customer experience in 2016, versus 36 percent just five years ago
. The same is true for India as well, where 74% of the CXOs indicated that the importance of customer experience is growing within their company

Sattva embarked on a mission last year, along with Global Development Incubators and Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN), supported by J.P. Morgan, to provide a high-quality pipeline of female candidates in customer experience roles for bridge-to-luxury retail brands.

Over the past year, we trained 100 women and placed 77%. However, the learnings were significant and we observed multiple demand-supply mismatches that were systemic by nature and cannot be solved by skill training alone.

There is a need for disruptive, holistic solution over and above skilling. Sattva is looking to solve this problem by moving the needle from a skilling-only solution to a systemic solution engaging stake-holders across the value-chain.

Key Tenets for SelectHER Phase 2:

. High-growth industries with future-focused customer-experience roles
Employer as Partner through the candidate life-cycle, over and beyond the “training” period alone
. On-the-Job employability skills to be the significant differentiator
. Leverage technology to reduce friction, information asymmetry

Stay tuned for more updates on the programme!

Micro-entrepreneurship

Sattva is working in collaboration with Smart Power India (SPI) to address issues of gender gaps and bringing rural women into mainstream employment through setting up a micro apparel-manufacturing centre. The centre aims to connect willing women to mainstream market by providing them training and sustained employment.

Sattva’s approach for the micro-apparel manufacturing centre is designed in such a way that it addresses the key problems of the rural communities of Uttar Pradesh highlighted above and tries to solve a small part of the larger unemployment and migration problems. The intention of the above micro enterprise development projects is to scale this business model to more and more villages and create a cluster of these micro apparel centres into a small-scale industries which provides employment to local communities and empowers women in the region.

Salient features of the apparel manufacturing centre:

1. The workforce to get at least 40% of the selling price on a per piece basis, which is much more than the current percentage of 10-20% of the selling price.
2. Women to form major percentage of the workforce in our centre
3. Entrepreneur driven centre in which the selected entrepreneur is from the community
4. The centre would be handed over to the community to be run by them in course of 2-3 years.

In other words, we are looking at this as a solution, i.e. more than just a “unit cost”, and enabling impact that has to go beyond measurement, to also look at scale + sustainability.