Mumbai, Jan 27: Women are under-represented in the workforce globally, including in India, and if the current rate of progress continues only 40 per cent would reach the professional and managerial ranks in 2025, according to a global report.
"The traditional methods of advancing women are not moving the needle, and under-representation of women around the world has become an economic and social travesty," Mercer's Pat Milligan said quoting the 'Global Leader of When Women Thrive' report.
She said while leaders have been focusing on women at the top, they are largely ignoring the female talent pipelines that are critical to maintaining progress. The global study covered 583 organisations in 42 countries, including India, representing 3.2 million employees, including 1.3 million women.
"Focus on women across the complete talent pipeline and in all organisational and people processes needs to become a way of life. A key driver of this change will be how both men and women champion the cause of women at work," Mercer's Shanthi Naresh said.
In terms of regional rankings, Latin America is projected to increase women representation to 49 per cent in 2025 from 36 per cent in 2015, followed by Australia and New Zealand moving to 40 per cent from 35 per cent.
The US and Canada may improve by just 1 per cent to 40 per cent from 39 per cent, Europe is projected to remain flat at 37 per cent and Asia may rank last at 28 per cent, up from just 25 per cent in 2015. The report said Asia is projected to have the lowest representation of women in 2025.
A focus on increasing representation at the top of organisations will not help Asia move out of last place over the next decade in terms of overall female representation.
Organisations here are least likely, compared with other regions, to be focused on many of the drivers of gender diversity parameters like the engagement of their middle managers (30 per cent) and their male employees (28 per cent), the adoption of a rigorous pay equity process (25 per cent), or the review of performance ratings by gender to look for adverse impact (20 per cent).
The report also found that representation of women within organisations declines as career levels rise, that is from support staff through the executive level.
It also revealed that only 9 per cent of organisations surveyed globally offer women-focused retirement and savings programmes with the US and Canada ranking first (14 per cent).
Globally, women make up 33 per cent of managers, 26 per cent of senior managers and only 20 per cent of executives.