Should workplace diversity be a key deciding factor during hiring?

Women make up  42%  of new graduates but only 24% of entry-level professionals.

At senior levels, their representation is even less:

  • 20% are in senior management roles
  • 12% hold board seats

There is however a strong correlation between diversity and business outperformance.

Hiring is a key factor in determining the number of women in the workforce, which begs the question - Should workplace diversity be a key deciding factor during hiring?



Debate Closed!

77%
Yes
23%
No

Your Views

All Yes No Moderator
Moderator

We celebrate international women’a day on 8th March every year. Brand like to capitalize on the popularity of the day to reach out to their female audience. From spa vouchers to discounted shoes- everything is done to ‘pamper’ women. Do you think such women’s day celebrations empower or celebrate women in any way? Is it high time we call out the hidden agenda of increasing sales in such inauthentic endeavours? What would you want for women’s day instead?

Moderator

Thank you all for your participation. It is such ardent debate and dialogue that we as a nation direly need right now. It is with such dialogue that we can change the nature of the social fabric and then bring upon a change in the participation of women in this young, rapidly growing economy of ours.

While we have had majority of the people vote in favour of diversity hiring, even those against it have expressed that they would like to see more women at workplace, with just different ways of bringing the change.

We have heard some brilliant ideas from each other on this forum. Here’s hoping that we go back to our respective industries, organizations and homes, and be the change we want to see.

See you next week for another debate on another very important topic related to women at workplace. 

Sheeba
Yes

It's not discrimination when it's a quota for socially (& now economically) backward classes. Similarly, if we've been underrepresented since centuries, we getting in a firm due to diversity isn't at all discrimination. It's us getting our right back. Balancing the power.

Vidhya Sivakumar
Yes

Women still have higher responsibility when it comes to taking care of the family, hence flexible workplaces are a must if we want equal or higher % of women in workforce.

Suman Kumari Sharma
Yes

Women's have equal rights then mens,women's should get respects in all places,women's should fight for her right's.

No

I disagree cause every one has to fight their own battle and winning always is optional, Learning should be mandatory.

Kiran Kanteliya
Yes

Focus on understanding WHY ; communicating the why and driving inclusion will help orgs leverage the power of diversity .. making it a near term reality

No

Workplace diversity should not be a key factor while hiring however gender imbalance is a serious problem facing organizations and they need to think of strategies to improve the workplace gender diversity.

Moderator

When a man is confident and assertive, he’s said to have good leadership skills. When a woman is, she’s called bossy. Right from childhood, we teach little girls to smile more and argue less. 

How far do you think is our culture responsible for low representation of women at workplace, particularly at senior levels?

Moderator

If we look at the portrayal of women in our popular culture, it doesn't come as a surprise when women hold less than 12% of corporate board seats in India. Take for example, advertisements of household products that assume that only women are the target market for detergents, kids' cereals, kitchen appliances and so on. At the same time, marketers of insurance and other financial products assume that men are the only earning members of the households.

Do you think that such stereotyping in media has an impact on how women are hired and perceived at workplace?

Moderator

Since we have a lot of people in favour of the topic, I would also like to question the premise of diversity hiring.

When you prefer a female candidate over male just because of her gender, would it not lead to the same kind of discrimination that we were trying to fight against?

In order to stop discrimination against women, is it ok to discriminate against men?

Moderator

As pointed out by Gita, Sarah, Aditi and Shweta, the bigger problem is at senior levels. Women’s representation in entry level jobs is much better than middle and top management. In some sectors, it is as high as 40%. What can this be inferred is that a) women don’t get promoted as well as men and b) they don’t have the support system to join work back post maternity.

If that is true, can diversity hiring really address the problem?

No

We are all aware of the fact that there is a gender gap in organisations as we go up the pyramid. Mostly for women in the 30s, entering into middle management. But the fact is that there is a distinct awareness of this fact today. Most large companies are trying to figure out how to reduce attrition and retain their women. Also as a Partner in one of the oldest executive search companies in the country, we are seeing an increase in clients who want to specifically hire women so as to increase diversity.

Gita Manian
Sarah Hussain
Yes

I do believe in diversified attitude not only for hiring but also for ranking and promoting .

Sarah Hussain
Yes

Yes I do believe In diversified approach for not only hiring but also for ranking and promoting.

Monika Navandar
Yes

Diversity & Inclusion is my core forte. I believe innovation & creativity is inspired by people with diverse perspectives and backgrounds making unexpected connections that break new ground. Multi-dimensional diversity is the most powerful when organizations can activate it through inclusive behavior and organizational structures that break down existing silos. This is at the heart of what I do.

Rashmi Shergill
Yes

Yes I do believe that diversity should be one of the factors while initial hiring. Been part of the Indian Navy for 12 years and recently relieved of my duties, I did experience this in my work force. It has been more that 25 years that the Indian navy started inducting women officers but the disparity in form of the work, position, rank, seniority and responsibilities still exists and true competition and equal opportunities seems like a far dream. Commander Rashm Shergill (Retd)

Aditi Aggarwal
Yes

Women are overlooked during hiring and during promotions. We have to plug the gap right at the hiring stage. These old age segregated systems have been continuing on since time immemorial seen across Chinese civilisations, indian and others . Every instance the man is shown to be superior to the woman and this mentality at the workplace can only change if diversity norms are locked down.

Shweta Joshi
Yes

Women have very low representation in middle managerial roles, though most companies are pushing to increase the representation at an entry level but for certain roles, specifically middle managerial the employers look at women with baggage attached, for e.g I have faced a question on travel and family planning though most of the companies comply with 6 months maternity but when it comes to hiring women that seems as a hinderance. The mindset doesn't change as the Executive levels are always filled with men and hence the patriarchy reflects in their thought process.

Moderator

Is diversity hiring only about balancing the gender ratio in organizations?

Or do we also need it to challenge the patriarchal mindset that is deeply ingrained in our society?

What happened at Sabarimala recently made it clear that as a society we are still ok with not letting the women get in. 

What do you think, can diversity hiring make it better?