Survey finds roadblocks to women in communications industry

The findings of the first edition of the ‘I Lead’ survey, a collaborative study launched to capture the experiences and challenges of women to reach leadership positions in the field of communications, has shown that less than half (42%) of women believe that equal pay for equal work is not practised in the field of communications.

The I Lead survey was conducted by Women’s Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s Public Relations and Digital Marketing Council and the Indian Institute of Management - Kozhikode (IIMK) in early 2021 among 1,000-plus woman professionals.

The survey was spread across genres of journalism, advertising, public relations, digital communications, content writing, corporate affairs, and corporate communications, a press release issued by the IIMK said on Tuesday.

Two-third (68%) of the respondents said that their organisations did not have a formal mentoring programme for aspiring woman leaders. More than half (53%) of the respondents said organisations did not have a clear career growth path for women joining post-maternity leave or taking critical care breaks.

Nearly 79% of women said the organisations considered home investments as gaps during promotions or assignment of critical work. More than half (53%) of the respondents said their employers did not recruit and engage in formal succession planning to ensure gender diversity.

The I Lead survey also captured the progress made by companies in recent years towards ensuring gender diversity, clearly indicating some big wins. Two-third of the respondents (68%) said male and female employees were evaluated on equal parameters. Also, 67% of participants accepted that their organisations valued and nurtured ambitious women.

More than half (63%) of the respondents affirmed that women were provided with upskilling opportunities. Besides 7 in 10 (74%) women agreed that their organisations encouraged them to speak up against workplace discrimination / harassment, clearly indicating a commitment to building a safe and inclusive culture.

Kavita Lakhani, director (operations), Weber Shandwick, and national president, WICCI Public Relations and Digital Marketing Council, said, “While 66% of respondents agreed to the existence of gender diversity at workplaces, 61% said equal number of men and women was not in leadership roles.”

Prof. Deepa Sethi, Chairperson, PGP-LSM, IIMK, and project coordinator, said, “It is high time women were treated equally. Diversity and inclusion policies need to be implemented in true essence. Women are not asking for special treatment. Nonetheless, they do deserve equal treatment in every aspect of work, including their climbing the ladder to leadership roles.”

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Printable version | May 25, 2022 3:55:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/survey-finds-roadblocks-to-women-in-communications-industry/article35573983.ece