Women play a critical role in society and for the development of the economy. But in recent years, the role of women in the corporate sector is declining. In India, according to the maternity amendment law, 2017, companies, startups or even small firms have to provide 26 weeks paid leave to the female employees. To avoid these costs companies are avoiding hiring female employees now. In some cases, small startups are even hiring no females now.
Local Circles surveyed 8500 companies which gave worrying data. About 49% of the companies hired zero or fewer women. 16% of the companies hired more women than before, and 33% hired the same number of female employees compared to the previous year.
Local Circles also reported than companies with annual turnover less than ten crores should get exempted from providing paid maternity leave or get it reduced to 3 months. After the amendment in maternity act 2017, startups and small companies are avoiding female employees of the age group 25 to 35.
Indian women also face gender pay gap issues. According to the report by MSI (Monster Salary Index), men earn 46.19 rupees more than women. The median gross hourly salary for women and men is Rs 196.3 and Rs 242.49, respectively. These conditions surprisingly prevail in most of the sectors, including IT, healthcare, management, social work, etc.
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The women workforce in India is just 27% has a lower proportion in addition to GDP growth rate. To achieve USD 700 billion to the GDP growth, the women workforce needs to be 48% in the next ten years.
Comparison Of Paid Maternity Leave In Different Countries
It is also crucial to look at the paid maternity leaves offered by different countries to understand women’s empowerment in the corporate world and why there is a reduction in women hiring. In India the paid maternity leave is 26 weeks, before 2017 this tenure was 12 weeks.
The USA doesn’t have paid maternity leave policy. These mean female employees won’t get paid if they take leave during pregnancy. In Singapore, 16 weeks of paid maternity leave is provided, and its expense is borne by the Singapore government. Just like Singapore, most of the governments of different countries like Australia, Canada bear the expense of maternity leave.