Sarath Shyam

Workplace diversity, equity and inclusion are some of the most discussed topics in the recent past. In tune with the changing social and cultural patterns of society, organisations around the world have been promoting diversity as an operational strategy to attract and retain talent and attain a competitive edge. However, the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions, especially at the top ranks of an organisation, remains a challenge.

There indeed exists an unconscious bias that often affects the opportunities and roles available to women. A McKinsey study revealed that the glass ceiling in the industry prevents women from having equal access to both entry-level and higher-level positions. Women are already less likely to be hired in starting positions, to begin with, but the disparity further increases as employees move up the corporate ladder.

The recent pandemic further worsened the leadership aspirations of women around the world. A survey by Deloitte found that 51 per cent of women are less optimistic about their career prospects than they were before the pandemic. Many women who have chosen to stick to their jobs have missed a fair promotion or raise. A LinkedIn report shows that 85 per cent of women in India have missed out on a raise or promotion because of their gender. In fact, for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 86 women are promoted, says another McKinsey study.

However, several women in the country have managed break the Glass Ceiling in the Business World to reach the leadership roles they deserve. In this issue, we celebrate the success of such leaders by presenting the ‘10 Most Inspiring Businesswomen in India – 2022.’ On the cover, we feature Ira Agarwal, Chief Growth Officer of Veersa Technologies, leading the company to achieve unprecedented organisational growth and promotion at the global level. In addition, Ira effortlessly juggled and continues juggling multiple roles. She also holds a prestigious position as the Advisory Board Member at AAPNA InfoTech.

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