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Nurturing gender equality in India

Category: Industry News, inclusion, gender, Ethnicity, struggle, workforce, women in India, buiness

Women in India have struggled to rise through the ranks in the workforce. Business India magazine says JPMorgan Chase is breaking down those barriers.
Most women in India quit the workforce before they have a chance to advance.  Of 240 Indian companies surveyed recently, only 11% had female CEOs. The country ranks eighth out of 10 Asian countries for the number of women in board and executive-committee jobs. Women in India traditionally have a tougher time than their male counterparts when trying to climb the corporate ladder.
But JPMorgan Chase is "trying hard to ensure that women are not deterred from remaining in the workplace," according to a recent article in Business India, which considers the bank a role model for Indian corporations.
The magazine recently interviewed some of the company's highest-ranking female employees in India who have successively managed to balance career, family and other commitments— thanks in part to the bank's efforts.
Wholesale Technology & Operation's Kamla Hatwar praises what she describes as the company's "consistent culture of meritocracy and gender neutrality."
Rachna Bahadur of Centralized Transaction Operations values the networking opportunities at the bank—and recently brought WIN, the Women's Interactive Network, to India.
And Kalpana Morparia, CEO of JPMorgan Chase in India, is thankful for the bank's culture for encouraging mentoring.
The magazine also commends the company for promoting flexibility and work–life balance – essential requirements for women with children. But Indian culture makes it more difficult for women with families to stay on the job. They often feel extreme guilt for leaving their children at home to go to work, the magazine reports. There's also the prevailing assumption in India that once women start families, they will become less engaged in the workplace.
That's why Indian women need to be more ambitious, said the Corporate & Investment Bank's Nisha Coutinho-Sousa, who actively helps soft-spoken, unassertive female colleagues break out of their comfort zone.
Morparia encourages her female colleagues to forget their gender altogether, saying they dwell too much on it.  "We must instead focus on our professional capabilities."

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