08 Mar 2021 16:36 IST

XLRI sets up a centre for gender equality and inclusive leadership

‘Our goal is to significantly increase the participation of women in the workforce,’ says XLRI Director

Xavier School of Management established a centre for gender equality and inclusive leadership at the Delhi-NCR Campus to make a meaningful impact. In line with this year’s theme of women's day ‘Women in Leadership : achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world,’ XLRI celebrates International Women’s Day by by promoting women's participation in economic activities and bringing more balance in the society.

The centre brings together a large group of professionally well-established alumni and industry practitioners to design and deploy a wide range of interventions.

The new centre will be led by Prof Shreyashi Chakraborty, Assistant Professor, Organizational Behaviour, XLRI. Her primary research interests are inequalities, diversity management practices in Indian workplaces, and career experiences of women employees. She had also won the Emerald Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award in the area of HRM in 2017.

Addressing gaps

Prof Chakraborty said, “In September 2020 the World Economic Forum published their 14th Gender Parity Report. The research report was alarming — India ranks very low. The top five countries have closed 80 per cent of the gender gap — Iceland leads at 82 per cent. India is at the 112 position — a four-spot decline, behind several LATAM, Caribbean, middle-eastern, and north-African nations. Globally, the economic participation and opportunity gap expanded in 2020 — a worrying sign that women are persistently less present in labour-markets than men. WEF report calls out that economic opportunities for women are extremely limited in India (149th rank) at just 35.4 per cent, followed only by Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further intensified the gender-related challenges. There is a severe need for promoting women to participate in economic activities for the betterment of women's economic empowerment.”

Fr P Christie S J, Director, XLRI, commented, “Our ambitious goal is to significantly increase the participation of women in the workforce within the next five to ten years through strategic and broad-based interventions. As a first step, we are setting up the centre for gender equality and inclusive leadership.”