Seminar on Women Attrition in the Urban Organised Sector March 20, 2014 at Mumbai

Amcham India, in partnership with the Consulate General of the United States, Mumbai and the Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry organized a seminar on “Attrition of Women in Urban Organised Sector” on March 20, 2014 at the Consulate General of the United States, Mumbai.


The US Consul General Mr. Peter Haas gave the opening address which was followed by the welcome address by Surabhi Wahal, Regional Director – Western Region, Amcham India. Surabhi went on to introduce Neera Saggi, President, Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry & Chairperson FemPower, who made a presentation on the ‘Statistical Overview on Representation of Women in Urban Organized Sector’. Her presentation showed that India ranks as one of the countries where women involvement in the corporate sector is at the lowest rung.


The presentation was followed by a Panel Discussion where the eminent panellists were : Ms. Gauri Deshmukh, Head – HR, Bank of America N.A., Mr. Indrajeet Sengupta, Director – HR, Johnson & Johnson Medical, Mr. Prashant Salgaonkar, Head HR, Lubrizol Advanced Materials India Pvt. Ltd., Ms. Revathi Roy, Founder-Forshe, Founder and promoter-Viira Cabs, Mr. Prasad Chandran, Advisor, BASF Group India and Ms. Mahua Chowdhury, Managing Partner, Solomon & Roy.

Key takeaways from the seminar


  • This year John Deere has started to include 25% women in their workforce at every plant.


  • A recent study by Booz and Company says that if men and women in India were to be equally employed India’s GDP could go up by 27%.


  • India currently ranks at #101 globally India would be 123 but for women empowerment in politics. There are only 19% of women in India in the Senior Management and 56 companies on the BSE-100 have no representation of women at all on their boards.


  • Education doesn’t translate into participation. The number of women graduates participating in the workforce decreased to 26% in 2012


  • Losses of women employees along the corporate pipeline has increased at an alarming rate.


  • Few good implementations in Indian law are the 73rd and 74th Amendment Act


  • Corporates have introduced-
    • Diversity indicators (been taken up very strongly in most organizations this year)
    • Mentoring programs
    • Flexible locations and working conditions
    • Visible monitoring by CEO



  • Bank of America has installed the most modern GPS on the cards of female BPO workers they have also conceptualized a Women’s Leadership & Development Project which is their flagship project and has been a boon for the employees. Another feather in the cap is the ‘Fill rate’: For every women who quits her position is replaced by another woman


  • It is important to create a network/ circle of individuals who could be Role Models


  • As a Mother & Baby company Johnson & Johnson provides female employees with 180 days of Maternity Leave


  • Lubrizol has initiated the WILLS program in 1999 – Women in Lubrizol Leadership: employee engagement, professional development of women & cultural awareness. Mr. Prashant Salgaonkar said that the Family has to start valuing the contribution of women to the family. Where the woman is the (principal earner)sole earning member of the family


  • Ms Revathi Roy has trained 1200 girls to become Taxi drivers, empowering women with a skill that empowers them to make a living.


  • Ms Mahua Roy Chowdhury shared the pro-women laws in Brazil and Norway.
    • We should do away with other labour laws and just have one single law which is in at par with the Constitution of India
    • Brazilian Penal Code equivalent to the Indian Penal Code. Brazil- has mandated 120 days’ paid leave for mothers-to-be and has widespread childcare support systems
    • Norway-The Gender Equality Act. Norway is one of the first country to introduce Board Room representation of women and achieved 40% so far
    • France -Government introduced the principle of wage equality into the French Labor Code.


  • Women should be assessed on her potential despite her return from a 6 month maternity leave.


  • The mind-set of Indian businessmen needs a change in the workforce


  • A study from Harvard indicated that maximum job losses during an economy slide down, involve women as the victims.


  • When you create a need for the market you will attain that if it has been approached in the right manner


  • This is crucial for all working women that their potential, competency and credibility are the criteria for any job vacancy in an organization.