Why does India have the worst reputation for women in business?
India has been dubbed as “the most corrupt country in the world” by Transparency International (TI) in a recent survey, and the country’s corporate leaders say they are suffering because of it.
India is ranked fifth out of 180 countries in the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), behind Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Mexico.
In 2017, there were 834,000 cases of corruption reported in India, and in the year ended September 2019, a total of 1,632,000 such cases were reported, according to data compiled by the Transparency International India Foundation (TII).
The index, based on a review of a wide range of indicators, also showed that India ranked 12th out of 179 countries in terms of women in corporate and government roles, which is “deeply troubling”, said a senior executive at one of India’s biggest companies, who asked not to be identified.
In India, women make up more than half the workforce and the median age is 36 years, according TOI, and about one-fifth of the total workforce.
The top two reasons cited for why India’s corporate sector has the worst image are corruption and unequal pay, according the study, which has been carried out by the Global Gender Gap Network (GGGN).
In particular, women face an uphill battle against harassment, discrimination and unequal wages in the sector.
Women in India face discrimination at work, which includes sexual harassment and intimidation, said one of the women surveyed by GGGN.
The GGGI also said the perception that India’s business sector is corrupt has increased over the past 10 years, citing the rise in reports of illegal business practices.
This has led to a reduction in public awareness and support of corporate governance, said the report, which said the public perception of corruption in India is a result of media coverage.
It also highlighted the role that women have in the creation of the corporate culture and governance structures, and said women also suffer from underrepresentation in the corporate board and management.
According to the report , in 2017, more than 50% of the Indian public was aware of the existence of corruption cases in the country.
It also found that more than 70% of respondents felt that corruption has been a problem in the industry, and that this perception was widespread.
In the sector of the financial services sector, the public is increasingly aware of illegal activities, but still believes that it is acceptable, said GGGC.
This perception is particularly prevalent in the Indian private banking sector.
According a survey conducted by the Institute of Business Research (IBR), nearly 60% of those surveyed believe that the government is doing too little to tackle corruption, with most of the public saying they feel the government has not done enough.
The survey, conducted in September 2017, found that 67% of Indians were satisfied with the way India is run, and only 4% said they were dissatisfied.
The IBR survey was conducted with 1,000 respondents across the country, with a margin of error of 2.9% for all countries surveyed.
The Indian government has been criticized by international organisations, including the World Economic Forum (WEF), for failing to act on the issue of corruption.
The IBR also said that there is still a lack of effective governance mechanisms to address corruption in the financial sector.