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Most Indians not comfortable with woman as CEO

By Amritha Pillay
Last updated on: February 27, 2020 22:10 IST
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In India, 39 per cent of the sample of a survey said ‘very comfortable’ for a woman heading the government, higher than 34 per cent who replied with ‘very comfortable’ for a woman heading a company.

However, men are less accepting of such appointments.

Woman

Illustration: Dominic Xavier/Rediff.com

Less than 4 out of 10 Indians feel ‘very comfortable’ with a woman heading their government or a major company.

This was the finding of a research conducted by consultancy KANTAR.

Further, women in India and across the globe were more accepting of women holding leadership positions, compared to men.

 

This is the first year that India was part of KANTAR’s annual global exercise to rate countries on the extent to which men and women are viewed equally in terms of suitability for positions of leadership across sectors.

Named the Reykjavik Index for Leadership, the survey covers G7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) countries this year.

The index rates countries on a scale of 0 to 100 - a score of 100 means that there is complete agreement that women and men are equally suited for leadership across all sectors.

“The Indices for India and Brazil are broadly in line with those for the lower-scoring G7 countries (Italy 68, Germany 69, and Japan 70), while those for Russia and China are much lower,” said the KANTAR report, released on Wednesday.

India ranks at 67.

The higher the ranking on the index, the more acceptable is the country towards both men and women in leadership positions.

The 2019 Reykjavik Index for Leadership also measures acceptability across various sectors.

The findings suggest India’s acceptability of both men and women in leadership positions for defence is higher than the global average.

India’s rank for defence and police was 68, higher than the overall index of G7 countries, which was 62.

As part of the survey, KANTAR asked a sample of 5,000 respondents in rural and urban India how comfortable they would feel with a woman as the head of government, and as the CEO of a major firm.

In India, 39 per cent of the sample said ‘very comfortable’ for a woman heading the government, higher than 34 per cent who replied with ‘very comfortable’ for a woman heading a company.

However, men are less accepting of such appointments.

Interestingly, less than half the women surveyed showed the highest level of acceptability for a woman heading the government or a major company.

India, however, ranks higher in its overall acceptability of both genders as leaders in government and politics.

“India, which has had a female prime minister (Indira Gandhi) and a female president (Pratibha Patil), has an index score of 74 for this sector. Currently, 14 per cent of members of the Indian Parliament are women,” the report said.

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Amritha Pillay in Mumbai
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