This project focused on the so-called “glass ceiling” faced by women managers in contemporary India. The near non-existence of data on female managers in India reflects the lack of societal attention allotted to the issue of women in leadership. According to a study by Koshal (2006), for every 100 men, only two women will gain administrative and managerial positions in India. Recently, the Confederation of Indian Industry released a report indicating that women comprise only 16 percent of junior managers, four percent of middle and senior managers and a mere one percent of organizational leaders. Thus, while women are adequately represented in the workforce at large, they remain barely present in managerial positions.

In India, the glass ceiling appears in many forms: women’s under-representation within the corporate hierarchy, a severely gendered wage gap, occupational segregation, discriminative corporate policies, lack of attention to the specific needs of women, the proliferation of sexual harassment and exclusion of women from informal networks. Thus, this study was conducted with the following core objectives:

  1. Conducting situational analyses of managerial positions held by women in the target sectors
  2. Identifying factors that create barriers for career growth for women and determining whether or not they are gender-specific
  3. Recommending strategies to overcome the identified barriers