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Fair pay, favouritism, workplace politics remain concerns for women in retail: Report

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A report by Great Place to Work reveals a perceived gender gap in retail, even today

New Delhi: While overt gender bias may not be prevalent in retail workplaces, the perception of equity and impartiality among female employees lags behind their male counterparts by almost 7%. Key areas of concern include fair pay, equitable profit-sharing, management favouritism, and workplace politics, according to the recently-released report titled ‘Building Equitable Workplace: Insights from India’s Best Workplaces in Retail 2024’ by Great Place to Work.

In addressing these disparities, the report underscores the importance of fostering a more inclusive workplace culture. It highlights the need for retail organizations to identify and develop plans to close the gender pay gap, ensuring that women receive equitable compensation for their contributions. According to data from Pew Research, women across industries earned an average of 82% of what men earned in 2022, highlighting the urgency of action in this regard.

Moreover, the report emphasizes the significance of leadership in recognizing and nurturing the potential of all employees, irrespective of their credentials or experience. Leaders are encouraged to offer a warm welcome to women joining their organizations, ensuring that they feel valued and supported from the outset. Additionally, it is imperative to provide women with visibility within the organization, enabling them to access opportunities for growth and advancement.

“A pronounced dip in employee perception among women makes us self-reflect on the initiatives we should introduce and sustain to foster a truly inclusive environment,” Yeshasvini Ramaswamy, Serial Entrepreneur & CEO of Great Place To Work®, India, said.

“There is still a lot of work to be done in addressing perceived bias based on gender and sexual orientation,” she added.

The report also identifies key drivers of workplace satisfaction for retail industry: opportunities for career growth (with alignment to personal aspirations) and the availability of responsible, responsive management who can steer their growth trajectory.

“The disparity in perceptions of equity and impartiality is a call to action for all of us. We must commit to developing and executing comprehensive strategies that ensure fair compensation, transparent career growth opportunities, and a supportive environment for all our employees, regardless of gender,” Kumar Rajagopalan, CEO, Retailers Association of India (RAI) that works with Great Place to Work for the report.

As building gender equity at the workplace emerges as the need of the hour, the report captures top five actions to make workplaces inclusive:

  1. Development and execution of a plan to ensure fair compensation for all employees.
  2. Empowering individuals to reach their full potential
  3. Creating a welcoming environment for women who joins our organization
  4. Ensuring women have visibility
  5. Help women to share their experience with the larger organization

The Report offers insights gleaned from the voices of 1.8 lakh retail employees. While the GPTW speaks to the industry for the report, it also recognizes the Best Workplaces™ in Retail announced at an event hosted by RAI.

Some of India’s Best Workplaces in Retail industry 2024 (alphabetic order) include, Barbeque-Nation Hospitality Limited, Celio Retail Private Limited, Reliance Retail Limited, Shoppers Stop Limited and in E-commerce industry 2024 (alphabetic order) includes, Flipkart Group (Flipkart Internet Private Limited, Cleartrip, Flipkart Health+), Myntra Designs Private Limited and REA India Pte. Limited (Housing, PropTiger and Makaan).

Great Place To Work is the global authority on workplace culture. Since 1992, our Certification, Best Workplaces Lists, and global benchmarks have become the industry standard, built on data from more than 100 million employees in 150 countries around the world.

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