Getting more women into the workforce is not just a moral imperative anymore, but it’s an economic imperative, according to consulting major BCG India’s Chairman Janmajeya Sinha.
“The fact that our level of women’s participation in the workforce is below Saudi Arabia, is making everyone ask what’s going on,” he told Business Today on the sidelines of the Nasscom Technology and Leadership Summit (NTLF) 2023 in Mumbai on Wednesday.
If we doubled women’s participation in the workforce how much would our GDP increase, he remarked, adding: “It’s not just a moral imperative, it’s an economic imperative.”
Sinha’s comments assume significance as female labour participation in the country has plummeted to 19 per cent in 2021 from 30% in 1990, according to data from World Bank. World Economic Forum’s gender gap data shows that India ranks 135th among 146 countries.
With India becoming the fastest growing major economy in the world, Sinha pointed out that India has always done well in IT services. “It has to be lauded that Indian IT services is exporting more than we import oil,” he said.
The IT industry is estimated to have a 5.4 million strong workforce, creating 2,90,000 new jobs and adding $19 billion in revenue in FY2023, according to a Nasscom report ‘Strategic Review 2023– Priming for a ‘No Normal’ Future released on Wednesday on the sidelines of NTLF 2023. This includes 2 million women employees and a net addition of over 1,40,000 women employees in FY23, the report said.
In its latest projections, the International Monetary Fund said the Indian economy’s growth will dip from 6.8 per cent in 2022 to 6.1 per cent in 2023. But India is expected to grow at 6.8 per cent in financial year 2024. Despite the dip, India remains the fastest growing economy in the world with its growth estimates surpassing growth in other emerging and developing nations, including China. The world’s most populous country is predicted to grow at 5.2 per cent in 2023 as COVID restrictions are rolled back. But it is expected to dip to 4.5 per cent in 2024.
Talking about other promising areas of the Indian economy, Sinha said: “I do hope that that there will be areas in tourism and healthcare that will continue to expand.”