Five consulting firms named among the ten best companies in India for women

08 January 2018 4 min. read

A list of the top 100 companies for women in India reveals that the consulting industry is performing particularly well when it comes to creating a comfortable environment for women, with five of the top 10 companies belonging to the sector. Two of the Big Four found a place on the list, featured alongside other big names in the sector such as Accenture and Capgemini.

As efforts to promote gender-equality become more nuanced and comprehensive, companies are increasingly restructuring in favour of a more equitable environment. Alongside the essential societal function that diversity can play, recent research from professional services firm Grant Thornton suggests that diversity in upper ranks can contribute monetary value as well, specifically $14 billion (Rs. 8+ lakh crore) per year in the case of India. 

Creating a gender equitable environment involves a great deal of flexibility and sensitivity, often requiring major revamping of company policy and internal structure. While a number of companies have been initiating such transformations, research from management consultancy BCG recently showed that these measures currently remain ineffective

In order to portray the condition of the business environment for women in India, International journal Working Mother has collaborated with NGO Avtar I-Win to release a list of the top 100 companies for women to work for in India. The list was prepared based on a number of criteria, including workforce profile, flexible work, women’s recruitment and retention, benefits, paid-time off, company culture and safety and security.

Based on these metrics, the report found a few important trends. 15% of the workforce across the top 100 is comprised of women, while this number jumps to 32% when considering the top 10. Within the top 10, 37% of the employees at the management level are women.

Accenture, EY, Deloitte, IBM, TCS, Capita, Cushman & Wakefield, Capgemini, Infosys

Of the top 100, 30% of the companies offer “second career programs” for returning women, and this number jumps to a solid 100% in the top 10. Some promising trends were observed across all 100 companies: each has a flexible work environment and 90% allow remote working, none tolerates sexual harassment, each conducts regular polls to evaluate the effectiveness of equality measures, and most offer six months of maternity leave.

Top Consulting firms

A number of consulting firms featured in the top 100 list, which was released in alphabetical order. Five firms from the sector made the top 10.

Representation for the consulting industry in the top 10 came through Big Four rivals EY and Deloitte, as well as professional services giant  Accenture. Following studies that linked gender balance to financial performance, EY India recently placed gender diversity at the top of its agenda for the near future.

Tech solutions firm IBM also made the top with its India practice, which is now bigger than the firm’s home practice in the US, as per latest estimates. The firm is also one of the earliest companies in the world to lay emphasis on diversity in the workplace, developing a diversity policy in 1954.

Meanwhile, local consulting firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was the fifth firm on the top 10 list. The firm currently operates with more than 100,000 female employees, 11% of whom hold senior leadership positions. These numbers place TCS among the top employers of women on the globe.

Four additional consulting firms made the top 100 list but fell short of the top 10, namely CapgeminiCapita, Cushman & Wakefield, and Infosys. Of these, the Women@Capgemini initiative adopted in 2012 is the most prominent effort towards gender balance. In essence, the initiative lays down comprehensive guidelines for equality at the firm.