CII-IWN-EY Thought Leadership Launch – The Future is Here


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Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Indian Women Network (IWN), in association with EY, launched a first-ever survey, the findings of which have been captured in the report titled, ‘The Future is HERe’. This survey presents insights on the current maturity level of Indian organisations and how the benefits of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) can be optimized for all stakeholders. It is a comprehensive report that details and critiques several aspects that will impact our future progress – both economically and socially.

The thought leadership is based on an extensive survey conducted by CII IWN and EY across Indian organizations. Responses came from over 17 states across the country covering multiple sectors of the industry like services, manufacturing, IT, pharma, healthcare, education etc.

“This is the tipping point; we need to walk-the-talk on gender equality and women’s empowerment. India fares rather poorly on the Gender Disparity Index, which is extremely worrying. We have to create more pro-women’s policies to impact the misogynistic currents in Indian society and workplaces. It’s time to converge all our energies to work on this – we cannot wait another 200 years to achieve gender parity” says Pallavi Jha Chairperson, CII IWN Western Region and Managing Director, Dale Carnegie India.

Some of the major challenges, identified by the study, that hinder the progress of D&I initiatives include: Unconscious bias, ineffective implementation of policies, less number of women in leadership roles and lack of awareness about the benefits of gender diversity. In the survey, 16% respondents reported having no women on the Board and 47% reported that there are no more than 5% women in senior management roles.

‘The Future is HERe’ report reveals that 69% organisations have been unable to understand the financial benefits of diversity. “Promoting women’s participation is deeply connected to establishing economic stability. Through this report, we hope to raise awareness of the key barriers to gender diversity and encourage organisations to build an environment that is inclusive and gender equal. To achieve this, companies must adopt diversity as a policy and not as an organisational practice,” says Ryan Lowe, Partner, People Advisory Services, EY.

An ideal world is one that doesn’t associate itself with the concept of gender diversity, a world where we have progressed so much that we no longer need to be careful about exclusion because it is all inclusive. “Defining a clear business case for D&I with budgets to effectively design and deploy policies and also put in place a D&I Council or have a seat on the Board for the D&I leader to weave diversity and inclusion in the strategic initiatives of the organisation will assist in harnessing the benefits. D&I policy implementation is crucial and needs to be monitored by senior management to assess the efficacy of the same,” says Aashish Kasad, Partner and India Region Diversity and Inclusion Leader, EY.


Chairperson, CII IWN Western Region,
Chairperson & Managing Director, Dale Carnegie of India

Partner, Ernst & Young LLP

Ryan Lowe
Partner, People Advisory Services
Ernst & Young LLP

Ajay Venkatesh
Manager, Ernst & Young LLP

Prince Augustin
EVP,Mahindra & Mahindra

Immediate Past Chairperson, CII IWN Maharashtra Chapter and Head –Business Development, TATA Capital

Chairperson,CII IWN Maharashtra Chapter and Partner, Khaitan & Co.