In this episode of the “State of the Economy” podcast, Nivedita V discusses the pressing issue of gender disparity in the Indian workforce with special guest and women’s rights activist, Dr. Valli Arunachalam, Nuclear scientist, semiconductor technology consultant and scion of Murugappa Group.

With an alarming number of 670 million women workforce being left behind in India’s growing economy, the conversation delves into the reasons behind the underrepresentation of women in corporate jobs and the challenges they face, from lower pay to casual sexism and limited career growth opportunities. Dr. Arunachalam shares her personal journey as a scientist working in male-dominated fields and her transition to becoming a passionate advocate for women’s rights.

The discussion explores the root causes of gender inequality in both society and the corporate world, emphasizing the importance of tackling patriarchal beliefs and nurturing a gender-neutral mindset. Dr. Arunachalam highlights the need for concerted efforts and sustained commitment from government, educational institutions, and corporate leadership to achieve gender parity. By tapping into the reservoir of talent among women and girls, India can accelerate economic change and strengthen social welfare.

The conversation also addresses practical solutions to address the leaky pipeline phenomenon, where women face barriers in advancing from mid-level to leadership positions. Dr. Arunachalam emphasizes the importance of addressing hurdles at home, such as childcare responsibilities, and implementing supportive policies in the workplace, including mentorship programs, skills development training, gender-blind promotions, and sensitivity training to overcome unconscious biases.

Host: Nivedita V; Producer: Jayapriyanka J


About the State of the Economy podcast

India’s economy has been hailed as a bright spot amid the general gloom that seems to have enveloped the rest of the world. But several sectors continue to stutter even as others seem set to fire on all cylinders. To help you make sense of the bundle of contradictions that the country is, businessline brings you podcasts with experts ranging from finance and marketing to technology and start-ups.