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Unlocking Potential: Insights from the up! SWING Movement for Young Women Professionals in India"

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

Primary research findings collated by Gayatri Krishnamurthy

up! SWING is a movement to unlock the potential of young women professionals in India is a movement initiated by alumni of XLRI Jamshedpur with XL4W and CGEIL . This is aimed at women who are in the zero-to-five-year experience range. It is a natural follow up to the immensely popular up! SURGE programmes which were aimed at women who were closer to the C Suite.

The idea was to create a ready to use program for their young, talented women employees to build purposeful careers. This was spurred on by some of the alarming statistics about the falling participation of women in the workforce as depicted below:

As per World Bank estimates, the female labour participation rate in India fell to 20.3 percent in 2019 – from more than 26 percent in 2005 and 31.9 percent in 1983. The status was better in the rural sector. As per annual bulletin of 2019-20 PLFS survey findings, the rural female workforce participation was 24.7 percent while the corresponding urban rate was 18.5 percent.

Instead of Mansplaining and preaching, we decided to find out what was the need of the hour by approaching the stakeholders through a survey. This was done in 2 parts. One was addressed to the target group of women in the 0-5 years work experience . The second was addressed to their managers and the HR folks who are big stakeholders in We tabulated the responses we got . Along with the secondary research done by present students of XLRI, we got a lot of insights.

In our 2 parts write up, we first share the findings form he target group. These are also the prospective participants for up! SWING. Thee findings will help us take forward a credible program for 0-5 years.

Here are the salient questions and the top 3 responses from 85 women who were equally spread out across roles: tech, HR, strategy, R&D, ops

What will make women stay at work? (Top 3 reasons)

  1. Ample professional development opportunities

  2. Equal pay & perquisites (parity with male colleagues)

  3. Self-motivation to pursue their chosen career goals & ambitions.

Why do women drop out of the workforce? (Top 3 reasons)

  1. Feeling unfulfilled at work compared to effort put in,

  2. Inability to visualize a fulfilling career path for themselves.

  3. Struggle dealing with bias and lack of overall support.

Which targeted organizational policies do women value most? (Top 3 reasons)

  1. Women-friendly facilities

  2. transport

  3. Availability of childcare at workplace

When queried on the desired intervention from a program such as up! SWING? The top areas were:

  1. Negotiation & Networking Essentials

  2. Personal Finance – Independence & Security,

  3. Leading a Balanced Healthy & Fulfilling Life – Being Emotionally Intelligent, Creative and Mindful

  4. Knowing Oneself and Visualizing One’s Personal & Professional journey are ranked a close fourth.

It was heartening to note that 91% of the women surveyed were eager to attend such a programme. In our one on one connect, many companies have expressed a keen interest in having internal programmes as well. Some of the interesting data points will be shared in the second part. Do share your own experience, opinions, perspectives and feedback by writing to us at:

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