Role of corporate mobility services in women’s participation in the workforce - Hindustan Times
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Role of corporate mobility services in women’s participation in the workforce

Mar 13, 2024 02:54 PM IST

This article is authored by Kavitha Ramachandragowda, co-founder & executive director, Routematic.

While India has been recognised as a nation with a thriving workforce, the trajectory of women's participation in employment does not align with the population growth. A World Bank report reveals that women's contribution to both formal and informal labour dropped from 27% in 2005 to 23% in 2021. Despite significant strides towards ensuring gender equality across industries, a persistent gender gap in workforce participation prevails, presenting a challenge for the nation's economic development.

Working women (representative image)(Shutterstock) PREMIUM
Working women (representative image)(Shutterstock)

According to a Barclays report, India can achieve a Gross Domestic Product growth rate of 8% by ensuring women’s share in more than half of the new workforce set to be created by 2030. However, a report from International Labour Organization (ILO) reveals a substantial employability gender gap in India, standing at 50.9%. Only around19.2% of women are actively participating in the labour force, with a stark contrast to 70.1% of men. Furthermore, the World Economic Forum's Gender Gap Report 2022 positions India at 135 out of 146 countries, trailing behind smaller nations like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal.

As per ILO, 52% of women in India are keen to build a career to meet the needs of their families; however, they are met with a series of challenges. A key obstacle hindering women's active involvement in the workforce is the complex issue of commuting because of inadequate, unsafe, and unreliable transportation options disproportionately limit job opportunities for women, particularly those residing in areas with insufficient public transport facilities. Addressing this challenge becomes paramount for fostering gender inclusivity in the workplace and ensuring that women can fully leverage their skills and potential. Corporate mobility services gain relevance in this context.

Corporate mobility services have a far-reaching impact that goes beyond mere transportation. Such services can directly influence women from diverse communities to join the urban workforce. By providing reliable and secure transportation, corporate mobility services enable women to overcome geographical constraints, fostering inclusivity in the workforce. It also brings flexibility in commuting, allowing employees, especially women, to tailor their travel schedules to better suit their personal and professional commitments. By assuring scheduled and secure transportation in the form of well-maintained cars driven by qualified and thoroughly screened drivers, adding security guards to vehicles, and utilising real-time GPS tracking devices, corporate mobility service providers address safety concerns that women may face during their commute, especially those working late shifts or in industries with irregular working hours. Thus, corporate mobility service providers play a crucial role in advancing equality and cultivating an environment where women are empowered to contribute actively to the workforce.

The last-mile connectivity issue, which frequently affects many women commuting between their homes and public transit hubs or between transportation hubs and their places of employment, is also addressed by mobility services. Corporate mobility service providers make sure that transportation runs smoothly by providing individual cab pick-up and drop points right upto the homes of employees, or through shuttle services, making it safer and easier for female employees to commute.

Technology plays a pivotal role in transforming the workforce landscape, creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce. Corporate mobility service providers can harness the power of technology through mobile apps, to revolutionise the commuting experience for employees. Real-time GPS tracking, emergency assistance features, and employee check-ins are just a few among the many which can be leveraged to enhance the overall commuting experience. The implementation of these technological features not only augments safety measures but also fosters a sense of security for women employees.

As advocates of gender equality, companies must recognise the integral role that corporate mobility plays in shaping a diverse and inclusive workforce. Safe commuting options are not only a matter of convenience but an imperative in helping women to actively participate in the workforce. By investing in secure transportation services backed by technology, employers can address majority of the concerns raised by women employees. This will foster an environment where women feel genuinely supported, encouraged, and empowered to contribute their skills and talents.

This article is authored by Kavitha Ramachandragowda, co-founder & executive director, Routematic.

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