Thursday, January 4, 2024

Southern Cities Score Big In The 2nd Edition Of “Top Cities For Women” In India Index


Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, and Hyderabad rank as the Top 5 Cities for Women in India  

National Capital Delhi debuts in the Top 10 Cities for Women in India 

Rankings of Gurugram and Jaipur improve significantly 

Avtar group, India’s pioneer in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) solutions, released the second edition of ‘Top Cities for Women in India (TCWI)’ index. Data obtained from various governmental sources including Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS July 2022-June 2023), national census and crime records were assimilated apart from Avtar’s primary research on women’s employment. The research comprised an open survey and Focus Group Discussions (FGD) between July 2023 and December 2023 in which over 1200 women from across the country participated. The metrices derived from both the survey and governmental data were put together to arrive at the comprehensive City Inclusion Scores (CIS).   

Chennai, Bengaluru, Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Coimbatore, and Jaipur emerge as Top 10 Cities for Women in India in the Category 1 that lists cities with a population of more than one million. The national capital makes a debut in this edition of Top 10 by positioning itself on the 8th rank. The performance of Tamil Nadu state capital Chennai is commendable – it cemented its position as the top city for women to retain its number 1 ranking.  

Tiruchirappalli, Vellore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Shimla, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur, Gurugram and Puducherry feature in the Category 2 (with a population of less than one million) of Top Cities for Women.             A total of 113 cities were identified for the study based on the role these cities play in the economic growth of the country. The 113 cities have been divided into two categories in the listing. Category 1 covers 49 cities with a population of more than a million and category 2 covers 64 cities with less than a million population. The City Inclusion Score (CIS) which determines the rankings of the cities is based on three pillars – Social Inclusion Score (SIS), Industrial Inclusion Score (IIS) and Citizen Experience Score (CES).  While Social Inclusion Score focuses on external social environment, Industrial Inclusion Score evaluates the extent to which organisations include women in their workforce. The data collated from women across India through FGDs and surveys were used to create the CES.    

While building inclusive and equitable cities is still work in progress in India, Southern cities that have strong historical and social factors along with enabling government policies are contributing to gender-progressive living environments helping the cities feature in the index.  

Tamil Nadu cities dominate in both population-wise categories with Chennai topping the million plus category and Tiruchirappalli topping the less than a million category.   

As many as 8 cities out of 10 in the less than a million-population category are from the Southern part of India – Tiruchirappalli, Vellore, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Salem, Erode, Tiruppur and Puducherry. Only two cities – Shimla and Gurugram are from the Northern region. Tamil Nadu with Chennai and Coimbatore, and Maharashtra with Mumbai and Pune are the only states with two cities each in the million-plus category, that have made it to the Top 10 index. 

Speaking at the announcement, Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Founder-President, Avtar group said, “Vibrant employment opportunities, good quality of life including educational and healthcare facilities, well-connected transportation networks, experience of safety are defining attributes of inclusive cities for women.  Avtar’s annual index, Top Cities for Women in India is a clarion call to create equitable pathways to increase women’s workforce participation in the country. Our data-driven and evidence-based understanding of the ethos of Indian cities towards women’s inclusion will help in making our country a developed nation by 2027 – as envisioned by our Honorable Prime Minister. Creating environments where women thrive, lead, and contribute their fullest potential is crucial in this pursuit.”  

Key findings of the Top cities for Women in India 2023 report  

7 Tamil Nadu Cities are among Top Cities for Women in India across categories. 

Southern cities dominate in the less than a million category – 8 out of 10 are from the South.    

Jaipur bags the 10th rank in the TCWI list in the million plus category.  

Gurugram is at the number one position in industrial inclusion in the less than a million category.  

32% of the women surveyed feel unsafe and 21% women feel unsure of their safety, stepping out after 8 pm in their cities.  

Women rate Indian cities the best on educational and healthcare facilities. 

31% of women feel judged for their choice of attire in their cities, while 30% report mixed experiences.  

Download the Top Cities for Women in India 2023 index here: 

About Avtar 

Avtar, set up in 2000, is India’s first diversity advocate & workplace inclusion expert. Renowned for its extensive work in the space of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) and more specifically, women’s workforce participation, it is the country’s largest provider of second career opportunities for women and is also the earliest to begin working on diversity audits and measurement. Led by the visionary Dr Saundarya Rajesh, Avtar has ventured into areas of gender inclusion and career creation, which are firsts to India, including: 

Creating platforms for second career women to meet potential employers, 

Developing a comprehensive set of career enablers which companies can implement in their workspaces 

Spearheading original research that has provided cutting edge insights to organization 

Creating India’s largest diversity benchmarking platform – Avtar & Seramount 100 Best Companies for women in India 

Creating India’s first diversity hiring portal for women, LGBTQ, PWD, Veterans and Silver Generation 

Re-Skilling, Up-skilling and Counselling of women to pursue sustainable career paths and 

Building career intentionality amongst under privileged girl children 

Avtar has built its DEI offerings under Six EDs, which ensures that every organization can have a clear path towards moving forward, building and sustaining diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces. The Six EDs – Enrich Diversity, Embed Diversity, Enable Diversity, Experience Diversity, Extend Diversity and Endow Diversity are constructed along six key implementation dimensions of Diversity - for Assessments & Advisory support, Recruitment Programs, Workshops and Training Programs, Conferences and Events, Empowering Supplier Diversity & Inclusion and supporting inclusion of under-privileged communities, respectively. For its transformational impact in the realm of DEI, Avtar Group was listed in the prestigious Steward Leadership 25 Listing by Strait Times & INSEAD at Singapore in 2022. 

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