39% Indians open to women as head of government, 34% comfortable with female CEOs: Kantar

According to The Reykjavik Index for Leadership survey, India’s acceptability of both men and women in leadership positions for defence is higher than the global average

e4m by Anjali Thakur
Updated: Feb 28, 2020 8:34 AM

According to recent findings by research consultancy Kantar titled The Reykjavik Index for Leadership 2019, India ranked much higher than the global average for its overall acceptability of both genders as leaders in government, politics and CEO roles. Women, however, are more likely to be more accepting of the same than men.

The Index measures how men and women are rated in terms of their leadership qualities, asking how comfortable the society is with the idea of women in leadership role vis-a-vis men.  India has been included in the study for the first time since the launch of the Index in 2018. 

It measures the extent to which men and women are viewed equally in terms of suitability for positions of leadership across all sectors of the economy in Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.A. The Index runs from 0 to 100 - a score of 100 means that across society, there is complete agreement that women and men are equally suited to leadership in all sectors. 

The Reykjavik Index is based on interviews with 22,000 people of the working age. The findings revealed that 39 per cent of people in India would feel very comfortable having a woman as head of government.

"India, which has had a female Prime Minister (Indira Gandhi with two terms of office 1966-1977 and 1980-1984)) and a female President (Pratibha Patil – 2007-2012), has an Index score of 74 for this sector. Currently, 14% of members of the Indian Parliament are women and 34 per cent answered that they would feel ‘very comfortable’ with a woman as the CEO of a major company. The subjects who were quizzed comprised 30 per cent of men and 37 per cent of women," the survey notes. 

India has a relatively high for leadership and is more or less in line with lower-scoring G7 countries like Italy, Germany and Japan: “India (67) has a relatively high Index score and scores similarly to Germany (69) and Italy (68). Not just that, India also shows relatively high scores in Education (76) and Media/Entertainment (78). India scores highest for the newly included countries with 78, followed by Russia (75), Brazil (72) and China (67). "

The Index also noted that the level of dissonance between the views of men and the views of women is notably low in India. The average score is 69 for women and 66 for men. The difference in the dissonance between the genders can reveal where the society stands with respect to gender-based stereotypes. 

"However, like every other country studied, women in India are more likely than men to perceive men and women as equally suitable for leadership," the survey notes. 

Apart from that, the findings also revealed India’s acceptability of men and women in leadership positions for defence and police, which is higher than the global average. The survey states that India which is at 68 is higher than the overall index of G7 countries which was at 62. 

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