CII Centre for Women Leadership

India is home to approximately 663 million women, with about 450 million falling within the working age range of 15 to 64 years. Today the women are better educated and highly aspirational. In a survey conducted by CII with 700 working women, more than 40% of the respondents aspired to rise to the top of their companies.

Enabling women’s entry and retention in the workforce has been the cornerstone of efforts towards women’s economic empowerment.

The government has introduced numerous policies that are supportive of women at work - Equal Pay for Equal Work, Prevention of Sexual Harassment Act, the Maternity Benefits Act, Hostels for working women.

The industry has also been receptive to these efforts and have been taking proactive steps to ensure that women enter, stay and grow within the workspace.

But India and women within India is not a homogenous space. More than 90% of women in India are engaged withing the Informal sector with limited security. India's extensive network of women's Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in both rural and urban areas, supported by government and non-government organizations, offers hope for promoting women's economic empowerment by promoting women entrepreneurship.

To advance women's entrepreneurship through SHGs, the government has initiated various programs. These include funding and training for women-led non-farm enterprises through programs like SVEP and NRETP. Additionally, schemes such as Mudra Yojana, Annapurna, and Udyogini provide collateral-free finance options for these women entrepreneurs. Indian Industry too through its social initiatives has focussed on creating livelihood opportunities for women in the rural and unorganized sector through a variety of initiatives ranging from skilling to market and financial linkages.

What can we all do to enable these women achieve their goals?

CII is proud to announce the launch of its Centre on Women Leadership in partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.

While Intent, policy mandates and Programs are in place, they alone are insufficient to tackle a complex socio-economic issue such as gender. Identifying and acknowledging the various kinds of obstacles women face in reaching their full potential is the first step followed by multi stakeholder engagement required for co-creating ecosystems that enable women to achieve their full potential.

The centre proposes to address barriers to the entry, retention, and growth of women as leaders in the economy, both within the formal and informal sector, through a multitude of initiatives

The CII Centre on Women Leadership

A permanent secretariat committed to driving entry, retention, and growth of women as leaders within the economy.

VISION : To inspire leadership, in thought and action, to drive transformation, towards Women Leadership within the Economy.

MISSION : Co-Creating Ecosystems to enable women to achieve their full economic potential within the formal and informal sectors. We will achieve this by catalysing innovative ideas and solutions amongst all stakeholders, in India, and globally, to enable women to participate, grow, and lead within the economy.

Contact Us

Seema Arora

[Deputy Director General]

Confederation of Indian Industry

Confederation of Indian Industry

24-25, Institutional Area, Lodi Road

New Delhi-110003



Phone : 91-11-40028800

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