HR News

Women replace men as HR heads in 60% companies

The corner office for human resources in India Inc, occupied by the chief HR officer (CHRO), has witnessed an interesting shift with more women replacing men.

Xpheno, a specialist staffing firm, mapped 200 movements of women HR officers over the last few years and found that they had replaced a male incumbent as an HR head in over 60% cases. This indicates stronger action by companies to meet their diversity and inclusion (D&I) requirements, especially at leadership levels, albeit through the HR department.

Interestingly, only 15% among these women have risen vertically to become CHROs. The study reveals the remaining 85% of these movements were external hires. While this means that talent pipelines internally were largely inadequate, the trend demonstrates a priority associated with the gender of choice for the role of CHRO.

Kamal Karanth, co-founder of Xpheno, said, "The interesting aspect this study has thrown up is not about a diversity shift at CHRO corner rooms, but that most organisations still have to go through the external hiring route to get there. Women are a majority in HR departments of most firms. This means the department that has to nurture women to the top is unable to do it. Whereas other organisations find them suitable for a C-suite. That's a paradox."

The study was conducted across multiple sectors in organisations having an employee base of over 500. According to the study, MNCs appear to chalk out better career paths for internal candidates, thus creating a better pipeline of women successors as compared to Indian enterprises. However, external hiring is a prominent feature across organisations.