Lodha Unnati - Empowering Women

Context

  • India’s female labor force participation rate (FLPR) is <20% (lower than Bangladesh and similar to war-torn Yemen). Of these, >90% are in informal employment i.e. with low salaries, paid at unpredictable times, and no health insurance or social security.
  • The FLPR has been falling since 2010 in spite of the significant growth in the Indian economy.
  • Though women in India represent 48% of the population, their contribution to GDP is only 17% as compared to 40% in China.
  • It is estimated that India could lose up to USD 6 trillion in GDP by 2050 if we do not utilize the female workforce (Bloomberg 2020).

Constraints

  • Household Responsibilities
    Women undertake a greater share of household chores such as cooking, cleaning, etc. than men.
  • Transportation
    Women in urban areas commute for an average of 2-3 hours to reach their workplace, reducing further the amount of time they can work productively.
  • Child care responsibilities
    Typically women are the primary caregiver of the child in the household, this puts constraints on their time.
  • Increased Expenditure
    Higher cost due to transportation and the need for outsourcing household/child care responsibilities reduces their net income substantially. Even the top 20% of employed women in India earn less than ₹20,000 per month after paying all of their expenses, making work unappealing to them.

Our Approach

The program follows a three-pronged intervention approach to meet its commitments by bringing together skilling partners and potential employers at the doorstep of the women.

1. Building an ecosystem - Work goes to women rather than women going to work

  • Lodha Group will initially invest Rs. 1000 crores to provide 25 lakh sqft of ‘highly sustainable, net zero’ work spaces called Laxmi Bhavans @ 25% of market rent for 10 years to those corporates who are willing to create a minimum of 500 female jobs at locations within 20 min door to door distance from lower and middle income catchments in urban areas.
  • These Laxmi Bhavans will also have a crèche / day-care facility for children up to 5 years of age (prior to full-time school).

2. Creating a thriving talent pool through skilling programs for women
Lodha Foundation will run skill development programs for women, delivered in partnership with leading national and multilateral agencies, to ensure that the available workforce is suitable to the needs of the job market.

3. Meaningful collaborations
Build coalitions with existing employers in the vicinity, help them train/upskill women to meet their workforce requirements, and support women in pursuing a career they choose.

Based on research, the sector which are most likely to be able to generate formal jobs for female employees with annual salary >=2.5 L p.a. include

  • Tele-calling (BPO, Telecom, all customer facing industries with customer marketing or customer service functions)
  • Data Entry (Banking, Financial Services)
  • Food processing (Hospitality, Restaurants, Food supply / services for corporates & hospitals)
  • Labor-intensive manufacturing (Apparel / Garment)

Impact

Through this program, we aim to foster a strong community of women and provide them with the impetus to grow professionally:

Our goal is to help mobilize and nurture an able and credible community of women, eager to work across different sectors. With the help of robust partnerships, we will create employment opportunities within Lodha developments.

We believe this initiative is a meaningful step to give millions of Indian women the opportunity to strengthen our nation and in turn, strengthen themselves.

Lodha intends to double this spending in Phase 2 if Phase 1 is successful in achieving its goals.