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HRM / OB Case Study

Case Title:

Indian Women in Banking Industry: Breaking Glass Ceilings?

Publication Year : 2009

Authors: Sowjanya Mora, Saradhi Kumar Gonela, Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Industry: Services


Case Code: HRM0061

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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The dawn of the year 2009 presented an occasion to celebrate for India as it experienced a magnificent moment made by women. It is rightly said, ‘To awaken people, it is the woman who must be awakened. Once she is on the move, the family moves, the village moves and the nation moves’. The purpose of this case study is to understand the paradigm shifts of India Inc.’s gender composition and how Indian women are carving a niche in the corporate world. From ancient times, women have held respectable position in the society, particularly in the Indian scenario. But unfortunately, their potential was underestimated since they were limited to domestic duties and were denied top positions in the corporate world. With the introduction of economic reforms in 1990s, women started stepping into the corporate world and excelled in their fields or showcased their talent. Though the women participation in labour force has increased, they are still striving to find considerable position at the top levels of organisational structure. In the male-dominated banking industry, Chanda Kochhar, Shikha Sharma, Naina Lal Kidwai and Manisha Girotra are some of the successful women executives who proved their mettle.

Further, the case study provides a rich discussion on – should women lead all the industries, which are crucial to an economy, in particular, banking industry? Do women make better bankers?

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To understand the paradigm shifts in India Inc.’s gender composition and discuss particularly the role played by economic reforms ushered in 1991
  • To make an objective evaluation of the role played by women managers in ICICI Bank’s meteoric rise
  • To debate and discuss – in the light of greater presence of Indian women in the banking industry, especially at the highest level – whether women make better bankers.

Keywords : Women executives, Women CEOs, Breaking the Glass ceiling, Gender Discrimination, Indian Women Executives, Women Leaders, Indian banking industry, Chanda Kochhar, Shikha Sharma, Naina Lal Kidwai, Indra Nooyi, K V kamat, US Bankers, Indian bankers, Heidi miller, Leadership


  • Women in Indian Society: From Custodians of Conservatism to Corporate Catalysts
  • India Inc.: The Changing Gender Composition
  • Women in Banking Sector: The ICICI Effect
    • Lalita Dileep Gupte, Retired as MD, ICICI Global Operations
    • Shikha Sharma, Former MD of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance (now MD and CEO of Axis Bank)

    • Chanda Deepak Kochhar, MD and CEO of ICICI Bank Ltd.
  • Women at Top Position in Foreign Institutions
  • Women on Top: Better Managers?
  • Indian Women at Top Level
  • ICICI Group Companies
  • The 25 Most Powerful US Women in Banking 2009
  • Top Women Bankers in the World
  • Relationship between Organisation and Financial Performance and Number of Women Executives

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