South India emerges as the land of opportunities for Women in Sales
While there is a gender gap in the sales workforce, there are also cities where women are making great strides in sales. LinkedIn data shows that Tier 1 cities such as Hyderabad (26%), Bengaluru (25%), and Chennai (22%) have the most number of women sales professionals in the country. Whereas, sales organizations in tier 2 cities such as Ahmedabad (14%), Lucknow (13%), and Jaipur (13%) promise the vast potential to bring more women into their workforces.
IT and Retail sectors employ most saleswomen in India
The data also shows that while some industries in India Inc. are progressing towards greater diversity in their sales workforce, others still have room for improvement. The IT services and Retail sectors have shown to be the most inclusive for women, with 27% and 23% of women respectively working in sales roles. On the other hand, the Pharmaceutical (10%), Manufacturing (14%), and Automotive industries (14%) have an opportunity to take more proactive measures to address the gender gap and create a more inclusive and diverse sales workforce.
3 in 5 women in sales come from non-sales roles; a skills-first hiring is key to inclusion
A majority (62%) of women hired in sales today come from non-sales functions like marketing and business development. This trend suggests two important things. Firstly, it highlights the value of having the right transferable skills, which allows women more opportunities to transition to sales roles. Secondly, it indicates that many organizations are already combating unconscious bias by focusing less on degrees, gender, or previous sales experience, and more on finding talent whose skills match the role.