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Jaguar Owner Wants to Hire Women in India But Fewer Are Working

  • Social norms, higher family incomes see women quit jobs
  • IMF says more women in the labor market to boost India’s GDP
An employee works on a Tata Motors Ltd. Indigo eCS automobile on the assembly line of the company's factory in Pimpri, Maharashtra, India.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

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Jaguar Land Rover owner Tata Motors Ltd. had just about 200 women on the shop floor three years ago. Now, it has 10 times that number and is looking to hire more.

In socially conservative India, that may be a tall order. Better educated women from wealthier families aren’t encouraged to work and it’s usually when a man’s salary falls short that women seek jobs. Many drop out to take care of children and older family members, shrinking the share of women in the workforce to around 24 percent in 2015-2016 from 36 percent a decade earlier, according to government data.