In India, women have traditionally stayed at home to do housework and raise children. But fast-food chains in India are attempting to change that by hiring more female employees and attracting them with special benefits.
At the Mall of India in Delhi, almost half of the employees in food and fashion stores are women, according to The Wall Street Journal, which is inconsistent with the national reality that women make up 16 percent of employees in retail and 14 percent in fast food. Across the street in the old shopping district, there are hardly any female employees, even at women’s clothing stores.
“I wouldn’t feel comfortable working with so many other men there [in the old shopping district],” said Poonam Rawat, 21, a Wendy’s employee at the Mall of India. “Besides, my family would never give me permission.”
According to executives at multiple fast-food chains, “women are great for business” because of their tendency to be “more hygienic, customer-friendly and loyal,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
In order to attract more female employees at Western fast-food chains, companies are creating workplaces geared more toward women and conservative families.
Some companies are also offering special benefits such as self-defense classes (Burger King), manager mentorship programs (Pizza Hut, KFC, and Taco Bell), and gender sensitization programs and store rewards (Domino’s).
McDonald’s managers even invited the parents of female employees on site to see for themselves that their daughters would be safe working there. The managers told parents that the women “were now part of a multinational company that respected and promoted women.”