Corporates becoming mindful of fair representation of gender mix at workplace

New Delhi: May 1 In a bid to achieve a fair representation of gender mix in workforce, corporates in India are adopting various initiatives that aid in career advancement, engagement and life stage support for its women employees.

Though 48 per cent of Indian population is women but their participation in the workforce is merely 28.5 per cent and this low participation is due to various social stigmas along with higher drop-out rate in education, Pankaj Bansal, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, PeopleStrong, said.

Organisations across the world are aware of the gender gap especially at the senior management levels and are acting to bridge it. Besides providing various leadership programmes, companies are monitoring pay and career progression to protect against unconscious bias.

HSBC Software Development (India), the India technology arm of HSBC, has launched Take2, a recruitment programme designed specifically to provide opportunities for women who have taken a break from work to restart their career.

Over 400 women applied for the internship positions in HSBC Technology through this year’s programme. The 12-week internship precedes an opportunity to work at the organisation.

Meanwhile, IL&FS Financial Services has “Ananya Model” which revolves around capitalising every opportunity to enhance support to the women employees.

At Bayer, ‘International Careers’ is a key career building blocks for senior roles. Exposure to different markets and businesses, models of collaboration and culture is viewed in Bayer as an important requirement to move into regional or global roles.

“The push towards ensuring gender balance in this way results in creating a pool of female employees with greater aspirations and openness to mobility, knowing that the company understands their priorities and together invest to be ready in the pipeline to take up leadership positions,” said K S Harish, Country group HR Head – South Asia Bayer.

Though a number of research studies have established the value of having a gender diverse organisation, a recent study by CII Indian Women Network (IWN) and EY noted that 69 per cent organisations are unable to understand the benefits of gender diversity at organisations.

“Business leaders must develop a hiring strategy that increases gender diversity in units that are less gender diverse with due importance to merit. Organisations must thrive for a gender diverse culture fostering trusting relationships that motivates them to give their best in everything,” Chandan Chattaraj, President Human Resources (India & Global) Uflex Limited said.

“While initial attempts to focus on representation ratios is good, sustaining participation of both genders at all levels of the organization is crucial for organizations to experience the benefits of diversity,” Shanthi Naresh, India Business Leader, Career, Mercer, said.

Source: Outlook India

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