One of the most notable trends observed across the corporate landscape in India today — is its increasing affinity towards gender diversity. Tapping into a broader cognitive pool not only foster greater innovation and creativity are born, but an organisation that endorses gender diversity also builds an ecosystem of better corporate health.
Following a mandate passed in 2013, progressive organizations have now begun to address gender imbalance seriously, and have over time taken small but significant steps towards roping in women employees at all levels.
How does a diverse workplace offer competitive advantage
A research by Catalyst in 2012 showed that 67% of employers in India are unable to find the right candidates for their listed jobs. Since women form almost 50% of talent pool and it only makes clear sense to maximise this human capital.
A report by Ernest and Young in 2014 reveals that companies with gender balanced teams and management boards –
- outperform their contemporaries and competitors
- have enhanced executive decision making and problem solving skills
- yield better returns on equity
- foster greater innovation and creativity
- have a healthier corporate environment
The changing corporate scenario
The challenge for companies lies in retaining and nurturing this invaluable pipeline of talent through various layers of social and personal necessities. Women in India are accepted to be the gender with higher familial responsibilities and it is only fair to respect this role of women in a civilized society.
However organizations must and have already begun to spin work cultures that are conducive to women. Monetary benefits, honest consideration of marital and parental duties and psychological support through innovative measures like counselling, camps and health check-ups are being implemented widely. Read on to find out about some of the top Indian companies and their measures towards bringing gender balance to the workplace.
Flipkart sets the standard notch higher
India’s favourite ecommerce giant, Flipkart has set the benchmark rather very high by recently introducing a set of attractive measures for its women employees. Not only has the online retailer offered a year’s break without pay for new mothers but will also be taking care of 50% of day care expenses of the child in any facility up to 4 years of age.
Just when women thought this was a great offer, Flipkart further surprised employees by permitting Rs 600 transport allowance and reserved parking lots during the final trimester of pregnancy. Officials in the firm believe that 24 weeks with the four months of flexible working hours after delivery would be the most attractive benefit for young women.
Flipkart has already made it to headlines earlier this year through its million dollar salary offers to engineers and strategy experts. This combined with the new stand in promoting gender diversity is expected to help its talented women professionals grow within various levels of management.
HCL takes on creative ways to retain women talent
HCL Technologies India is also one of the very few companies that offer 24 weeks of maternity leave for its employees. Additionally it also addresses the issue of work-life balance for young mothers through counselling sessions on relationships, parenting and motherhood. The firm also plans on launching child care centres across all branch offices to encourage women to continue work after delivery.
Edelweiss augments its talent pool
Edelweiss from the financial services sector has promoted gender diversity through several measures like healthcare policies and child support. It targets to hire 100 female managers by the end of next year. The firm hopes to expand its talent pool by launching “Target – 100 Women Young Leaders”.
Others joining the bandwagon…
Godrej Group has offered six months of fully paid maternity leave followed by flexible working hours and part time hours for up to one year. Airtel has rolled out grocery stores and vegetable kiosks along with child care centres for helping young mothers. While the statutory requirement for paid maternity leave is 3 months, Dabur has offered to extend the period by another month. Women employees at Tata Chemicals can enjoy flexible working hours till the child turns one. Maruti and Ford from the automobile sector embrace gender diversity through women-only recruitment drives and leadership development programmes. These measures are of high value in a rather male-dominated industry. SAP India, one of the most desirable employers for engineers boasts of 94% return rate of women employees who go on a maternity break. The Run Mummier and SAPlings crèche are some on the creative initiatives driving this success rate.
A final note…
A neat revelation from Corporate Dossier –Spencer Stuart in March 2015 showcased the FMCG sector with the highest number of women business leaders and most of the firms in the cadre where those with specific mandates that promote gender diversity.
As a business that supports the participation and growth of women, an organisation holds to reap a wide set of benefits such as a culture infused with innovation, healthy organisational practices, higher retention rates, seasoned leaders and continual excellence.