India Inc & Gender Equity: It takes each one of us
Diversity, markets, customers, ideas, and talent – all come together and make a business. It’s not a one person’s job. But there’s also a need for inclusion in an effort to build new leadership ability. What does it take to be a great leader in the future? In five years, ten years, even fifteen years where do you see yourself taking your company? Will these be diverse companies? Will they champion gender fairness?
Catalyst is putting together diversity dialogues on Sept 29th in Mumbai to bring together a diverse set of speakers to spark new conversation with India Inc.
Also Read: Empowering Women in the Workplace
“At Catalyst, we believe that change begins with ideas, and ideas can be shared when we feel safe to speak up and discuss. D&I Logues is meant to spark dialogue and informed conversation in India Inc. about the opportunities organizations have to make positive change through their leadership. It will bring about insights that help build inclusive workplaces which enable everyone to contribute and thrive,” says Shachi Irde, Executive Director, Catalyst India WRC.
Here are some examples of how corporate companies are making efforts to support women at workplace.
Recently, Nestlé India conducted a new initiative for a Gender Inclusive Culture. Nestlé increased maternity leave from 18 to 24 weeks, with the field force, and opportunity for women to experience work culture before accepting employment with an option to work for a day. Even they flagged off campus recruitment as well as mid-career hires.
While pregnancy is a big milestone for women – Kerala based Empowering Women in IT (eWIT) has recently launched an initiative called `Vaapas’, to bring back such women and to help their career resumed. eWIT have launched a platform dedicated to women, and offers them to register their names and upload CVs on their website.
We must add in here, the Centre’s Digital India initiative may play a bigger role in women empowerment in the workplace than any women-specific initiatives.
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ICICI Bank, has always been promoting and supporting its women employees without any discrimination, conducts self-defence training for women employees at regular intervals. These programmes aware women employees of their legal rights and influence then to achieve impart skills on handling adverse situations.
Similarly, India’s second-largest IT Company, Infosys, has about 33,700 women employees. To provide their female employees a motherly envioronment, they have opened lactation centres at its campuses. Wipro, on the other hand, has increased the maternity leave from six months to one year. They also sustain balance by providing woman employee the chance to relocate to the city of their choice if their husbands re transferred to another city.
Likewise, Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act provides a complaint procedure for women who have suffered sexual harassment at the workplace. According to latest The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, if the bill is passed, mothers of newborns will be entitled to maternity leave of 26 weeks, increased from 12 weeks.
Here is the list of speakers at the D&I Logues Conference, which gathers together global leaders and influencers to engage in deep conversations about diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts throughout India. The event is set to explore how individuals and companies can intentionally enact four inclusive leadership behaviors—Empowerment, Accountability, Courage, and Humility (EACH)—which Catalyst research has associated with team citizenship and employee innovation.
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