Dr Ritu Anand is a PhD scholar in psychology and the Senior Vice President and Chief Leadership And Diversity Officer at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). She has worked towards encouraging women’s leadership, establishing diversity in workspaces and ensuring the safety of women at work.
No career that is unfit for women in India, but the freedom to pursue any of the options without compromising with their desires, self-respect and safety is still limited. Sometimes it is the family that imposes limits or else, it is the workplace that pulls women down. And sometimes it is both. But there are women of power who use their privilege to change the narratives and one such woman of power is Dr Ritu Anand.
Here are some reasons why Dr Ritu Anand is a role model to many:
- As the Senior Vice President and Chief Leadership And Diversity Officer at TCS, Dr Anand works towards increasing diversity and encouraging more women leaders in the employment sectors. “At TCS we believe in the concept of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Strategic interventions are what make us one of the largest employers of women in the world, at more than 36% and multiple initiatives for helping women employees realize their potential while striking a good work-life balance,” she said in an interview.
- The initiatives undertaken by Dr Anand are aimed at women realising their potentials. Some of them are interactions with inspirational women leaders and leadership development programs that address the aspirations of women among others.
- Dr Ritu Anand has given a special focus to help married or pregnant women to sustain their careers. She has been instrumental in conducting workshops on parenting and discussions that can help women in dealing with a personal life crisis or major changes without losing their potentials and aspirations.
- Earlier, Dr Anand led the Talent Management and Total Rewards functions at the organisation. As part of this role, she introduced policies to enable career growth and close pay gaps of women and Gen-Y workforce. In 2009, Anand launched Diversity And Women’s Network (DAWN) that aimed at encouraging women to realise their aspirations and take up leadership roles.
- Dr Anand's policies to encourage diversity in TCS works on the principle of inclusion without exclusion. It employs not only women but employees from LGBTQIA+ and differently-abled communities.
- Dr Anand believes that organisations can inculcate diversity by recognising that there is a bias and striving towards removing it by creating an open culture. "I believe as a leader we must invest personal capital and actively role model the behaviours to build a more open and accepting culture. This must be done with courage, empathy and open-mindedness," she said.
- Dr Ritu Anand has also worked towards making the workplace a safe space. She has conducted some programmes to sensitise the employees about workplace harassment and be allies of each other so that they can understand the problems and address the grievances.
- She has also made persistent efforts to include mental health policies in workplaces.
Picture credit: peoplematters.in
The views expressed are the author's own.