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KNOWing its Women Potential - KPMG
With 138,000 professionals working together to deliver value in 150 countries worldwide, KPMG has embraced diversity and fosters an environment of inclusion. This commitment starts at the top and is personally driven by Michael John Hastings, Global Head, Citizenship and Diversity, KPMG. In India, the focus on diversity and inclusion began in 2007 triggered by the need for a balanced leadership. The turning point was the realization that women bring a different set of skills in terms of attitude and behavior in an otherwise male dominated leadership team. Today, the male to female ratio at the entry level is about 60:40; the same declines to 80:20 at mid-management levels and stands at 90:10 at the senior management levels. Many women drop out before they reach senior or leadership position either due to marriage or childbirth. KPMG's agenda is to create an environment that will allow women the right opportunities to build careers, purely on a merit basis, with no quota for force-fitting women at the leadership level.
The sabbatical policy allows women to take time off either for an extended maternity and childcare or in some cases, even for elder care. Often women executives on a fast track growth were apprehensive of coming back after a break to find their peers having moved up the corporate ladder. The KPMG "Network of Women" (KNOW), a platform aimed at mentoring women to build lasting careers at KPMG, plays an important role in such situations. KNOW helps women balance their personal and professional goals and strive to mentor young mothers that "off-ramp" does not mean the end of their careers. As soon as a woman employee informs about her pregnancy, she is appointed a "Buddy Mom" who handholds her through the term while at work. Simultaneously, part-time work policy (choice of 4 or 6 hours work day) has helped all employees, particularly young mothers, balance career aspirations with family responsibilities.
Sangeeta Singh is the Executive Director - Human Resources, KPMG
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