Article: The 'DAWN' of Gender Inclusion: Ritu Anand


The 'DAWN' of Gender Inclusion: Ritu Anand

Dr. Ritu Anand, Deputy Head Global HR & Talent Management, TCS, talks about ways in which diversity will beckon the new era

TCS has implemented several initiatives to create increased awareness and shift of mindset towards gender inclusion


With changing workforce trends and an increasingly competitive market environment, developing and sustaining a healthy talent mix is an important business imperative. In this context, the areas of diversity and inclusion have gained immense attention globally, as well as in India.

TCS is an equal opportunity employer and has been involved in supporting diversity in the workplace for many years now. While driving a performance orientated culture is the foundation on which TCS continues to grow, we realized that focused affirmation was required for certain talent segments. Having looked at various data points and validated our internal findings with external research, TCS launched an initiative to provide a level playing field to these groups.

In order to strengthen and reaffirm this commitment to diversity, "Diversity and Women" Network" (DAWN) was launched three years ago. Its intent is to sharpen focus and heighten sensitivity on the diversity mandate across the various geographies and business units and it brings all activities under one banner. Guided by an advisory council, with representatives from various operating units, it serves as a collaborative platform for debate, dialogue and direction. Research indicates that gender diversity has a direct impact on performance of organizations. Women are also significant customers, investors and employees in the community today. Therefore, there are many ways in which this group can impact and influence business.

TCS has implemented several initiatives to create increased awareness and shift of mindset towards gender inclusion. Some of the initiatives include a "Stay Connected" and "Reorientation program" for associates once they proceed and return from a long leave, daycare tie-ups, workplace parent's group and discussion forums. From the policy perspective, a global guideline on diversity and inclusion, an extended leave without pay policy and a progressive childcare policy, allow women the flexibility to take a break during childbirth, when the child joins school or even to be with them during board exams. Other need-based flexible work arrangements take care of addressing work-life balance. Sensitization sessions, inspiring connect by leaders, manager trainings and open houses are TCS's way of getting associates accustomed to the changes, which are sweeping the talent arena.

To empower talented women and help them realize their potential, an executive education program was launched this year. The aim is to help them become more self-aware, develop a personal brand and get a better insight into the larger organizational context. This initiative attempts to help TCS build a more sustainable leadership pipeline and retain and engage with extraordinary women talent.

The question today is not about women or men, it is to ensure that all professionals can work together in decision making roles. With a mixed bag of these tailor-made solutions we want to create an inclusive work environment where talent can thrive!

Dr. Ritu Anand is the VP & Deputy Head - Global HR, Tata Consultancy Services

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Topics: Diversity, Strategic HR, C-Suite, #BestPractices, #ExpertViews

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