India’s IT workforce is increasingly becoming more diverse and inclusive of people from different socio-economic, linguistic, and cultural backgrounds. Additionally, the demand for tech talent continues to increase. Across every business and industry, employers understand the importance of cultivating a tech-savvy workforce.
According to recent research from IDC, the size of the global technology industry will continue to grow, with spending to exceed $5.2 trillion worldwide. This is increasing the level of participation of women in the IT workforce. Furthermore, organizations are tapping into groups that have traditionally not been the focus.
In today’s fast-changing IT industry, organizations need to rethink, update, and revamp their diversity and inclusion strategies. This will lead to the creation of an equal and inclusive workspace, where employees feel appreciated and valued, regardless of their identity.
Let us take a closer look at the D&I progresses made in the Indian IT industry and how IT By Design, a technology company in India is at the forefront of these changes.
Latest D&I trends in the Indian IT industry
Increased scope of diversity and inclusion
Organizations today are beginning to realize that an extensively diverse workforce offers a business a competitive advantage. A study by Deloitte suggests that the importance of diversity and inclusion has been steadily rising in the overall business landscape, and many times, the primary champion of the company’s D&I efforts is the CEO. What’s more, there is a conscious and coordinated effort to scout for great talent in communities that are often under-represented in the workforce. These may include members from the various communities, people with disabilities, retirees or people who are about to retire, and individuals from marginalized communities.
Application across hierarchy
Traditionally, D&I has been actively incorporated in the entry-level hiring and recruitment processes. But now, we are beginning to see similar diversity and inclusion across the leadership levels. Consequently, over the past few years, there has been an unparalleled focus on building a diverse leadership at the C-suite level. Experts suggest that the disruptions caused by Covid-19 have forced organizations to redesign their talent strategies; it has enabled them to implement D&I policies across hierarchies.
Creating a level playing field
Lately, IT organizations have been forthcoming in providing support in helping the workforce operate at a level playing field. Most IT organizations have offered reimbursements for high-speed internet, home office setups, and other discretionary expenses to support employees from low-income groups.
Indian IT employers have an appreciation that everyone is not equally equipped to easily switch to working from home without facing infrastructural challenges. It is encouraging to see Indian employers stepping in to help employees with WFO to WFH transition through the ongoing pandemic.
ITBD’s efforts and initiatives for a diverse and inclusive workplace
IT By Design (ITBD) has been cognizant of the changing social and corporate paradigm in India and has adopted and implemented proven global best practices in their workplace. Here is a glimpse of some significant D&I programs and initiatives underway at ITBD:
Comprehensive D&I policies
ITBD has a comprehensive D&I employee policy that embraces diversity and celebrates the individuality of each and every employee as a fundamental core value of the organization. The policy ensures that individuals of different genders, generations, cultural backgrounds, and sexual minorities have a safe and inclusive workplace that will enable growth and success. Regular employee surveys with open-ended questions are periodically conducted to capture the pulse of the workforce and incorporate their feedback to improve existing D&I programs.
There is a special emphasis at ITBD to ensure inclusion across each department by hiring talent with core values such as humility, positivity, passion, and accountability. The organization has trained all hiring personnel and recruiters to embrace diversity - the "people" differentiation. At ITBD, the management is inspired by its employees and celebrates its diversity.
Bias-free performance management
Comprehensive D&I policies help all team leads at ITBD to define successful goals for their team members. Every employee is evaluated on the same set of core values in the context of their role, as opposed to a binary of reward or reprimand. Team goal-setting is also a cultural belief, wherein every team member is encouraged to participate, which reflects the diversity in decision-making at the enterprise level.
Employee Diversity training
A fundamental component of the D&I training program at ITBD helps employees address their stereotypes, biases, and prejudices through self-reflection. To ensure that a diverse set of people work in harmony, all employees undergo diversity training to be mindful of how they speak, react, and act towards individuals of different communities and cultures.
Diverse in-house committees
ITBD has several active internal teams, including the innovation committee and culture project teams, which include members across all levels of the organization to bridge cross-functional, cultural and generational gaps. This helps ITBD employees to collaborate better and share unique viewpoints across departments, cultural and gender differences.
The company CEO Sunny Kaila, a fierce advocate of a diverse workforce, explains, "We strongly believe that limiting the scope of diversity can inhibit us from realizing the creative and innovative abilities that already exist within our teams. For the diversity of thought, we purposefully select people with diverse experiences for these teams. Other than greater gender, racial, and ethnic diversity, we look for differences in learning style in ideal culture project leaders and innovation team candidates."
D&I in the Indian IT Industry: Key takeaways
- D&I is evolving: The definition of diversity and inclusion in the workplace is evolving to address the changing realities of the 21st-century business landscape.
- Consistency is key: Consistency in policies, employee training, and performance management practices are essential to have a diverse workforce thrive within the organization. Organizations that wish to make the most of a diverse workforce must ensure that all their processes align with their D&I policies.
- D&I is a must-have in a new-age business landscape: Diversity and inclusion is no longer a ‘good-to-have' policy in today’s competitive business landscape, but a must-have and a true competitive advantage. In a world where quality talent is hard to find, employers must reach out to diverse candidates and make a compelling case for choosing them.
Naturally, diversity and inclusion are key to outpacing the competition and winning the talent war. A truly diverse and inclusive workforce holds the key to building a sustainable and equitable future of work, and ITBD is proud to pioneer that change.