Despite the essential role of gender equality in upholding fundamental human rights, women's involvement in the labor market remains inadequate. In India, men earn 82% of the labour income, while women earn a mere 18%, as highlighted in the World Inequality Report 2022.
To bridge this profound gap, organisations need to enact robust policies and comprehensive programmes that champion pay equity and equal opportunities across all roles.
“We conduct regular pay equity audits to eliminate gender-based wage gaps, ensuring fair compensation. Our non-discriminatory hiring practices provide equal access to job opportunities, and promotions based on skills,” says Manu Saigal, Director -General Staffing at Adecco India.
She further elaborates, “Diverse candidate sourcing widens the talent pool, enabling women to showcase their abilities. Skill enhancement programs facilitated through LHH empower women with leadership and negotiation skills.”
Equality for women cannot be ensured without having equal pay and equal opportunities. “Our employee-friendly policies have been designed to provide a healthy, inclusive, and compassionate work environment. We have been ensuring equal pay for men and women in every city we operate in,” says Ruchika Malhan Varma, Chief Marketing Officer, Future Generali India Insurance India Company.
Safe and supportive work environment
Ensuring a safe and secure environment goes beyond providing opportunities and pay parity. It's essential to foster a healthy working atmosphere where all women employees collaborate freely, untouched by discrimination or sexual harassment.
"Having a Policy on Sexual Harassment (POSH) aligned with the Sexual Harassment of Woman at Workplace Act, 2013, and an Internal Complaints Committee under POSH is crucial," emphasises Ruchika.
Today, it's not just about acknowledging but also believing in women's equality and their potential to fuel creativity, innovation, and productivity. "Our employee-centric culture encourages open communication, disruptive thinking, and inclusivity through unbiased recruitment and regular awareness activities," adds Ruchika.
Saigal highlights that their approach to gender sensitivity and inclusion is multi-dimensional, employing interactive training modules with case studies and real-life scenarios to deepen understanding.
Future Generali India Insurance integrates gender competence initiatives into their broader gender equality strategy.
Jaya Mehrotra, leadership coach and founder of Women Leadership Circle, emphasises that women's remarkable achievements when given the chance stand as a testament to their potential when barriers are removed. She notes that strides have been made against gender discrimination and workplace harassment, yet the ultimate goal is a barrier-free workplace.
To create a workplace resonating with safety, respect, and inclusivity, companies must align impactful strategies with the progress achieved. Mehrotra recommends focusing on leadership commitment, policies, training, diverse representation, and swift actions.
“By focusing on these practical strategies, companies can create a workplace culture that reflects progress, empowers individuals, and ensures that gender discrimination and workplace harassment become relics of the past,” concludes Mehrotra.