Women workforce essentially forms 50% of the entire talent dwelling in the market; thus, making it critical for organizations to design policies and programs to attract, retain and cultivate them. Women play a huge role in enhancing workforce diversity which is one of the key differentiators for organizations– impacting profitability, innovation and culture.
“A McKinsey & Company report showed that companies with the highest share of women in their senior management teams actually outperformed those with no women by 41 percent. In fact, according to one Gallup study - inclusive cultures are reported to have 22% lower turnover rates due to increased morale, opportunity and equality. A change in mindset really delivers long term benefits,” says Rishabh Kaul, Co-founder and Head of Demand Generation, Belong.
Leveraging the occasion like International woman’s day, corporates in India have launched several initiatives to reinforce their commitment to their women employees. Here is a lowdown of various initiatives launched by companies:
PayPal: PayPal successfully introduced slew of initiatives to increase their diversity ratio in the technology space. They announced ‘Recharge’, which is a ‘back to work initiative’ for women. Program focuses on equipping women technologists with skills to pursue their careers after a personal break.
“Research has shown that only 34 percent of India’s IT workforce is female and 41% of women in technology companies tend to leave mid-career, compared to 17% of men. At PayPal, we are not only committed to building a strong and diverse organization, but also believe in the need to create a more diverse technology ecosystem. With the success of the unique Recharge program in 2016, we look forward to once again helping women technologists rebuild their confidence, while also providing them with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the latest trends in the tech industry as well as best practices to follow when they renter the workforce,” said Jayanthi Vaidyanathan, Director, Human Resources, PayPal.
PayPal has even revised maternity and adoption policies in the company. In addition to this, it is organizing a week-long celebration across their technology centers on International Women’s Day.
Simplilearn: Supporting the cause of gender diversity at workplace, Simplilearn has launched a report highlighting the state of women coming ‘back to work’ after a personal/maternity break. This survey, of 4000 women in India, clearly shows that close to 64% of the women on break look for relevant training and courses to come back to work and Information Technology has emerged as the most popular and in-demand sector for women looking at restarting their careers. They have even partnered with Sheroes to identify and provide relevant courses to women to join the field and industry best suited to them.
"Over the last two years we have seen a trend of more women opting to up-skill themselves in areas like Digital Marketing, Analytics and Agile project management. We have learned from our alumni that their primary motivation is to get ahead in their careers or in some cases make a career switch to a role of their liking. Another common finding is that many women look at a certification course as a great way to get ready for re-starting their careers after a break for personal reasons," says Kashyap Dalal, Chief Business Officer Simplilearn.
Belong: The recruitment startup launched the first automated diversity hiring tool in India called as ‘Belong for diversity’. It will help companies to make the diversity hiring faster and also eventually with time, it will help to eliminate the process of gender bias from recruitment. Belong is working with several tech and IT companies and reveals that there is an enormous focus on diversity hiring in Indian IT companies today.
Rishabh Kaul, Co-founder and Head of Demand Generation, Belong, says,“Traditional channels like job boards are not equipped to help recruiters with diversity efforts simply because there are fewer women candidates actively looking for new opportunities. In interactions with several companies, we have found hiring teams are actively trying to find more women applicants to balance gender ratios, and using outbound hiring tactics to target and engage passive talent has been the most successful method of discovering and hiring women candidates.”
Mphasis: With a strong focus on educational content, the company is organizing sessions and activities that will create awareness on subjects like human rights, violence against women, child development and work-life integration. Mphasis is running a week- long celebration with partners like Amnesty International and Klay on board.
“To create a workplace that is more inclusive of women we at Mphasis recognize the fact that women do not follow a linear career progression. Unlike men, women’s careers world over have more intermittent route which includes: taking time out, working reduced hours, part time or flex- time for multiple reasons. We have adopted a 3 pronged approach of attraction, retention and development of women at various stages in their career lifecycle. In addition to having women friendly policies and practices we have an Integrated Leadership Program (ILT) which provides opportunities for skill enhancement and competency development. We also offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for guidance with problem solving, decision making and combating emotional and psychological barriers to personal growth. In addition, we have created an Employee Resource Group called WE@Mphasis or Women Empowered at Mphasis,” says Puneet Bhirani , Chief People and Administrative Officer, Mphasis.
Vodafone: Vodafone announced two major initiatives designed to increase opportunities for women in the workplace and enhance life prospects for women in emerging markets. The Vodafone ReConnect programme is designed to attract talented women who have left the workplace for several years (in most cases to raise a family) who would like to return to work on a full-time or flexible basis but are struggling to make the professional connections needed or refresh the skills required. Vodafone has also announced a range of new commercial initiatives designed to help women in low-income and remote communities in emerging markets - particularly in India and Africa - benefit from mobile. Access to mobile - even the most basic voice and SMS services using low-cost 2G mobile phones - has already had a transformative effect for hundreds of millions of people in emerging markets.
Amazon: To help women resume their corporate career Amazon launched ‘rekindle’. Under this intiative, company will provide structured on-boarding, flexible work-options, focus mentoring and on job learning for women candidates. It will act as a launch pad, where Amazon will provide conducive environment to women address their concerns and close specific skills gaps.