WINGS: An intervention driving DEI at work
In our organisation, we understand, acknowledge and appreciate the importance of diversity. As a growing organisation, it’s key that we have a focused approach and agenda to ensure that we are able to build this diversity and have a focused intervention which dedicates itself to growth, development and well-being of women employees at work. Keeping this objective in mind we launched the WINGS initiative.
WINGS is Women Initiative to Nurture, Grow and Succeed for all women of MOFSL. The objective of this initiative is to:
- Develop women leaders for the organisation
- Create an overall development plan for women across the organisation
- Support women employees in a manner that allows them to balance their personal and professional aspirations
WINGS is an initiative which touches each women employee and by providing them a platform to think, evaluate, assess and plan how they can become not just successful employees but also successful leaders within the organisation. The organisation truly believes that women are empowered to bring about a different thought process, paradigm which can value the organisation at all levels. Surely the organisation sees the benefits today, and wants to leverage on this potential. Thus through WINGS we are taking small steps in that direction which is a program facilitated by the organisation and a program which is OF the Women, For the Women and run By the Women.
As part of the WINGS intervention there are multiple areas which we started with:
- Saakhi: Women’s Helpline # - providing a dedicated helpdesk for women employees to connect on any issue / problem / challenge / matter that they would want to discuss. An opportunity to use this help desk as a sounding board or a solution provider for matters that would have. This helpline is available to women employees round the clock. This help desk has helped get solutions to women employees in getting some guidance, counselling around some of their personal matters and also resolving some work place matters like working hours and working relationships. Since we have both internal and external people supporting women employees w.r.t. to the queries they would bring; it’s been effective for all women. The biggest factor in the initiative is the trust and confidentiality which is maintained by the desk to ensure that no employee information or issues is known to anyone including their reporting managers or HR people. Maintaining confidentiality in the process has led to building a lot of trust in the desk and making it effective.
- Well-Being initiatives: various initiatives linked to well-being w.r.t managing work-life balance, building their self-esteem, mindsets towards career, etc were addressed by organising workshops and seminars with external experts and speakers. As part of these initiatives special yoga, meditation sessions were also organised to support the well-being agenda. As part of the well-being a session with Dr. Marshall Goldsmith was also conducted with all women employees of the organisation who provided his expertise and guidance on managing work-life balance and making them more effective.
- Organisation Policies: As part of the initiative, the WINGS group was empowered to discuss and provide their recommendations to the organisation to change / modify / create any organisational policy. These changes could be w.r.t. women centric needs or benefits or any new recommendation that would be helpful for women employees. As a group all the women employees could send their recommendations to the core WINGS committee who internally would then discuss and put up their recommendations to the CHRO for policy change. They would get an opportunity to present their recommendations and views for change / initiation of the policy.
- Women Learning & Development: Structured competency based learning and development agenda focused towards identifying competencies to be developed for women employees were to be evaluated. Basis this customised training programs were conducted for development. Programs related to becoming effective team leaders, understanding team effectiveness, self-leadership, etc.
- Women Leadership Development: As part of this initiative High-Potential women employees are identified as key talent. As part of Talent Development a structured Individual Development Plan is created for them based on which action learning projects, coaching, mentoring, MDPs are identified for them. As part of the Executive coaching in the organisation and the talent development intervention high potential women leaders are also identified and put through leadership coaching. The Individual Development Plans are reviewed on an ongoing basis and ensured that development progress is on track. As part of leadership development for women, building synergy, connection and engagement with other leaders in the organisation is also key. Thus as part of their development these women leaders are identified and made part of action learning projects at cross functional level. Also as part of leadership engagement forums / events / outings these high potential women leaders are included as part of the group.
Thus, WINGS as an initiative has been a small step towards developing, building diversity and women leadership in the organisation. WINGS for the organisation is a journey and we are on that journey where we are able to strongly build this into an engine which not just ensures building diversity and growth for women employees but ensures that future women leaders employee change interventions are emerging as an outcome of this intervention. As defined in the name, we surely aim at making this an intervention which allows women employees to nurture, grow and succeed in all spaces of their life.