Article: Inclusive excellence: Shahine Ardeshir's approach to gender diversity at Mars Wrigley


Inclusive excellence: Shahine Ardeshir's approach to gender diversity at Mars Wrigley

In conversation with Shahine Ardeshir, discover Mars Wrigley India's unique approach to promoting gender equality and cultivating a vibrant, empowered workplace community.
Inclusive excellence: Shahine Ardeshir's approach to gender diversity at Mars Wrigley

In the dynamic realm of corporate leadership, Shahine Ardeshir emerges as an unwavering advocate for diversity and inclusion. As the Director of People and Organisation at Mars Wrigley India, she boasts over 15 years of HR leadership experience across diverse global landscapes. A proven catalyst for impactful change, Shahine has played a pivotal role in shaping Mars Wrigley's DEI strategies, with a particular focus on advancing gender diversity and inclusion. Her extensive journey, encompassing MNCs, start-ups, greenfield projects, and transformative change initiatives, serves as a testament to her unyielding dedication to cultivating diverse talent and fostering an inclusive workplace culture.

In this exclusive interview, we embark on an exploration of Mars Wrigley India's unique approach to championing gender equality and cultivating a workplace that thrives on inclusivity.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

Pioneering Change: Overcoming Gender Diversity Challenges

Embarking on the journey to advance gender diversity within Mars Wrigley India, Ardeshir encountered challenges. "Availability at a frontline level and on the shopfloor level posed significant hurdles," she reflects. Yet, through strategic interventions like traineeship programs and community engagement initiatives, Ardeshir and her team dismantled barriers at these two junctures respectively. They also addressed the absence of role modelling at the top by paving the way for a gender-balanced leadership team—a testament to their unwavering dedication.

Diversity Transcends Boundaries: A Global Perspective

Drawing from her diverse HR background, Ardeshir elucidates a broader perspective on diversity and inclusion. "The biggest lesson I have learned is that diversity and inclusion is not just limited to women – it means different things in different contexts," she asserts. From race in South Africa to localisation in Saudi Arabia, and gender and origin/geographic diversity in India, Ardeshir underscores the universality of diversity. Transparent decision-making then emerges as a linchpin in promoting workplace diversity and inclusivity, reinforcing a culture where meritocracy reigns supreme. “People need to know that there is no favouritism,” she emphasises.

Driving Engagement and Performance: The Impact of Gender-Inclusive Policies

Ardeshir underscores the pivotal role of gender-inclusive policies in driving employee engagement and organisational performance. "We strive to ensure that all our policies and practices are fair, that the basis of decisions are clear and that associates feel they can raise concerns and be heard should they have any doubts," she affirms. By fostering an environment where every voice is heard and every concern addressed, Mars Wrigley India cultivates a culture of transparency, equality, and inclusivity—an ethos that fuels success from within. 

Measuring Impact: A Data-Driven Approach to Diversity

In measuring the efficacy of Mars Wrigley India's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, Ardeshir champions a data-driven approach. "We track tangible outcomes," she shares, citing metrics like women's representation in leadership pipelines and diversity-related trends in associate outreach. Ardeshir's unwavering commitment to accountability ensures that progress isn't just measured but meticulously monitored and acted upon. “We also strive to have gender-balanced panels – meaning that the final shortlist for most roles should include both genders,” she adds.

A Vision for Tomorrow: Empowering Women, Building Communities

Looking ahead, Ardeshir outlines a bold vision for enhancing gender equality and inclusion at Mars Wrigley India. "While we continue to strive to attract the best and brightest women into our organisation, our focus is now on creating more forums and associate resource groups for women to connect and build communities," she declares. Inspired by the success of this approach in the Global Emerging Markets region, Ardeshir envisions a future where Mars Wrigley India stands as a beacon of empowerment, driving transformative change within and beyond its walls.

In closing, Shahine Ardeshir's steadfast leadership embodies Mars Wrigley India's unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion—a commitment that transcends rhetoric to shape real, tangible change. As they continue to forge ahead, Ardeshir and the Mars Wrigley India team stand as catalysts for a more inclusive future, where diversity isn't just celebrated but embraced as the cornerstone of organisational excellence.

Read full story

Topics: Leadership, Culture, Diversity

Did you find this story helpful?



How do you envision AI transforming your work?

Your opinion matters: Tell us how we're doing this quarter!

Selected Score :