NTT DATA, a global IT Innovator that delivers technology-enabled services, created its footprint in the Indian market in 2010-12 when it acquired multiple multinational IT companies. Each of the acquired companies had their own organizational cultures, and had to effectively collaborate under the umbrella of its parent organization. The diversity and heritage that they brought, opened the scope for building synergies, and there was a strong need to manage change in a controlled and phased manner throughout the course of mergers.
Identifying diversity challenges
During the course of business expansion in India, NTT DATA noticed that the rate of women taking career-breaks due to personal reasons were significantly higher in the region. This was mainly because of their multiple roles outside of work, which limited their capabilities to deliver justice for their true potential. Not all women at mid-levels showed interest in vying for growth-oriented and demanding roles at work, which was unlike their male colleagues, where a greater number were interested in these enhanced roles as they got created. The reduced career sustainability among women at mid-management level affected the proportion of active participation of women in implementation of organizational change strategies. The continued effect of gender imbalance was likely to limit the composure of decision making; capability to cater to diverse business challenges would have become difficult in the long run. If these challenges were not smartly addressed, it would also have increased the career breaks, absenteeism and impediment to optimum potential of talents.
Creating a “WINning” strategy
Right from the start NTT DATA overlooked traditional approaches to diversity initiative as it lacked adaptability to the changing trends of the employee base. Instead, the company worked on creating a customized framework named WIN – Women’s Initiative at NTT DATA. The aim was to help women overcome the unique challenges they face, thereby uplifting their professional lives. Through this initiative the company helped in unleashing the potential in women and established a cohesive work environment. It was envisaged to also result in more women taking up leadership roles and the organization benefiting by having better gender ratios in the workforce, resulting in well balanced and holistic work culture. The main objectives of WIN were to make NTT DATA “Employer of Choice” for the women workforce, retain women talent, leverage women’s potential to enhance their career and to educate women on subjects like health, work-life balance, self-defence, among others. Kick starting the initiative, location specific WIN committees were established across regions to plan and manage the regional level activities.
Under WIN, the company made concrete policies around maternity, fitness and stress, safety, self-defence, sabbatical leaves, etc. which were welcomed by the women employees. As a result, there has been a significant increase in satisfaction among the targeted group. A right combination of these factors has resulted in a notable rise of women in mid-level management. Further, the average tenure of women has risen and gender gap in the professional space has minimized significantly. NTT DATA now has higher employee satisfaction ratings among women employees. There has also been an increase in participation of women inNTT leadership roles.
Taking WIN to the global platform
The remarkable success of WIN in India has now paved the path for creation of a Global WIN team. The main objective of this initiative is to get high potential women connected at an international level, draw synergies using the NTT DATA’s global platform and leverage technology to connect them. To ensure that the expansion of the program reflects success, NTT DATA has a dedicated SharePoint portal for WIN which is integrated with its gamified Learning Management System (LMS). This has been designed to cater to the nomination, assessment and tracking of the program that are specifically designed for women. The main objective is to monitor the results achieved by the initiative and also capture feedback that helps fine tune the program.