Blog: How JSW Steel leveraged e-learning to accelerate women careers

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How JSW Steel leveraged e-learning to accelerate women careers

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Here’s how the company developed an ecosystem of resources and support structures to help women succeed.
How JSW Steel leveraged e-learning to accelerate women careers

In order to attract, retain and enable women at JSW, organization needs to explore the nature of women’s career experiences by examining career locus, career beliefs and career contexts. In an internal survey, when women employees at JSW were asked about the most important aspects of their work, they unanimously ranked “Career and learning opportunities” as pivotal for their Career Growth. This feedback was the starting point to design #Girlswannalearn, Digital Learning program for Women @ JSW. 

Low representation of women in Mid-Top management levels was the data point which created a strong business case for a program of this scale. The program was introduced by merging learning and development to culture change. The women’s development program using technology was designed to build managerial capabilities and nurture leadership skills to equip women navigate through corporate maze and advance their career. 

“One of our endeavors in JSW is to build multifaceted capability and competency for our employees through blended learning methods. And e-learning has been one of our success mantra to bring the blended learning method alive for our employees. #Girlswannalearn is a live example of this method and embodies our Group’s philosophy to be #BetterEveryday.” Ajanta Chatterjee- Group Head Talent and OD.


Using the internal survey and insights from the Development Center, a list of competencies and skills were identified for the women to advance their career at JSW. A 21-day learning pathway was designed to master 8 habits of Highly Successful Women.

  • Habit-1 Learning Agility
  • Habit-2 Adaptability
  • Habit-3 Resilience
  • Habit-4 Organizing Performance
  • Habit-5 Diversity of Thought
  • Habit-6 Choosing the Best Solution
  • Habit-7 Leading Teams
  • Habit-8 Relationship Management

Each habit’s courseware modules were designed using Skillsoft client community, leadership videos bundled up to provide mastery and enhance the proficiency of the skill.

Learner Engagement 

Recognition systems helped entice participation. As learners completed each learning habit, “Active learner” badges were handed out. The first 10 employees to complete all courses were recognized. A list of top 10 employees who displayed an effort to learn and develop were recognized through mailers, announcements on the intranet & wall of fame.

Real-time updates on location participation and close runner ups were also shared after each habit concluded to generate buzz and delight learners.

Courses aligned to JSW’s potential indicator framework were bundled and mapped to facilitate all-round development. The participants were awarded with certificates on completion of the courses.

The four core phases of a high-performance learning journey

  • Commit to the journey
  • Building the knowledge foundation
  • Develop and practice Skills
  • Strengthen results

The entire journey required participants to continuously practice what they learned. And through post-intervention survey, the L&D team was able to support the learning process using constructive feedback from peers, supervisors, and customers, the behavior and skills were further strengthened.

Developing a sense of involvement among teams and an inspiring ecosystem helped succeed. It motivated women employees to actively learn and transfer the learnings on the job. This realization is seen as the biggest factor in the learning process, it's intrinsic and impactful. The ‘Sense of Involvement’ in creating learning pathways plays a prime role in engaging learners throughout the development journey.

Impact of #Girlswannalearn initiative

  • 92% Unique users accessed e-learning resources
  • 100% Modules were accessed
  • 95% of participants said it was easy to access the courses.
  • Top modules that were accessed or completed by women were Preparing for your performance appraisal, planning an effective performance appraisal, Unleashing personal and team creativity, Innovation, Strategic thinking.
  • In a survey conducted by JSW Learning Academy, 95% of the respondents said they liked the initiative #Girlswannalearn and 98% respondents said they have recommended e-learning courses to a fellow colleague, 87% of the respondents could effectively transfer learning on the job.

Benefits of e-Learning in supporting Women’s growth and development

Wider outreach:

Learning was made available without any budget constraint. Women at any location and in any grade had access to high quality and relevant learning modules.

Solution for training penalty:

Long-ingrained gender stereotypes. Work cultures that value face time over results. A leaky pipeline that does little to retain women in the jobs necessary to get the top roles. Women are not preferred for Job Specific, Career Development training programs. #Girlswannalearn was specifically curated for women by aligning learning goals of women and also by benchmarking cutting edge topics relevant to help women advance their career. Specialized knowledge & skill building programs were aligned to their career trajectory. 

Work-life balance

Women want to keep their skills up to date, but when a course involves long duration, it can be difficult to juggle career and family commitments. Using digital and blended learning opportunities, it is now possible for women to tackle this challenge and support their career aspirations.

Enhanced engagement of women employees: -

As people take on greater responsibility and have more direct interaction with the C-suite, they tend to become more engaged. To address the concerns and enhance employee engagement of women, the company is providing role-specific behavioral, leadership skills & technical skills training to women employees. The idea is to empower and equip them with right skills to take up larger responsibilities & move cross-functionally. This has led to increased engagement of women employees at JSW.

A Journey, not a Milestone

Offering high quality and meaningful content will keep learners fully engaged and motivated to learn. On the other hand, including information that is general and not specific won't bring any added value to the eLearning course, and may even make the learner question the value of the eLearning course as a whole. So, stay on-topic and always ensure that you offer information that will help them to improve their knowledge base and learn or improve upon the desired skill set. The key to finding what's relevant for online courses is to align it with what the learner may find valuable. If one is able to find a middle ground, you will be able to develop an eLearning strategy that provides the most benefit for everyone involved.

It's essential that learners are given the opportunity to explore the eLearning course if we want it to be fully interactive. We are including links in our communication that learners can just click in order to learn more about the topic. This is a key element that has enabled us to create interactive eLearning courses that enhance learners’ engagement and keep them coming back for more knowledge and information. Although the initiative is targeted towards all women employees, the initiative grew so popular and effective that we got individual requests from male employees to follow the active learner habit calendar.


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Topics: Learning & Development, #GetSetLearn

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