Gender continues to be the top priority on the diversity and inclusion agenda for companies in Asia Pacific. According to Mercer's Asia Pacific Diversity & Inclusion, over 90 percent of the participants surveyed list gender as the main focus of their diversity efforts in India. Consistent with this focus, the most common diversity programs offered by companies in India are gender-related, such as mentoring (61 percent) and family-friendly policies (55 percent).
60 percent of the participating companies in India reported having a diversity and inclusion strategy in place at the global and regional level of which around 14.5 percent had a diversity strategy at a country level. Among the 40 percent of respondents whose companies do not have a Diversity and Inclusion strategy, over half reported that they would like to explore or are already looking into establishing a diversity and inclusion strategy.
For companies with diversity strategies in place, efforts in 2012 will mainly focus on two initiatives - developing women for leadership roles and attracting more diverse talent to their organizations as rated by 36 percent and 39 percent respondent’s respectively. It is interesting that while multiple generations within the workforce was identified as a trend impacting the workforce, few felt that it is a major area of focus for 2012.
According to Shanthi Naresh, Principal, Human Capital, Mercer India commented “Diversity & Inclusion strategies are gaining a strong foothold within India Inc. demonstrating inherent benefits for both employees and employers. We expect it to grow further with more focus around creating stronger linkages between the diversity and inclusion strategy and the business. Measuring the impact of the strategy on productivity, retention and profitability is key to its success.”