Do you still see gender disparity at the workplace today? Please help us understand where and how do you see it happening?
No, I personally don’t see a gender disparity in today’s time. Era has changed and even from the small scale industries to MNCs give a broader thought on Gender diversity. If we talk about the Indian corporate, the ratio has reached to 34% when it comes to having women workforce at different levels of the organization.
However, the commitment to change needs to move beyond an organisational setting and include an ecosystem-wide lens. Enabling maximum career options for young women in all possible gamuts, supporting women-led start-ups, and encouraging other women entrepreneurs are some of the more impactful initiatives that organisations need to actively look at.
What is the role of an HR in promoting gender diversity and inclusion?
The human resource department (HRD) is the glue that holds together the employee structure of an organization. So it is that glue who translates over to creating diversity and inclusion within the workplace.
Diversity is more than race or ethnicity. Diverse workplaces are composed of employees with varying characteristics including, but not limited to, religious and political beliefs, gender, ethnicity, education, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, and geographic location. Inclusion is defined as having respected and appreciation for the differences in ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc., that make up the workplace. Then the role of ‘the glue’ is to ensure that the organization is just that, diverse and inclusive.
HR has to foster an organisational culture that is comfortable with different employees contributing to the overall enterprise in different ways and that actively manages women so they effectively utilise available programs and benefits in the context of their overall career development.
Active involvement of senior leaders in gender equity leads to greater representation of women in executive roles is what we are following as one of our strategy at prompt when it come s to gender diversity.
Remember, People working at companies often see HR as the key agents of change when there’s a problem like a lack of women in leadership and that is where HR can make an impact.
What strategies for gender diversity would you suggest HR’s of today, to incorporate in their hiring plans?
- Align your diversity strategy with your talent strategy. Ensure that your strategy for improving gender diversity doesn’t run counter to your underlying approach to managing talent
- Assess your company’s current gender split before you initiate organisation wide hiring strategy
- Tailor your employer brand to a broad audience to showcase your commitment to diversity
- Consider having a robust flexibility policy in place to attract new talent and to retain them
- Encourage women centric platforms to participate in your job fest.
- Track your outreach and response rates by gender to make meaningful adjustments to your hiring strategy
How has Covid-19 affected women in the workforce?
The impacts of crises are never gender-neutral, and COVID-19 is no exception.
The collapse of the child care sector, drastic reductions in school supervision hours, restrictions to keep servants in the home to look after old age parents, as a result of COVID-19 could drive millions of mothers/women, out of the paid workforce. Inaction could cost undermine family economic security, and set gender equity back a generation.