Defining A Pro-Women HR Framework

pallavi

Increasing gender diversity is a key topic of discussion among organizations today, and companies who are already in the process of catapulting their gender diversity efforts will progress quicker than others.

Only 5% of working women in India make it to senior leadership positions in the corporate sector, compared to a global average of 20%. In the dropout rate of women from the global workforce, India ranks at the top of the list. Although organizations have begun to hire a somewhat equal number of men and women, the percentage of women who make it to the C-suite is still decidedly low. Companies that don’t yet have female representation on the board should act now. Those who do should add another, as research shows that that is how real change begins to occur.

India has shown improvement after the Companies’ Act 2013 mandate, which stipulated that every board must have at least one woman director. Before the mandate’s enforcement in 2014, only 5.1% of directors were women. Today, that number is at 13%.

According to Second Innings, a survey report by CII’s Indian Women’s Network (IWN) a massive 37% of women opt out of their jobs mid-career due to issues relating to childcare. A pro-women HR policy must include flexible timing, sufficient maternity leave, paternity leave and perhaps even day-care.

Supporting women through maternity leave is commonplace these days, having support from a partner is invaluable. It is heartening to see more policies aimed at giving new fathers more time to be involved in their children’s lives too. If more fathers could take paternity leave it would relieve the home and work pressures on women, as well as reduce the stigma associated with taking maternity leave. We are proud to say that at Dale Carnegie India we offer an extended maternity leave as well as paternity leave. Providing strong support to female employees encourages them to have a long tenure at an organization and build a stronger career path for themselves.

Pragmatic HR leaders interested in strategically closing the gender gap know that the key to the challenge lies in levelling the playing field and creating equal opportunities for men and women from the very beginning of their careers. The idea is to, through the HR policies of an organization, develop a framework wherein the need-gaps that women face are tackled one by one, such that any woman is able to have a satisfactorily long, unhindered career journey at an organization.

There is a relevant reason why increasing gender diversity is a key topic of discussion among organizations today. The truth is that companies who sense the significance of up-scaling gender diversity will access a larger talent pool, with a superior scope of innovating, expanding and transforming as a business, in the long run. 

[Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Trivone Media Network's or that of CXOToday's.]