In a survey done by People Matters, women respondents felt that factors like ‘leadership development programs’, ‘mentoring and networking opportunities’, ‘sensitization of managers to gender’ along with some hygienic base of ‘flexible work arrangement’ and ‘assistance in the form of leaves’ are vital to retain women (these factors were chosen by more than 75% of respondents as very important). Factors like company providing ‘child care facilities at the workplace’ and ‘internal women forums’ came second.
Respondents in a survey see lack of flexible work solutions, work-life balance and lack of an inclusive work culture as important barriers hindering women from rising to the top. At the same time, they believe that training programs at the executive and leadership level, mentoring opportunities and sensitizing managers will help retain women. While most organizations are taking care to address the barriers, more emphasis must be laid on what will actually ensure in retention.
• Lack of adequate re-entry opportunities (29%) is a problematic area. However, only 2% of organizations provide for reintegration programs.
• 85% respondents feel that leadership development programs are key retention measures for women. However, only 22% respondents claim that their organizations provide such programs.
• Mentoring and networking opportunities is another key measure to retain women, state 81% respondents. However, only 28% respondents claim that their organizations undertake this initiative.
• 62% respondents claim that having an internal women’s forum is an important retention factor for women. However, only 33% respondents claim that their organizations have such a forum.
Only 16% of CEOs actually have the gender inclusion agenda as part of their scorecard. The results show that organizations are not allocating their budgets, resources and targets to support the mandate on gender inclusion. Data shows that only 14% organizations have budgets and resources allocated within their organizations to drive this mandate.
However, having said that there are some companies which are doing Gender Diversity really well and go on to receive awards year after year.
Dell has a unique initiative in place to create a diverse and inclusive workplace. It is working with its menfolk to make them advocates of gender diversity.
“Men have the potential to be powerful ambassadors for implementing many diversity and inclusion initiatives, as well as influencing other male peers to support gender initiatives.
I conclude that for every Shikha Sharma, Naina Lal Kidwai, Chanda Kochhar, and Indira Nooyi, we have Pooja, Shelly, and Mamta who have not been able to get equal pay for equal work or find jobs post maternity or a break in their careers.
I have presented a case backed up by research on Gender Diversity in Organizations, I will leave it to your judgement to reach your own conclusions!
Would love to hear your thoughts , views and experience on Gender Diversity at the workplace.
About the Author – @rucsb . Ruchi Bhatia is IIM-C Alumni and Recruitment Branding Lead @ IBM. She has over 16 years of professional work experience across Sales, Operations, OD, Corporate Training, HR , Learning Consulting, WorkForce Partnering, and as Professional Development Leader . She is a Feminist, honored as Top 50 Women to follow in Asia, as Top 10 Sheroes in India ,Sheroes Mentor and Top 100 HR Influencers in India & Worldwide. She is on Advisory Board Member to DMA Asia and Founder of HRGurukul. ( A Learning platform for HR Professionals ) . She loves to read, write and is fond of trekking / travel. She can be contacted via twitter @rucsb , email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature Image Source: India Today