5 steps to gender inclusivity at workplace

Geetha Kannan, a Consultant at Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) talks about steps to make the workplace more gender sensitive and help to build women as business transformers.

More companies should adopt women-friendly policies Photo:GoogleMore companies should adopt women-friendly policies Photo:Google

The Global Gender Gap Report highlights
serious gender inequities that need to be rectified. It sheds light on the squandered resources that has resulted from our failure to leverage female human capital. The report's message is one that businesses must heed -- not just out of fairness but because companies are wasting talent and skills that can generate significant competitive advantage. The Diversity and Sustainability Office at HCL Technologies in collaboration with NASSCOM organized a panel discussion on how companies can rebalance the work place with specific focus on gender in Bangalore. The panel discussion touched upon key issues like gender inequalities in the Indian corporate sector, the lack of enough female presence in senior management and how a quota system will help companies to re-balance the gender ratios.

But how can companies really re-balance the work place with specific focus by improving gender ratios at all levels?

Geetha Kannan, a Consultant at Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) shares with us some steps, companies can undertake to encourage gender diversity.  She has over 20 years of industry experience and until 2008 was the Vice President – HR at Infosys Technologies Ltd. In her almost 16 years at Infosys she was instrumental in creating, setting up and defining the roles and responsibilities of diversity and sustainability for the Infosys group of companies. She is also a member of the CII Karnataka Women Business Leaders Forum and Heads the sub-committee on Multi generational Diversity for NASSCOM.

Few important practices that companies can adopt:
• Foster a “culture of inclusion” as a business imperative and recognize gender inclusivity as a key factor in organizational agility, innovation and success.
• Remain open to accepting the different capabilities that women bring into the workplace and create a nurturing environment for them to take leadership roles.
• Set up special cells, and introduced policies and processes that spur women participation, especially at the higher levels of decision-making.
• Make the security and dignity of female employees a priority.
• Showcase “Role Models” to encourage younger women to aspire for leadership positions to remain diverse and gender inclusive.

Tags: gender inclusivity in companies, women’s careers, career mobility, support systems


AJ Aug 31st, 2011 11:48 AM

Good post Lavanya. Having worked in the corporate sector for a few years, now I work from home mainly. I agree that there are so many instances where companies can do their bit to make workplaces more women-friendly. Some companies don't even have basic necessities like decent washrooms for women! Although companies are waking up to the reality and realizing the benefits of harnessing the women workforce, we still have to go a long way. Another useful read on this is

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