Fabulous 15 - Part 4

By understanding and addressing the needs of women, these companies have made the cut as India’s Best Workplaces for Women. Read on to know what they are doing right

Published 6 years ago on Oct 09, 2018 5 minutes Read
Photograph by RA Chandroo

Eligibility criteria: Women must form at least 10% of the workforce; minimum 70% of the women, and all employees must share a positive perception of the workplace; and the organisations must meet the minimum qualifying criteria on the assessment of their people practices, evaluated through a proprietary tool. To pick the Top 15, two-third weightage was given to the experience of women employees and one-third weightage to people practices specifically for women employees.

(Listed in alphabetical order)

PayPal India

  • Industry: Information technology
  • India HQ: Chennai
  • Guru Bhat: General manager, technology, India Development Centre
  • Jayanthi Vaidyanathan: Director, HR
  • Employee strength: 1,559

Diversity and inclusion is at the heart of everything done at PayPal globally, and in India. And the company makes it clear that it is not just a moral obligation, but a business imperative, keeping in mind its diverse set of customers. PayPal has an impressive list of policies that make the work environment a lot more conducive for women. For starters, mothers-to-be in their last trimester are entitled to book a dedicated cab for pick-up and drop between home and work. There is also a gynaecologist visiting the office facility twice a month. These facilities are part of the broader Wellness for Women programme, which includes flexible work timings; tests for pap smear screening, breast cancer, thyroid and bone density; and expert talks on breast-feeding to help young mothers. There is also an effort to bring women back into the workforce through a programme called Recharge. PayPal India organises the Girls in Technology workshop, started in 2015, which focuses on providing hands-on experience and understanding of technology to get young girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. As part of this, about 30 girl students from Thoraipakkam Girls Higher Secondary School spent a day at the PayPal Chennai Tech Center. During the day, the girls were given a glimpse into the basics of coding, financial health and even public speaking skills to stoke their interest in coding early. The aim, as the company puts it, is to inspire tomorrow’s leaders.

Pegasystems Worldwide India

  • Industry: Information technology
  • India HQ: Hyderabad
  • Suman Reddy Eadunuri: Managing director and country head
  • Shanthi Sundar: Senior director and head, HR, India
  • Employee strength: 1,430

In a product organisation, innovation is key, and innovation will happen only when there is diversity in ideas, believes Shanthi Sundar, senior director and HR head at Pegasystems. This prompted the company to not just ensure targeted hiring for every section/department, but also to re-skill their existing women workforce. There are also sessions conducted on women’s health, fitness and diet by health experts and doctors. The company also realised that women often see themselves as secondary bread winners, and lack confidence in accepting a promotion even when they deserve it. To motivate them, Pegasystems runs a programme called Sheroes, where they seek nominations from all employees annually. These can be self, manager or peer nominations. To be nominated for Sheroes, a woman has to demonstrate leadership pride, volunteerism and commitment to her work as well as the community. Pegasystems has started a voluntary club of women employees called Pega Women Ambassadors, who converse with prospective women hires during the interview process and share their perspective about the company. Pega Women Ambassadors also act as buddies for the women employees who have been offered a role and help them with any information that they would require until they join the organisation. As a result of all these initiatives, the percentage of women in its workforce has risen from 19 to 30 over the past three years.

People Combine Educational Initiatives

  • Industry: Education and training
  • India HQ: Hyderabad
  • Naga Prasad Tummala: Chairman
  • Rajeev Tupsakri: Chief people officer
  • Employee strength: 1,468

Right from its inception in 2011, People Combine has ensured that women are at the centre of operational and key business decisions, as well as their implementation. The education management and consulting company acknowledges the numerous roles that a woman employee has to handle, and has curated policies to make the transition smoother. A key policy is the Partial Pay Option, through which women can opt for ‘partial work-partial pay’ when a full-time engagement becomes difficult. 43% (based on eligible roles) of women employees are availing this feature currently. The company is also among the few organisations that provide daycare centres at and around campuses. Additionally, if the husband is transferred to another location where People Combine is present, its women employees  can take a direct posting in that location. Last year, they had 10 women employees who availed of this benefit. Women employees also benefit from the numerous sessions on safety, self defense and nutrition organised by the company. An SOS app and a dedicated hotline for women employees to reach out to when there are safety concerns are also operational. Women constitute 52% of its total workforce. Rajeev Tupsakri, chief people officer of the company, says that women have been working from prehistoric times and their role in economic activity was always significant. Even today, women are primary breadwinners of most rural families. “The difference now is certain work hitherto considered exclusive for men are being taken up by women and they are outperforming men,” he says.

This is Part 4 of a five-part series. You can read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.