Unconscious bias in hiring has been cited as one of the biggest hurdles women have to cross. Managers who think they are giving everyone a fair chance may ignore, for example, a woman applicant for a role that involves a lot of travelling or late evenings. CISCO takes these blindspots head on with their ‘Unconscious Bias Training’. Among other things, it teaches people to recognise it and create processes to minimise it. The company also coaches people on having ‘Courageous Conversations’, which is essentially about having an open and respectful dialogue, and supports a Social Justice Community, which pushes for inclusion. Through the Women of Essence series, senior women leaders share their journey and thoughts on leadership. They talk about making strategic decisions, dealing with fear, and disrupting and succeeding. The company’s Grace Hopper Celebrations is India’s largest gathering of women technologists and its Women of Impact is a full-day devoted to the professional development of women.
Women are few in the real estate industry. Women leaders are fewer still. To set that right, this global firm has set a benchmark for its leaders by making the organisation more diverse and inclusive. Its WIN or Women’s Integrated Network is an APAC-led initiative to accelerate the advancement of women working with the company. By sharing information and experience, members of this group help one another develop leadership skills and find career-advancing opportunities. The programme also provides mentors to women employees, gives them flexible work hours and arranges for group outings for better bonding. Besides these, Cushman & Wakefield offers a wide range of benefits and wellness programmes to help employees have a work-life balance.
The month of October has been rechristened Flextober to talk about flexible working hours and the benefits it can bring. The company is using this opportunity to create awareness about an enabling work environment. Therefore, they are encouraging people to share their stories on how such a work environment has helped them become ‘Flex-tastic’. Besides this, the company supports working mothers from pregnancy till motherhood. With BIG (Back in Game) and Break and Beyond, the company helps women rejoin work after a break. It also trains and sensitises senior managers, directors and partners to becoming ‘maternity coaches’. This is particularly for any manager or team head who has someone reporting to them going on a maternity leave. This is meant to give the manager or team head more confidence in handling their team member’s return after her maternity leave.
We have all seen memes and heard innumerable misogynistic jokes about girls not opting for science and engineering streams after finishing schooling. At GE India Industrial, this stereotype is turned on its head. With its WiSE (Women in Science & Engineering) initiative, the company ensures that women take on larger career roles in the space that is largely male-dominated. Every year, over 400 women participate in the WiSE symposium that provides them with a forum to interact and learn from leaders on how to carve out a successful career in the field of science and engineering. To crowdsource ideas on the special needs of women employees, the company also floated a 90-day challenge where employees were asked to share ideas on what can be done to make the workforce more gender-balanced. The top three ideas were piloted and the idea owners were allowed to design and lead the initiatives.
This mapping company is showing the way in how women employees should be treated right. At HERE Technologies, equality is of utmost importance and the company is committed to achieving gender parity and pay equity throughout their corporate leadership structure by 2030. Under the #BalanceforBetter campaign, the company has partnered with Paradigm for Parity coalition to curb inequality in the workplace. The company also supports the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), which is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. More than a conclave, the GHC is an opportunity for female technologists to showcase their company vision and culture of innovation, and HERE’s women employees are always in attendance. Truly, this location intelligence platform knows how to make its female workforce feel at home.
HP is making commendable efforts towards providing a wholesome work environment for its employees. A standout feature of the work culture is the aspect of inclusion. The top management makes genuine efforts to reach out and connect so that employees are well informed, feel listened to and stay in alignment with the organisation’s purpose. The company’s Reboot programme, designed for women rejoining the workforce after an absence of a couple of years, is a testament to its inclusive policies. The women shortlisted for the programme work on projects from various cross-functional businesses in sales and assess their ability to transition back into the workforce on a full-time basis. To make the workspace even more welcoming for women, the company provides reserved car parking for expectant mothers, flexible working hours and ‘take your child to the office’ days.
At this business and financial software company, employees live by the mantra of ‘bring your whole self to work.’ To achieve this, the firm has launched a leadership development programme to help women employees push the envelope. Termed as Women’s Initiative to Lead and Learn (WILL), the programme focuses on building attributes such as risk taking, being assertive and owning one’s career. The company also organises a #IamRemarkable session to encourage women and under-represented groups in the workplace to showcase their accomplishments. With these employee-driven initiatives, Intuit ensures that each and everyone in the firm, irrespective of gender or orientation, has a voice and a platform to be heard.
Standing on five pillars of learn, listen, balance, brand and empower, Marks & Spencer continues to inspire employees and attract the best talent in the retail industry. The pool of in-house subject matter experts frequently organise and facilitate sessions to share their experience, knowledge and best practices. These peer-to-peer knowledge sharing sessions are beneficial for the people in the lower rungs of the company to upskill themselves. In order to retain women employees, M&S also offers policies such as career breaks and strong return-to-work mechanisms for mothers. With initiatives such as these and an occasional opportunity to walk down the ramp to unveil the winter collection, who wouldn’t want to work with the iconic retail brand?
Be it making online payments easier or creating a happy and supportive work culture, people are at the center of everything PayPal India does. Developing its employees through multiple training sessions and exposing them to growth and career opportunities makes this tech firm one of the best companies to work for in India. Its employee-friendly policies ensure that the workspace is inspiring and balanced. A testament to this is the Mother’s Room facility on its premises. The rooms are exclusive enclosures to ensure privacy for working mothers and their newborns. PayPal also provides a cab service to expecting mothers during the last trimester of pregnancy, for commuting between home and the workplace. Aligning with PayPal’s global efforts, the India headquarters also organises wellness programmes for women such as regular pap-smear, breast-cancer, thyroid and bone-density tests. Truly, the company is a pal that every woman needs.
Girls can run the world, if not for the economic and social shackles holding them back. To help young girls break free, this financial services firm organises a four-day summit called ‘Goals for Girls’ to equip them with life and leadership skills. The programme is designed to provide a unique platform for girls to gain confidence, feel empowered and get an opportunity to create change. And while it is important to nurture future talent, Synchrony understands that the existing in-house women power should also be taken care of. For that, it urges its employees to participate in Pinkathon, India’s biggest women’s run, with the purpose of getting more and more women to adopt a fitter lifestyle. The company also regularly works on building awareness around women’s wellness.