Lead Story

India’s best workplaces for women 2020

Outlook Business and Great Place to Work® bring you the third annual listing of India’s Best Workplaces For Women*. Read on to know what these admirable companies are doing right 

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Published 4 months ago on Nov 06, 2020 9 minutes Read
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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.

 

 

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Lead Story

With the deliberate championing of women, India Inc thrives

A few companies have laudable diversity and inclusion models that pulls women back into the workforce and cheers them on

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When Vinusha Vasudevan was looking to get back to work after a five-year-break, taken to accompany her husband for an offsite job posting, she wasn’t even making it to an interview room. “Organisations are wary of people who have taken a break… I had worked as a project manager earlier, but people were telling me that I would have to consider a junior position,” she says. Things were looking hopeless till she heard about PayPal’s Recharge programme. 

Under this annual programme, 100 women from each location in Bengaluru and Chennai, who are looking to re-join work are invited to a one-day workshop with various sessions and interactions. Out of this group, 30-40 women are shortlisted for a boot camp, of which 10-15 are selected for positions at PayPal. Vasudevan aced it and now works as an engineering programme manager at PayPal’s Bengaluru facility. 

Vasudevan has shown exceptional tenacity. Usually, in India, women simply opt out and the situation seems to have worsened over the past decade. A study by one of United Nations’ agencies showed that, between 2006 and 2020, the participation of women in our labour force has fallen embarrassingly — from 34% to 24.8%. Between celebrating Indra Nooyi’s appointment as PepsiCo’s CEO (in 2006) and trying to silence Gunjan Saxena’s story by petitioning against it, something has definitely changed.

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Editor's Note

India Inc should take lessons from these outliers, so should Indian families

A few workplaces are moving towards equity for women and respect for their talent. Social groups should follow their lead

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For several years, women have been asking to be allowed to work from home (WFH). Most managers and human resources (HR) hummed and hawed, saying it was too much trouble and that it would bring down productivity and do something nasty to team spirit. They did allow WFH on rare occasions, but not before letting the woman know what a favour they are doing her. The pandemic has put an end to such worries. 

Everyone including reluctant managers and HR personnel