Talent first: Accelerating gender diversity, productivity, positivity & more…
‘Diversity’, a word synonymous with change and difference is necessary for success in any work environment. Both men and women represent different facets of society and together they complete the circle.
The objective of gender diversity is simple: to ensure that everyone is having access to the same opportunities and are treated equally.
Therefore, a diverse workforce can bring in a variety of skills and widen the talent pool of a company that will, without any doubt, help it to serve and represent a diverse customer base.
A gender diversified team performs better as compared to single gender teams. The driving force to work efficiently comes from passion, persistence and commitment. These qualities are gender neutral. Besides, such diversified culture creates an environment where both men and women can learn from each other and grow together.
In conversation with Dr Ruma Gomes & Madhabi Guha…
(L-R) Madhabi Guha Basu (Business Manager, Consultivo), Dr. Ruma Gomes (Senior Consultant, Consultivo), Akash Nambiar (Creative Intern, Consultivo)
We had a quick yet significant chat with Dr Ruma Gomes & Madhabi Guha from our Human Resource Management team. This blog wouldn’t be complete without their thoughts and inputs. And here are some of the highlights!
Considering the gender disparity that was evident years ago and the situation now, what are the positive changes that gender diversity has brought to organisations all over?
Dr Gomes: It has, definitely, helped in women empowerment. Women today have become more self-dependent, both in the organised and unorganised sector. The number of educated women has risen over the years and as a whole, it has contributed to the economy and development of both organisations & our society.
Do you believe gender neutrality can exist at every level of the organisation? What are the basic measures an organisation needs to take to make sure that the workplace environment is gender-neutral?
Dr Gomes: Yes, definitely! Every organisation should have a vision that focuses on gender equality. There must be a proper approach and mentality to align the company goals with the international standards of gender diversity.
We can still see in some cases like in the unorganised sector, the focus on equality is not there. There are some sectors where due to the hazardous nature of the jobs, women might not be allowed to work. That can be considered as a law, but in that case, there should be other areas, where women can be appointed.
Madhabi Guha: I absolutely agree with Dr Gomes that organisations should align their policies with it and aim to make it a sustainable goal. Having a gender-inclusive workplace not only contributes to the economy but also enhances the brand image of a particular organisation.
Do you feel that organisations need to take more steps so as to further improve the situation?
Dr Gomes:Companies should be having a policy that prohibits gender discrimination and it should be communicated to all levels from the top to the lower management. Any lack of communication should not be there. It should be adopted by all.
What are the qualities that you look for in a candidate to determine whether that person is fit for the job or not?
Madhabi Guha: Since the beginning of time, when society became civilised, there have been some prevalent thoughts about men and women. While women were supposed to focus on family and social life, men were supposed to focus on their careers. But we can see, today that those thoughts are slowly changing.
As per a Mckinsey Report, around 40% women have stepped out into the workplace, out of which 5% are in the top management level like CEO etc. But, the remaining percentage were found to favour flexible work hours because of family as their priority.
Nowadays we can see women performing well even in sectors like aviation, shipping and factories.
As an organisation, irrespective of whether a candidate is male or female, we always look for the ones having that willingness to work. Determination and dedication are other qualities that are important. The candidate should be having an agile mind and a sense of aggressiveness towards the task at hand. Knowledge is important, coupled with skill which further improves with experience and lastly the candidate should be accountable for the work they do.
How would you describe the importance of “gender diversity” to the company culture here?
Madhabi Guha: From the very beginning, we at Consultivo have always focused on gender equality and made sure not to discriminate any person based on gender, whether it is at the workplace or at the time of recruitment. Having a diverse workforce definitely adds value to our company culture and the overall work productivity & efficiency.
With more and more companies embracing a gender-diverse workplace, is it the new way forward?
Dr Gomes: We might be heading towards a scenario, where organisations won’t be having any office hours. Instead, there might be a login process where men and women could work from outside without coming to the office as family must be a priority not only for a woman, but also for a man. Both of them should be there to look after their family and to be with their children during their growing up years.
In workplaces like factories where there might not be a login process, it is important that there are flexible work hours.
In the future, we can expect things to change from mommy track to fast track.
There should be accountability towards the work whether it is a man or a woman.
Few of the perks of working in a gender-neutral workplace
- It is scientifically proven that men and women have different ways of analysing and approaching a problem, as mentioned by The Guardian newspaper. So, diversity in thoughts can bring in diverse ideas which can benefit the company in the long run.
- A gender-balanced team promotes greater industry knowledge and helps the company access more resources, as well as multiple channels of information.
- A gender diverse workforce deals better with stress and other work-related mental challenges as the team members help each other out emotionally. It brings a family feeling or the sense of belonging to the organisation.
- A diverse workforce helps reduce workplace harassment issues and other deplorable behaviour against women. The social work environment at office may take the reputation of the company a notch higher.
- By maintaining gender equality at the workplace, the company can create a pool of dedicated, qualified and talented employees who can play significant roles in taking the business forward.
Gender diversity: a work in progress
Gender diversity is still a work in progress. The fact that organisations all over the world have acknowledged this gender gap and are working towards it is a good sign. And seeing, how several reports have highlighted the increase in organisation productivity due to gender-diversity, it is important that this leads to companies taking more active measures to ensure that the issues are addressed.