Advanced Operating Models
Dec 03, 2018

Realizing our mission-critical agenda of gender diversity

It will take 217 years for disparities in employment opportunities for men and women to end. If your reaction was anything like mine was when I first read that, your head is still spinning. But this is reality, going by the last annual gender gap report by the World Economic Forum. More recently, there have been concerns that world leaders who have pledged to end gender inequality by 2030 (in specific countries chosen by Equal Measures 2030) will miss the ambitious target if they do not accelerate efforts to plug data gaps.

So even while those stats seem gloomy, the good news is that gender diversity has become a burning agenda the world over. Canada just declared September 23 – 29 as the first "Gender Equality Week," India is registering a strong commitment toward gender budgeting, and the UAE, after topping the global index in the “respect for women" category, now also wants to top in the women's empowerment category. There are numerous such examples of governments, industries, and organizations taking bold steps to realize this mission-critical agenda.

At my organization, we have taken a very metrics-driven and programmatic approach toward this vision of equality and zero disparity. A program that's very close to my heart is our Returning Moms program. One of the things that bothers me is why – in this day and age – with all the advances we've made in technology and as a society, a woman's pregnancy is still considered a career "derailer." Our Returning Moms program aims to answer this question with a simple aim – to ensure that any woman returning from her maternity leave has a smooth transition back in to work. The program provides an umbrella of benefits, including flex hours, daycare facilities, networking forums, etc. – with the aim of institutionalizing these practices, expanding them, and integrating them fully into the system across sites. The results have been more than encouraging. 95% of the returning mothers continue employment with us (vs. taking a career break) and tell us that they are excited by the roles they took on after getting back and that the program provides them with enough flexibility to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

However, our work doesn't just end by launching this program. The real challenge is in sustaining it. We're investing so much in bringing women back to the workplace and are equally invested in not losing them in the first place. And that is why we are re-imagining our hiring decisions, paying more detailed attention to our talent pool, working at driving sensitization, weeding out biases, and making a carefully curated selection of full-time, part-time, and project-based job openings for mothers and enabling them to put their best feet forward.

About the author

Piyush Mehta

Piyush Mehta

Chief Human Resources Officer

Piyush Mehta leads Genpact’s global Human Resources (HR) function and in this capacity has played an integral role in the organization's journey to becoming an Employer of Choice.

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