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Gender diversity surfaces among e-commerce Cos

Editorial Team

Designation : -   Editorial

Organization : -  Business Manager HR Magazine

01-Nov-2017

Gender diversity surfaces among e-commerce Cos

Most of the e-commerce cos. are addressing a larger talent pool that includes both men and women, and unlike large organisations, have no systemic biases while hiring. Women like this flexible work culture and once they get comfortable at work, it is much easier to retain them, compared to men.

Sometime back, a study of 10,000 white-collared employees of Indian technology start-ups by talent acquisition platform Belong revealed that Zomato leads the pack with 41 per cent women in its workforce, followed by Mu Sigma at 30 per cent, and InMobi at 29 per cent.

Zomato which has seven women in top management roles through has no specific gender diversity agenda in place but they focus on hiring the best talent and getting the best fit for the role, and are very happy that 41 per cent of our 1,000 employees are women.

At InMobi, while gender diversity is definitely their agenda, they focus more on increasing thought diversity in the company. All three of their recruitment managers for technology, product and sales are women. Their gender diversity percentage is set to touch 33 per cent shortly.

For Myntra, it was novel and inspiring initiative. The Bengaluru-based online fashion company Myntra named several meeting rooms after renowned woman technologists and leaders from across the world, to drive better sensitivity towards gender diversity.

Earlier this year, Paytm rolled out an email helpline exclusively for its woman employees. The forum not only helps promptly address queries, issues and concerns, but also allows senior leaders at the payments and e-commerce firm to communicate directly and quickly with female staff.

Zomato, Myntra, Paytm and InMobi are not alone in trying to close the gender diversity gap. Other new-age companies like Urban Ladder, Go-Jek, Jugnoo and ShopClues are also putting in place various initiatives to drive this agenda.

Research has conclusively proven that companies with diverse teams are better in decision-making and perform better financially. However, there is a trend of e-tech co-founders being predominantly male, in creating. Acceptance of women on board in some sectors like banking is already an encouraging sign.

At startup Jugnoo, almost 40% of the workforce are female, which the company is looking to increase further. At the company, initiatives towards building gender diversity are driven by feedback from employees.

The e-company also assigned a section of the office as the play area where women employees could keep their children when they came to work during summer vacation.

At Paytm, the focus is on building an enabling work environment for female employees, and senior leadership regularly reviews diversity numbers across levels.

Company leaders at Myntra are paying close attention to sourcing a higher number of woman candidates without influencing the selection process. An example of this is the campus hiring at women-only campuses as well as hiring a significantly higher number of woman interns.

The Bengaluru-based startup is also working towards introducing a transition plan of up to six months for women returning to work after a career break. This includes flexible-work options.
A gender-diversity agenda needs to have a top-down approach. At ShopClues, Radhika Aggarwal, a woman co-founder at the helm of things makes all the difference for the employees. The company is driving the need to increase diversity numbers at fresher and lateral-level recruitment, and there are multiple leadership development programmes for female employees in all levels. The Gurgaon headquartered e-commerce company has also recently rolled out e-learning capsules to drive awareness and sensitisation around gender diversity.

At Go-Jek's India development centre, which supports the Indonesia-headquartered startup, employees who refer female candidates get double the referral fee given for male candidates. The company has a very attractive referal scheme for female employees.

Furniture and home decor startup Urban Ladder has started driving open discussions in the workplace - especially with the leadership team - so that they can set goals around gender sensitisation within their teams. On the functional leadership front, there are women spearheading critical functions like engineering, customer service, branding, interior and decor design.
Co-founder Rajiv Srivastava think of the business as an egalitarian organisation with strong feminist values. The company runs regular sessions on gender sensitivity training and prevention of sexual harassment.

The reason behind this is that Indian e-commerce cos. are focussed on deliverables and hire the best talent, be it a man or a woman, and don't really care whether they deliver it from office or home, as long as it is delivered.