Article (November-2017)

Articles

To accelerate growth, embrace diversity

Umita Gupta

Designation : -   AGM-HR

Organization : -  Musashi Auto Parts India Pvt. Limited, Bawal (Haryana)

01-Nov-2017

Workplace diversity fosters mutual respect among employees and disseminate the synergetic work environment. Gender diversity is a term, which means giving equal importance to both men and women in the workplace. The objectives of gender equality and diversity is to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and the same, fair treatment.

Though the gender based diversity is increased in comparison to past, still there are many challenges in encouraging the gender diversity at workplace due to mindset of people and it needs constructive and continuous effort to encourage the participation of both men and women to really bring women empowerment and to improve the gender diversity.

Govt. has increased the various educational avenues for women, at many places there is preference for women students. Education is one part but when the educated women especially from technical field (mechanical engineering, automobile engineering, etc.) comes to the industry for job then there are many apprehensive questions arise on their employment such as 'how she will work on shop-floor', 'whether she will be able to adjust in the environment', 'is she capable to do the project work', 'whether she will be able to depute extra hours as per the need of job'. All these questions are baseless and great myth. It is a biased view on someone's capability on the ground of gender. It is practical situation which is faced by many jobseekers women. In my view a woman is equipped with all the qualities to compete with man in the industry. She has the courage to deal with many roles and responsibilities of her life like daughter, wife, mother and employee at the workplace. She carries the strong persona who can face all the challenges in life.

Research suggests that as compared to single gender teams, gender diverse teams perform better with more efficiency. There are several reasons due to which companies are now eager to maintain gender diversity at a workplace.

  • Typically, men and women perceive a situation or problem from different lookouts and come up with solutions accordingly. Thus the organization can benefit from varied creative ideas and in-depth insights, which can ultimately lead to superior performance.
  • With a gender - diverse workforce, the company can expand its customer base and offer better services. Productivity and efficiency at workplace increases.
  • It helps in talent management and improves the employee turnover ratio in the industry.
  • A gender - balanced team brings harmony with its greater industry knowledge and helps the company to access more resources, as well as multiple channels of information.
  • By maintaining gender equality at the workplace, the company can create a pool of devoted, competent and talented women employees with the potential of playing the significant role in taking the business forward.
  • In a gender diverse workplace, good morale always leads to a healthy work culture where employees motivate each other to perform at a high level.
It always makes good business sense to hire women in leading roles, especially in countries where they are presently under - represented as the strategy ensures higher return-on-investment.
How can we Improve the gender diversity at workplace?
Following actions can be initiated to improve the gender diversity at workplace :
  • Remove the biases under selection process : Shortlist the resume based on qualification, job profile not based on gender. Do not consider any perception about the candidate. Standardize the interview process and follow it with honesty.
  • Strong strategy of hiring and talent management : There should be strong connection between hiring strategy and talent management. Meritocracy and right fit should be encouraged.
  • Career progression : Provide the equal opportunities to female employees for their career growth.¬†
  • Leadership role : Create the leadership role for female employees. Men and women have different leadership style. Generally, Men are more comfortable with hierarchy and tend to endorse themselves and their individual work. Women lead in democratic, consensus - building ways and advocate for their teams and generally don't stand out as individual leaders. Both the leadership styles have equal importance for industry. So right mixing of such leadership style will create a high performing team.
  • Transparent and open environment : It is found that female employees are hesitant to express their thoughts many times. The environment of transparency and openness to be created in such a way that they can express their views clearly.¬†
  • Reward and recognition : Encourage equal opportunities for reward and recognition for all employees without any gender bias.
  • Performance evaluation : Clear guidelines for performance evaluation, there should not be any scope for personal and gender biases.
  • Conducive environment : Create a conducive environment where there is no compromise with ethics & values and zero tolerance for any kind of harassment at workplace.
Conclusion :
The proportion of gender diversity in Asian countries is striking low as compare to Europe and US. There is a direct correlation of better gender diversity with the development of the country as it accelerates the growth of the country. If Industry wants to see more women in their leadership teams, they will have to address the cultural and organization issues that prevent them moving through the corporate pipeline.