For the longest time we have been talking about employee well-being with the aim to spread mental health awareness at the workplace. And though we vowed to #ContinueTheConversation on workplace well-being, diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunities for women are also other important challenges that need to be addressed with equal fervent.
Why? Because only with continuous efforts does change occur.
Is One Day Enough?
Back in March 2020, we conducted a small study to identify where women stand at the workplace when compared to their male counterpart. The results were shocking as it revealed how backwards this section of the workforce still is; only because of biological differences.
Although 2019 marked a 29% rise of women in senior management roles, the highest ever recorded, 2020 maintains the same percentage. This clearly indicates that without constant efforts by the organization and the employee, women will progress but not ascend the corporate ladder.
Is your workplace any different? How many women hold CXO-level and senior management positions? Creating equal opportunities for this section of society goes beyond just hiring them. It also includes promotions based on their merit and paying them equally as their male colleagues. Simply because it is the right and ethical thing to do! Benefits like maternal care and period leaves shouldn’t be viewed as compensatory tactics for not giving women what they deserve. It takes a certain kind of willpower to truly bring about this level of organizational change to build a gender equal workplace.
Diversity And Inclusion Is Not A Fad!
Listening, Giving, Building, Talking and Questioning is corporate language for LGBTQ+! This community is another section of workforce whose talent and skillset is highly underutilised. Yes, the stigma is still prevalent but companies like IBM India, Godrej Group and the Lalit Group are proactively reshaping policies and overall organization structure to include the LGBTQ+ community. These companies are advocates of having a diverse workforce and we should all be taking notes! It’s time to create a LGBTQ+ friendly workplace and take pride in having a varied set of talent. Go further in enhancing their experience. Ensure that they can easily avail employee well-being programs and healthcare benefits that cover their partners too. Stress levels and anxiety are higher for LGBTQ+ employees as they are more prone to workplace harassment. Tackle this by setting stringent rules against bullying.
Being an inclusive company is to employ people who comprise single parents, new mothers, people with disability (PWD), Gen Z and even those who have a long career gap. There are specific sectors that tend to face concerns when recruiting talent that belongs to different age groups. The fear of the intergenerational gap is evident and real, but it can be fixed! Although government regulations mandate companies to have 2% of their workforce reserved for PWDs, do your policies favour them equally? Ensure that resources are accessible to those PWDs and new mothers who prefer working remotely. Set up a WFH policy that benefit single parents and others when they are unable to travel to office. Go the extra mile not because a number has to be met, but because it’s all about being human!
The Conversation Never Ends!
Workplace well-being, diversity and inclusion and equal opportunities for all are some major challenges that impact business, productivity and company growth. Additionally, it also affects the overall development of the industry and in turn, the country’s economy. It shouldn’t take topical days or occasions like Pride month, Women’s Day and Mental Health Day to speak about these matters. Organization efforts must be more than a one-day affair. It must be sustained throughout in order to achieve the end goal.
There is no excuse to not work towards designing a truly diverse, inclusive and fair workplace! The simplest way to carry forward these efforts, is to always continue the conversation and spread awareness.