‘Networking within the organisation’, essential for women employees to attain leadership roles: HR-Head, JLL India


Companies looking to cultivate diverse and inclusive workplace, it is important to understand what they aspire in the name of diversity and inclusion. The issue of gender diversity is compelling for many organisations and reinventing workplaces to unravel the potential of gender equality is surely need of the hour.

TimesJobs did an exclusive interview with
Tanvi Choksi, Head-HR, JLL India to understand the present state of gender diversity at corporate India.

Here are the excerpts of the interview:

Ques: How corporate India is promoting women employees to take up more executive roles?

Ms. Choksi: recognised the need for more women leaders at the top, many organisations have put in conscious efforts in upping the ante to enable more representation of their women in the coveted C-Suite.

With programmes like mentoring and skill building, providing flexible work arrangements, making motherhood easy by introducing different interventions like providing day care facilities, more and more organisations are becoming open and inclusive of the needs of a working woman.

Ques: you throw some light on how JLL India is encouraging more and more women to join the workforce?

Ms. Choksi: At JLL, diversity is a strategic imperative for the way we do business. Our success is underpinned by the diverse backgrounds, skills and ideas that we value and embrace.

We ensure balanced representation of women in leadership roles. At JLL, we have adopted a recruitment specific strategies which include giving an additional fee to the recruitment partners if a female candidate is selected, counselling and motivating female candidates during campus recruitments and so on.

Understanding the needs of a new mother is essential to create an environment that encourages inclusion. Therefore we have “Reach out” programs for women employees who could not re-join post maternity leave, this includes coaching and counselling.

Our diversity initiatives really take the intent from well-meaning to well-doing, and touch every point of the employee work cycle – beginning from recruitment practices to training and development programs to provide regular support services.

Ques: How initiatives related to women employees have impacted your organisation at large?

Ms.Choksi: Our Welcome Back program for mothers coming back from maternity leave, launched in 2018, makes sure that new mothers feel welcomed and are helped to settle down comfortably.

To enable a more flexible workplace which provides everyone the opportunity to maintain their work-life balance, we have launched the Gradual Return to Work (GRTW) program, which enables and supports our employees to transition back to work at a comfortable and gradual pace after a planned or unplanned absence from office. As part of this, if an employee has used up all his / her leaves and need more time off to care for an immediate family member, kids or for any other personal reason, he/she can discuss with his/her line manager on all possible arrangements.

Ques: Why India Inc. needs more women in leadership roles?

Ms.Choksi: Women leaders bring perspective, innovation, new thought processes and a unique way of working. Women, by nature, have great relationship building skills and the knack for persuasion.

In fact, many research papers have confirmed that “companies with a high representation of women board members significantly outperformed those with no female directors.” In other words, the more diverse leaders are on the top, the better the rate of success. So it is undeniably important for an organisation to accept the change and move towards inclusion and hence better business growth.

Ques: Share some advice you’ve learned that can help women achieve a prominent role in their organisations?

Ms.Choksi: However cliché it may sound, one of my key advice to any women in an organisation is to develop strong networking within the organisation. Create key sponsors for yourself. These sponsors are key people who speak on your behalf at those closed doors meetings and boardroom discussions that can help you get that high profile big job. Be flexible and be patient. See yourself beyond any cliché. Create a niche for yourself, yet be flexible enough to blend into any role.



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