Well friends this is the new in!!!
Many Indian companies today are working in bridging the gap aggressively. With many companies top management emphasizing on hiring more females as a preference. Giving more benefits to females like increasing their maternity leave period. Some even training their senior manager on appointing females in their team.
This is a good sign for the gender equality and improved productivity of the country. As many leading companies have lower than 2% female employees of their workforce. Further, this would also help women empowerment as it would help reducing dependency on their male counter parts. We will see more independent women arising of the initiatives.
The only part to be checked is how is it implemented in totality. I have seen some concern arising from males on the same subject. Not because of women and coming and working around and taking senior positions. The issue is like any other key performance indicator the human resource department starts driving it to show case their performance. Even we will see companies making a hype in the media around it. Recently I saw an article on companies have increased the maternity leave to 20 odd weeks. This too would have been designed by a male HR team. How can you leave a baby within 3-4 months full day?
We also see a drastic change on how a manager behaves with their female versus male employee. The discrimination starts from petty things like early departure for a female employee, load being increased on their male colleagues, work from home more a possibility for a female, etc. In cases where where a male employee is transferred and a female stays in the same location for more years. While discomfort is similar in both the cases. Some of the managers are worried knowing that the head count of employees does not cover for maternity leaves and the company would not give an extra manpower to handle the work. Finally, the manager would be left to manage the team’s work.
Which leads to the simple question are the Indian companies capable of managing the gender equality or will it become another example to show case?
The worry I see is on the larger front and at higher level. Is the society capable of managing the change. We all will accept that a lady’s time is required more at home not from a cooking perspective but we come from a culture where she controls the family fabric. Keeping everyone together as one and one of the prime reasons we see a lower divorce rate in India then the western countries. While right or wrong divorce not only destroys a family but impacts the society as a whole.
The question which the Indian Companies will have come out with are:
Flexible Hours for the female employee
Roles which are more suited to females and at the highest level too
Support system like day care, transport system
Safety of female employees
Managing both female and male employees with equality
Avoid discrimination for both female and male employees
Career path for females
Understand maternity leave and other important activities for a female