“Diversity is being invited to the party.
Inclusion is being asked to dance.”
Resonating with the above adage and summing up the sentiment behind employee inclusion at the workplace is the concept of Great Place to Work® For All. A concept where the lines between hierarchy blur and acceptance meet.
At the heart of it, Great Place to Work® For All is a Vision. A vision to embrace diversity, nurture all-inclusiveness and foster one-ness amongst every employee at a workplace. A vision to create a consistently positive experience for all employees, no matter who they are or what they do for the organization.
In the India Development Report, released by the World Bank, India ranked low — 120th among 131 nations — for female participation in the workforce. Currently, women constitute about 48.5 % of the population. However, the participation rate for women in the labor force is only 24%.
A recent survey conducted by Great Place to Work® Institute, highlights that female employees continue to give poor feedback about their workplace when compared to their male counterparts. Their top five areas of concern are workplace politics, lack of fair compensation for the work they do, lack of equal opportunity for recognition, not feeling that they are making a difference in their organization, and biased treatment by managers.
The sorry state of the PWD employees is also calling for immediate action. Drawing inputs from the Census Study conducted in 2011,even though disabled people constitute a significant 5 to 6 percentage of the population of India, their needs for meaningful employment largely remain unmet. The bleak scenario is of the approximately 70 million persons with disabilities in India, only about 0.1 million have succeeded in getting employment in the industries till now.
But why is the aspect of diversity and inclusion suddenly in the limelight? Truth be told, it has always been an integral part of organizational growth, however, organizations are suddenly waking up to the wonders of cultivating a more inclusive workplace and integrating relevant initiatives into their mainstream agendas.
The dawn of the 21st century has opened its arms to embrace diversity. Higher levels of transparency, crumbling down of the patriarchal mindset, exposure to information has provided a strong impetus to the strengthening of diverse workplace culture. Inclusion is not merely talked about, it is documented, tracked, communicated and celebrated.
Organizations across the globe, riding on the inclusion wave have proved to be a testament to the wonders of a diverse workforce. Lemon Tree Hotels, one of the largest and most popular hotel chains, made it their mission to tap this unnoticed talent pool by creating a socially inclusive environment at their hotels by hiring and skilling differently abled individuals as a way to integrate them into the mainstream.
In their words, this unique approach is not charity, it is their business model. Today Lemon Tree employs 550 disabled workers — mostly hearing- and speech-impaired but also wheelchair users and amputees. Together they account for 12 percent of the chain’s 4,600-strong workforce. Their spellbinding act of social inclusion has delivered superior business results, reduced attrition rates and significantly increased efficiency amongst the employees.
While some organizations are championing the cause of including the differently abled as a part of their workforce, some of them are taking massive strides to bridge the gender gap, one of the most talked about, but the least actioned upon area. Ajuba Solutions is one such example. Currently, 49% of Ajuba’s workforce comprises women, which is one of the highest in the industry. To promote gender diversity within their organization, they have created a Women’s Forum called “Shakti” which is a cross-functional team of and for women. Nurturing the lesser represented gender and providing them the springboard for growth, development, and success is surely a commendable act of inclusion.
While we extol the initiatives taken to create a diverse workplace, the underpinning idea is to ensure that inclusion and diversity become synonymous to an organizational culture rather than being an element of uniqueness.
Sounds like an uphill task to accomplish? Fret not, we have a roadmap charted for you :
Great Place To Work® For All envisions a workplace culture with a consistent experience for all their employees. Our methodology focuses on narrowing disparity, cherishing the vision to create a diverse workplace culture and embracing inclusion. After all, where shackles of biases and exclusions break free; agility, cooperation and success follow.
— Janhavi Mehta
Great Place to Work® India