Women today are present in every field of work. Research has consistently indicated strong correlation between diverse senior management and financial performance of organizations, highlighting business benefits from having considerable number of women employees as part of the workforce. The scarcity of global talent has led to many organizations pro-actively doing their best to recognize, retain, and develop women. In India, keeping women employees on the job has proven difficult in a traditional patriarchal society. With the changing work force demography, and the talent war among the companies to attract and retain the best-in-class candidates, Indian companies continue to work on improving existing policies and facilities for women (Nath, 2000). Though there have been claims on IT being a platform for women to enter and succeed in careers, the claim has not been established by any empirical analysis yet (Surya, 2002).
Currently, women make up 42 % of college graduates in India (People Matters 2010). Still, according to U.N. statistics, at 34.2% India’s rate of female participation in the workforce remains the lowest of any of the BRIC countries. To successfully tap into this huge talent pool, professional service providers and other industries alike have to pay special attention to women as a source of educated and employable talent. Back in 2003, the number of women employees in Infosys was only 19% making women a minority in the organization. This impacted not only the organizational culture, but also the policies and support systems setup for employees, key decisions on process improvements and risk assessment.
This paper is a practitioners approach and experience in making their company successful in attracting and retaining women talent. The scope of the paper is limited to actual programs implemented in the work place and does not include mapping the programs to any actual theories existing around women in technology or women and technology (Henwood, 1993). This paper is about IWIN’s (Infosys Women Inclusivity Initiative) efforts and results in creating a gender inclusive work environment as well groom more women leaders at Infosys., an Indian IT giant. Infosys is the first Indian IT company to set up a dedicated office for diversity and inclusion. At the time when IWIN was set up in 2003, a six member team conducted appreciative inquiries and researched journals to understand various approaches to building gender sensitivity and women leadership. Methodology included focus group discussions with employees, benchmarking practices among the global companies, and consultation with academicians to understand and relate better to research conducted on gender inclusivity. Infosys business and Diversity challenges
Infosys operates out of 33 countries, employing people from different nationalities and has plans to expand to newer geographies for business. Hence focus for increasing local talent & commitment to attracting diverse talent becomes an imperative. Infosys stands on diversity and its success depends on the collaborative distributed development model. This model is about teams in different parts of the world working together in harmony and synergy to develop solutions for our customers. As a global corporation operating in multiple geographies diversity and inclusion enables us to build confidence and trust in the minds of customers and employees. Hence, for Infosys, diversity in talent is not an option but is a critical success factor to win in the flat world. The business case for Diversity and Inclusion at Infosys reflects in the way we do business and some of the key focus areas are: •
Expanding to new Geographies
Reflecting Client Practices
Complying with Government and Legal requirements
Changing Workforce demographics
Commitment to equal opportunity
Birth of IWIN:
The company formed Infosys Women Inclusive Network...