India Needs a Renewed Focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity

Time to look at the HR division as an asset and not just a wrench to tighten the bolts

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) and women leaders – Where does India stand?
Women in leadership positions and DEI policies – these two are still an enigma to many organizations and their leadership teams. Many even ask about the need to focus on these aspects when planning the company’s progress. There is also a section of people, who still find the Human Resource department as the backend processing team and nothing more. The new-age and established organizations are focusing on developing policies to support women in leadership roles and DEI.

According to research published in October 2022 by Avtar and Seramount under the Most Inclusive Companies index (MICI) and its Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI) list, 77% of India’s best companies have shown steady progress in DEI implementation post-Covid. The report also says that women at entry levels in companies increased from 33% in 2017 to 38% in 2022. But women in managerial roles have dropped by 9%, further drops to 18% in senior managerial levels and a drop in female talent by 17% at the corporate executive level.

The question arises – Why is DEI necessary?
For any workplace to be of the ideal environment – diversity, equity and inclusivity are very much needed. The DEI policies also include supporting women to rise towards leadership positions. This is even more needed in the Indian tech industry as according to Deloitte’s prediction in May 2022, women in tech companies will rise to 33%, when compared to the current 25%. The reason why DEI is considered important is that in today’s age of social media, mental health and social awareness a company’s worth from an employee perspective is not just based on its net profit, it is based on how employee-friendly is the organization and its leadership team.
– Considering that many employees suffer from a persecution complex, having a strong DEI policy and its implementation helps the staff feel safe
– Under a safe environment, it has been many times observed that the employees feel inspired to work without any inhibitions
– Employees have shown an increase in creativity and innovative thoughts where DEI has been implemented successfully
– Companies will see an increase in an excellent and diverse talent pool where leaders don’t have to scramble to find eligible employees to push the company towards success
– The number of women rising to leadership positions is bigger in organizations that give priority to diversity and 360-degree employee development without any unconscious bias
– Employee retention will be a successful task for team leaders considering that the company culture is a vital part of employee satisfaction

“For any organization to achieve global DEI standards and help women break barriers, an honest conviction is necessary. The Crayon leadership team has an understanding of the advantages DEI policies bring in and based on the same, we have initiated programs for women in the tech industry.

Crayon has, time and again, taken steps to include more women in a corporate environment. We kicked off a global-level diversity and leadership program in 2019 that focuses on women, especially those in the tech industry. This program provides the participants with tools to help women break the glass ceiling, irrespective of their domain and industry. We have achieved a #2 ranking in the SHE Index, which measures gender diversity in the workplace, and won the SHE Rising Star award for making the most gains of any company on the index,” Crayon Aspire was a program created in 2022 for our women. This aligns with our commitment to power prosperity amongst women to be industry-ready with guidance from domain experts. The program is specifically designed to equip our women to develop core competencies and complement career aspirations. said Melody Lopez, Chief of Staff – People, Process & Strategy at Crayon Software Experts India.

DEI’s potential will be unlocked when organizations understand the bigger role of HR
A recent report from Sage says among 1,000 HR and C-Suite SMB leaders across the world over 60% of them consider HR’s role to be more administrative and not equal to other business divisions of the company. Only when companies and leadership teams overcome this train of thought and initiate strategies for the evolution of the HR vertical, the companies will see a change in image and their profit margins. DEI and other such employee-friendly policies cannot be executed randomly without proper planning, hence the need for strong HR strategists. Time and again companies with strong DEI policies have shown why this is needed for the success of a company and how only an evolved HR section can achieve this success. Hopefully, going by the slow but steady trend, DEI will soon be a validating point for the company’s efforts and work environment.

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