After having pioneered Diversity and Inclusion Consulting in India and having successfully assisted discerning organizations in making their workplaces more welcoming for women for over a decade now, AVTAR group is bringing yet another first to India - The 2016 Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India project. Working Mother a division of Bonnier Corporation (US) that works to advocate the cause of working women and AVTAR, have joined hands to launch a first-of-its kind study in India to honour companies that successfully help women have sustainable careers.
This project was launched in the United States in 1986 by Working Mother. A role model, mentor and advocate for USA’s 17 million mothers who are equally passionate about their careers as they are about their families, Working Mother is an inspiration. With their website, magazine, research, social networks, video, radio and powerful events, Working Mother provides its readers with the community, solutions and strategies they need to thrive. Their annual list of 100 Best Companies for Women to work just celebrated its 30th anniversary and is one of the most prestigious lists that has been setting the standards for work/life practices for companies in the US. It continues to raise awareness of the issues women face in the workplace and encourages the development of programs to address those issues. Being named one of the Working Mother 100 Best Companies is a valuable recruiting and retention tool.
This section absorbs details on organizational initiatives for recruitment, retention and advancement of women. Specific drives for recruiting second career women, practices for identifying high potential women and leadership drives exclusive to women are some of the sectional highlights.
With the technology enabled work structure, flexible work arrangements that offer employees flexibility in the time or place they work can significantly help sustain women’s careers. A company’s policies to this end are reflective of its efforts to attract and retain women and hence are covered in this section.
Maternity and motherhood are life changing events for women and organizational support in terms of paid leave can ensure smoother returns and easier re-integration for new mothers. This section looks at the organizational mandate on paid leaves for maternity, paternity and adoption, amongst others.
This section attempts to understand other benefits that an organisation provides to enable women’s careers such as day care services, children’s tuition fee reimbursement and health insurance plans. Progressive policies of companies for such needs can result in greater employee engagement amongst women.
A company’s collective philosophy on work-life balance and its senior leadership’s commitment to the same determines the impact of policies and practices for employees’ work-life integration. As such, this section has questions on organizational practices for surveying work-life needs of employees and manager accountability with regard to implementation.
This last section gives every participating company an opportunity to showcase its best practices for women’s career enablement and advancement preferably supported by success stories and/or evidential proof.
"Gender diversity is a top priority at Kellogg's and a proud legacy of our founder W.K. Kellogg, who was a pioneer in employing women in the workplace and reaching across cultural boundaries. My American counterparts made it to the Working Mother 100 Best Companies list five times this decade. Our India operations, too, have consciously emulated those values and we are excited about benchmarking our practices with a trustworthy, transparent and equally motivated company such as AVTAR. We look forward to our very first participation in the Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for Women list in India."
Ms. Sangeeta Pendurkar,MD,
"EY has been featured among the top 10 companies in the Working Mother 100 best companies list for ten years in a row. We are glad that Working Mother in partnership with AVTAR is bringing the list to India. It will provide a platform for us who are committed to and focused on strengthening our diversity and inclusiveness agenda in India to showcase our policies and best practices that sustain an inclusive environment for working parents to thrive and succeed in."
Giridhar G.V., Chief Operating Officer,
EY Global Delivery Network, India
"P&G India has been a leader is Diversity & Inclusion for several years and our Best In Class practices are a key enabler for us to maintain high standards in diversity. As a company, we believe in the power of diversity and not just because it is the right thing to do but because we value diversity in thinking. It enables P&G to be the "employer of choice" that hires, engages, and retains the best talent from around the world, reflecting the markets and consumers we serve. We look forward to the Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for Women Survey in India and hope it will share best practices across the industry in diversity and inclusion along with solutions on how industry can raise the bar for the same. It is important for companies to lay special emphasis on a variety of areas critical to women succeeding including Mastering work-life balance, having goals and a game plan for success, leveraging great mentors, networking and ensuring full leadership team support at all levels for Diversity and Inclusion."
Ms. Sonali Roychowdhury, HR Head,
AVTAR has helped me secure this job and bringing back my confidence. I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart.
Irrespective of the country, culture or religion, it is the same dilemma a working woman goes through – how to balance personal life and professional life. Thanks to the effort of women like Saundarya Rajesh, now it is possible to have second innings for women who kept aside their careers in order to take care of their family needs.