Best Companies

The 2016 Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for
Women in India project.

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.

Apart from key demographics related to a company’s workforce, the study also covers comprehensively, the practices and policies an organisation has in place to attract, engage, retain and develop women through the following sections:


Women’s Recruitment, Retention and Advancement

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.


Safety & Security
Given the current Indian context, it is imperative to ascertain the measures a company takes to ensure safety and security of its women employees. Policies pertaining to Prevention of Sexual Harassment and employee commute safety are a few areas explored.

Flexible Work

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.


Paid Leave

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.


Benefits

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.


Company Culture and Work Life Programs

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.


Best Practices Essay for Women’s Career Enablement & Advancements

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.

It is the vision of the 2016 Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India project to become a defining watershed for companies to not only assess themselves in their pursuit of a gender balanced workplace, but also aspire for the recognition that comes with being part of a highly acclaimed, very prestigious listing.

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