How To Be A Best Company For Women In India – 2018

Article Compiled By  Shruti M, Presales Consultant – FLEXI Careers India

The inaugural edition of BCWI in 2016 saw more than 350 companies participating and the 100 Best and the Top 10 being listed, alphabetically. The second edition launched on the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8, 2017, had over 360 applicants. Companies spanning every major industry, geographical location and line of business were part of the applicants. The 2017 Working Mother & AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India list, along with the 2017 Top 10 Best Companies, were announced in October, 2017. They were felicitated at the Awards Ceremony as part of the first edition of the ‘Best Practices of the 100 Best’ Conference on the 16th of November, 2017 at Chennai.

There is renewed focus in gender diversity in corporate India. It is heartening to see the increased earnestness with which companies have been chartering their roadmaps to gender balance. With the launch of India’s most comprehensive gender analytics exercise in 2016 – the Working Mother & AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI), the country has also been witness to reenergized eorts among several corporate houses over the past year! Against this backdrop, one question that discerning organizations at the threshold of the gender diversity journey have is – ‘What does it take to be a Best Company for Women in India?’

At its core, BCWI is a policy assessment exercise. The application form towards participation has 400+ questions that essentially drills down the length and breadth of policy expanse of a company towards women’s career enablement. Data is sought across areas like workforce profile (representation of women at various organizational levels), policies for recruitment, retention and advancement, for safety & security, for flexible work, for benefits like day care services et al!

What does this also mean?

  1. With scores of companies from across every industry vertical applying to participate, the opportunity that the BCWI creates for an organization to understand industry challenges in gender inclusion and the corresponding solutions is humungous.
  2. The BCWI is spearheading a movement that energizes organizations to set practical, realistic, yet work-in-progress agendas, which are grounded in solid logic. No longer is Diversity a ‑avor of the season – it is a business principle that leads to better performance by the organization.
  3. The collective discipline which companies bring to Gender Diversity, results in greater retention and advancement of women and therefore an impact on India’s GDP.

So what do I tell a company that aspires to be a BCWI?

  1. At the outset, sign up for Participation in the initiative this year and every year that follows. This allows you to obtain access to the Analytics tool which can lay the foundation for creating a data-rich measurement environment within your organization
  2. Secondly, create a project team that would manage the process of collecting data that the questionnaire asks.
  3. Thirdly, make sure that the deadlines are met well in advance to provide adequate time for clarifications or providing additional data

More importantly,

  1. This is a journey. Do not look at it as a urgent outcome to be handled, more a discipline to be created – like a fitness regime
  2. Each year the tool adds questions and logic that will help you and challenge you. Please invest a bit of time to understand the tool before you develop a strategy to complete it
  3. The AVTAR team is always ready to support and assist. Please reach out. As Prof. Dumbledore says, “Help is available to those who ask for it!”

Thought leaders should make gender inclusion an ongoing journey through implementing gender neutral policies. We wish you the very best for your BCWI journey! May we together build a gender inclusive India!

We are inviting applications for BCWI 2018! Registrations for 2018 Working Mother & AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India study is open. Click here.

Take a walk down memory lane and visit past editions of BCWI.