Beyond Gender Inclusivity

The Nasscom
“Diversity and Inclusivity Summit 2009” at
Bangalore saw a plethora of women from the IT-BPO sector participating
in the event. Themed “Diversity and Inclusivity Actions
– Winning in a Transforming Economy” probably for
the first time not only touched the subject of gender inclusivity as a
business imperative but also included factors such as age, culture,
gender and recruitment of disabled people. However, the central theme
of the whole agenda was talent pool v/s Gender Inclusivity. Would
enterprises focus on talent pool or gender
? Which is the most
important criteria for an organization?

Says Som
, President, Nasscom
“The Indian IT-BPO industry has set high standards in
inclusivity and has recognized the business imperative for diversity
and inclusion. Women are a vital part of the workforce and the industry
is working towards developing a diverse and inclusive workforce for the
world. Said, Vinay Dhumale, Dean and Lead Mentor, MBA Program, Manipal
University, “In this shaking dynamics, everything is
changing. Businesses cannot say Que Sara Sara. From changing business
dynamics to climate changes, one has to keep on strategizing and
winning. How much mighty one might be, success is not guaranteed
throughout. We have to morph ourselves according to the changing
dynamics.” On lines of gender inclusivity he added that a key
outcome from diversity is culture and a healthy culture is needed.
Similarly like growth, success needs to be shared as well.

Diversity just a Lip Service?

The panel discussion moderated by Nupur Basu, Independent Journalist
and Documentary Film maker raised this question to the panelists
– Is Diversity just a Lip Service? Adds Suresh Vaswani, Joint
CEO IT Business, Wipro Limited, “Diversity inclusivity is
part of the planning process and there is a new norm in the world today
that gender inclusivity is a strategic imperative. However it is also
important to access talent pool in the country.” Wipro
totally believes in diversity and gender inclusivity, however retaining
talent is a more important aspect for the organization. Harsh Manglik
Chairman and Geography Managing Director, Accenture India, said,
“In the emerging world gender diversity makes a lot of sense
for businesses. From a mental principle, society is based on equal
justice and equal opportunities. Either ways diversity and inclusion
links to creating conditions for opportunities and helps women to
contribute and engage in the work processes.”

Mohan Sekhar, President and COO, Collabera
said, “Diversity is
looked as a very important factor and that IT and BPO has come a long
way to address the gender inclusivity and diversity. However
sensitivity in dealings, employee satisfaction, and retaining the right
talent and right output should be key for any organization. However
Sudhir Sethi, Founder Chairman and MD, IDG Ventures India felt that
“The biggest challenge is talent in the world. The key
question would be – Would you focus on diversity or would you
focus on talent. Another challenge organizations face is attrition
where companies do not compromise. They have to take in account the
talent criteria rather than the gender inclusivity criteria.
” A interesting area which Sethi raised was that a lot
depends on the size of the company to push gender diversity. There is
so much focus on the percentage of women employees employed, however
one needs to also see that companies who have the time and energy
coupled with capital and investment will be able to foster gender
inclusivity and gender diversity in their organization.

through WEConnect

Nasscom on sidelines of this event also launched WEConnect India, an
organization that reaches out to women owned businesses. The
organization certifies these businesses according to the established
international norms and connects them to Fortune 500 companies. The
goal is to create competitive advantage and push sustainable economic
growth for women owned businesses.


Nasscom recognized key industry awards for organizations fostering
gender inclusivity and diversity. IBM

won the award for excellence in gender inclusivity in the BPO category;
Hytech Professionals India Limited won the award for excellence in
gender inclusivity in the best emerging company (less than five years
existence) category; Integra Software Services won the award for
excellence in gender inclusivity in the best company with less than
1000 employees category; while IBM India won the Nasscom award for
excellence in gender inclusivity in the best childcare services. The
award criteria included parameters such as business rationale, senior
leadership support, communication, accountability, and measurable

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