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Gender Parity in the Corporate World

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Kashmira Kalwachwala
Head of Investor Services, Tata Asset Management

Gender Parity in the Corporate World

“Gender Parity in the Corporate World” – While this has been a buzz word for quite some time now, a concrete change is still quite a way away.

Gender disparity continues to exist in various criteria like selection, compensation, acceptable behavioral norms, working hours, etc. It’s a long way before organizations can proudly proclaim achievement in the area of Gender Parity.

As we are aware, leadership styles of men and women leaders differ. Women in leadership roles can change management cultures and influence methods of decision-making. When it comes to accomplishing goals or building a solid workplace relationship, the feminine touch and skills like empathy, intuition and optimism work towards the company’s benefit. Most organizations have finally accepted that Gender Parity is the need of the hour and needs to be addressed on a war footing.

While the journey towards Gender Parity has surely begun, its progress has been painstakingly slow. Various organizations are at different levels of achieving this highly recommended practice. Having the right intent is just not enough and it needs to be backed by action. One needs to walk the talk. While the senior management believes in the benefits of gender parity, the same has not been actively passed down the line of command and there are no suitable role models to fast pace this transition. Unseen barriers also restrict or decelerate growth of women leaders. Unintentional biases have a negative role to play and cause disruptions in the journey towards gender parity.

Active and strong actions on the part of organizations to hire women at all levels in the workforce will help towards gender parity. It is important that organizations not only hire qualified women candidates but also create conducive environment and policies for women employees to grow in the organisation hierarchy. It is essential to support women leaders to be able to handle their multiple responsibilities and organizations should look at providing childcare support and elderly care to help working women and avoid high attrition rates among female employees. Flexi timings and work from home options, provide for a right work life balance minimising stress levels in the work- place. While hiring is the start towards this journey, organizations not only need to provide the right environment but also need to mentor, train and guide women employees for their development that will allow them to transition into managerial roles. Networking also plays an important role and opportunities need to be created to provide women employees with networking opportunities.

Another important aspect is safety at the workplace. Every organization needs to have strict and effective policies against harassment at the workplace. Organizations need to take strong action and clear communication needs to be driven across the organization that such behavior shall not be tolerated.

Providing women with opportunities to succeed can transform societies and economies. The journey has begun and as more and more organizations understand the importance of gender parity and realize the benefits in terms of increased productivity and better revenue, the pace will pick up and organizations can proudly state that gender parity is a reality and not a myth.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are personal in nature and in is no way trying to predict the markets or to time them. The views expressed are for information purpose only and do not construe to be any investment, legal or taxation advice. Any action taken by you on the basis of the information contained herein is your responsibility alone and Tata Asset Management will not be liable in any manner for the consequences of such action taken by you. Please consult your Financial/Investment Adviser before investing. The views expressed in this article may not reflect in the scheme portfolios of Tata Mutual Fund.

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