The importance of diversity, especially gender diversity, in the workplace cannot be overstated. Having a diverse workforce not only leads to a better representation of society, but also brings unique perspectives and ideas to the table.
However, returning to work after having a baby can be rather challenging and daunting an experience for new mothers. Many women face various obstacles, such as a lack of confidence, skills gap and difficulties managing work and family commitments.
That is why, Allstate India has recognised the importance of supporting and retaining talented women employees, particularly those who have had to take time off to care for their children. It has implemented programmes aimed at helping new mothers relaunch their careers.
Allstate India was founded in 2012 as the strategic business services unit of The Allstate Corporation, with offices situated in Bengaluru and Pune. The company’s expertise covers a broad range of business areas such as technology and innovation, policy administration, global operations, and integration, among others.
However, what sets Allstate apart is its unique approach to innovation, which enables it to create cutting-edge solutions that cater to the dynamic needs of the insurance industry. It has a highly skilled workforce that leverages advanced technology and analytics to deliver unparalleled insights and business solutions.
The company values and prioritises diversity and equity, and its work culture is inclusive, fostering a sense of belonging for everyone.
Speaking about workforce planning, Monarch Limaye, CHRO, Allstate India, shares that the company has a systematic approach to identifying and addressing the gaps between an organisation’s current workforce and its future needs.
“The success of these programmes depends on their creativity and the psychological safety they provide for participants. While the All Mama programme is targeted towards women, the organisation acknowledges the need for further programmes to support individuals at different stages in their lives.”
Monarch Limaye, CHRO, Allstate India
He says that the process involves analysing and forecasting the demand for talent and identifying the supply of talent available within the organisation, as well as in the external market.
Talking about the business and the hiring process, Limaye mentions that the company is divided into two halves: 50 per cent of the workforce is made up of technologists, and the other 50 per cent is dedicated to back-office operations.
He says, “Last year, out of a total of 3000 employees, 2000 were focused on back-office operations, and 1000 on technology.”
It’s worth noting that internal mobility is a key focus for the company. When fulfilling business requirements, the goal is to prioritise internal hiring as much as possible. According to Limaye, this approach offers several benefits, including development opportunities for employees and clear career paths.
Limaye shares, “Ideally, Allstate will hire junior management to fill any gaps left by employees who have moved into middle or senior-management roles. With a current workforce of 8000 people, the company has achieved a critical mass that is significant in the market, and we are striving to maintain a healthy balance between internal and external hiring as we continue to grow.”
Limaye discusses the All Mama Care progrmme aimed at helping new mothers relaunch their careers.
Specifically designed for women, the programme provides support at various stages of their lives. The organisation has good gender-diversity representation but still aims to improve and retain more women in the STEM field.
The All Mama Care programme focuses on hyper-personalisation and aims to make it a painless and delightful journey for women to return to work after having children. It provides resources and support for mental and physical well-being, including counselling sessions with doctors and paediatricians.
The All Mama Care programme has been successful and has received word-of-mouth appreciation.
In terms of numbers, the company currently has a 37.5 percent gender diversity rate, with women representing around 35 to 36 per cent of the workforce.
“While this is good progress, it falls short of our goal of having at least 40 per cent women in the workforce. To address this issue, the company has implemented policies and initiatives aimed at retaining women employees,” opines Limaye.
To make it easier for them to return to the workforce, the company is actively considering a re-internship programme aimed at providing a smooth and enjoyable experience for women returning to work after a break in their career. Overall, the company is committed to increasing gender diversity and providing a supportive work environment for all employees.
In the tech industry, coding talent is highly sought after, and companies are competing to attract the best candidates. To find the right talent, companies are increasingly turning to innovative programmes and initiatives, such as coding boot camps and hackathons, which can help identify and develop coding talent. Additionally, companies are partnering with universities and other educational institutions to recruit top talent.
Allstate has also launched and implemented various technology programmes, such as Coding Gladiators, which are aimed at fostering innovation and providing entry-level opportunities for employees. The demographic makeup of the Gladiators’ participants includes coding enthusiasts and technology professionals. However, these programmes are open to employees of all levels, junior to senior, and are tailored to specific learning objectives.
The key to success in developing niche programmes, such as Coding Gladiators and All Mama, lies in starting with a clear objective and desired outcome in mind and being open to the unique approaches and perspectives of each individual involved.
“Thankfully, the company has been successful in creating programmes that are well received by employees, with no organisation or initiative falling flat. The company’s approach to fostering innovation and providing support to its employees has been positive, with good experiences reported thus far,” says Limaye.
“While the All Mama programme is targeted at women, the organisation acknowledges the need for further programmes to support all individuals at different stages in their lives,” concludes Limaye.
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