How Axis Securities is breaking stereotypes in the brokerage industry

Not only is the Company trying to attract more talent from the campuses, but it is also striving to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace

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As newer avenues in the technology and consulting sector open up for fresh MBA graduates, the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) industry has ceased to be as lucrative and attractive to them as before.

A study conducted by Wall Street Journal suggests that MBA graduates are losing interest in the BFSI space as they are now getting more highly paying jobs in the consulting and technology space. Even some of the well-known startups are attracting the best of talent with higher pay.

The same story goes for the brokerage industry as well. Fresh MBA graduates are no longer interested in making a career as stock brokers, preferring other well-paid opportunities instead. Therefore, many companies operating in the brokerage space are facing the challenge of attracting quality talent.

Talking to HRKatha, Soonu Wadewala, head – HR, Axis Securities, reveals that the larger part of their talent pipeline comes from lateral hiring. However, Axis has now stepped up efforts to hire and attract more talent from the campuses. Wadewala shares some of the measures taken in the right direction:

Awareness campaigns: The Company is running awareness campaigns in campuses during placements, where they talk about the brokerage industry in India and how people can make a great career in this space.

“Predominantly broking industry has fewer women representation and at Axis Securities, we are making efforts to reduce the gender gap and dedicate our efforts to hire and retain the women workforce”

Soonu Wadewala, head – HR, Axis Securities

Gamification: The Company has plans in the pipeline to use gamification and simulation technology to make the prospect of joining the brokerage industry attractive for students. Axis provides students with valuable insights about the brokerage sector and the sort of careers that can be built within this industry.

Women’s representation: Axis Securities is also breaking stereotypes by increasing the representation of women in the workforce. As of now, 25 per cent of the 1,800-strong workforce at Axis Securities comprises women. The Company aims to increase this representation to 35 per cent by the year 2025, reveals Wadewala.

“Predominantly broking industry has fewer women representation and at Axis Securities, we are making efforts to reduce the gender gap and dedicate our efforts to hire and retain the women workforce,” says Wadewala.

Since Axis Securities largely depends on hiring laterally, it is naturally difficult to find women’s talent within the industry. Therefore, the Company plans to attract as many women from campuses and management institutes, from tier 2 and 3 cities. Also, Axis intends to now follow a double referral system, wherein a woman referred by an Axis employee will be given preference and priority over others.

Inclusion: To make the workplace more inclusive for women, Axis Securities is trying to implement the top-to-bottom approach. That means, the Company wishes to see more women leaders at the top, which can further create a ripple effect, and as an organisation, Axis can then come up with great ideas to build a better workplace for women talent.

Forum: The Company has created a forum where women leaders share the difficulties they face in their journey up the corporate ladder to become leaders. The forum allows women to share how their gender stops them from progressing up the ranks and makes them struggle in leadership roles.

Wadewala shares that, till now, the issues that have been discussed include a woman leading an all men’s team as a branch head, with people failing to consider her as a true leader. Such conversations have revealed that many women believe that because of their gender they get to leave office early, while men stay on for longer hours. “We have created this conversation forum for women leaders to create allyship and address leadership challenges from a gender point of view, through informal structured conversations,” says Wadewala.

Buddy programme: The Company has a buddy programme in place, where two women leaders are paired with each other so that they can try to understand the problems in their individual roles as leaders. Wadewala reveals that at a later stage, they will also include men in these conversations as well as the buddy programme. “Without being inclusive of all genders, the journey to making Axis Securities an inclusive workplace will be incomplete,” asserts Wadewala.

Reservation: Moreover, the company has also reserved some percentage of roles for women, including roles in sales, market research, client servicing and so on. This will increase the participation of women at the workplace. Wadewala clarifies that even though they have created a reservation, they will hire on merit.

Diversity: As part of its diversity agenda, Axis Securities is also looking at offering opportunities to members of the LGBTQ community. Additionally, the Company is working on understanding how to bring in cognitive diversity and attract people with diverse personalities, mindsets and approaches to work. These are the areas that Axis Securities is still working on and making progress in, one baby step at a time.

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