Creating an inclusive and diverse workplace culture is part of the core values of Ferns N Petals, the Indian retail company dealing in gifts and flowers.
Speaking to HRKatha, Amit Kumar, senior human resource business partner, Ferns N Petals, reveals that the Company has recently introduced a policy called Pink Leaves, for its women employees.
Taking into account the unique health and wellness needs of women employees, the Pink Leave policy allows them to avail one additional paid leave each month, to take rest. This is a step taken in the right direction by the Company to support the menstrual health of the women in the workforce and promote gender equality at the workplace.
The HR team at Ferns N Petals decided to implement the Pink Leaves initiative to make the Company a better place to work for women employees. They hope the policy will make a difference in the lives of almost half of the employees at Ferns N Petals, where 40 per cent of the workforce comprises women.
As we are all aware, Indian society attaches a lot of stigma around menstruation, which prevents any open discussion on the topic. This, Kumar believes, is a big challenge at Indian workplaces. The Company ran a campaign around it and held story-telling sessions to convey the message that it is totally fine for women to avail period leave, so that the employees feel comfortable about the same. Additionally, Kumar shares, “we have very strict guidelines for action against any employee who exhibits bad behaviour at the workplace with respect to demeaning women employees.”
“Our focus is not just on creating a gender-diverse ecosystem. We truly believe in hiring people from all backgrounds”
Amit Kumar, senior human resource business partner, Ferns N Petals
To make things easier, women employees have a facility to send the HR team a request using the Company’s HRMS platform. Not surprisingly, employees at Ferns N Petals have responded positively to the introduction of the Pink Leave policy.
To fulfil its D&I agenda and build a workforce which is as diverse as possible, Ferns N Petals truly wants to bring different perspectives to the table, so that it performs better as a company. “Our focus is not just on creating a gender-diverse ecosystem. We truly believe in hiring people from all backgrounds,” tells Kumar.
That is why, Ferns N Petals has been hiring people from all backgrounds and communities including differently-abled people and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
However, as Kumar mentions, “At FnP, there is nothing like conscious targeting of a particular community while aiming to make the workplace diverse. I believe that the moment one starts targeting a particular set of people or a community, biases start creeping in. One then tends to begin thinking in one particular direction,” explains Kumar.
“While we are trying to achieve our diversity agenda, we only hire people on merit, irrespective of where they come from or what background they belong to. For us, it is just about good talent,” asserts Kumar.
With inclusion and diversity being part of the core values of Ferns N Petals, the Company trains and sensitises all its employees, managers and the talent-acquisition team to meet these goals. This way, the employees end up internalising these values, making the workplace truly diverse and inclusive in nature.
That is not all. Ferns N Petals has also introduced the paternity leave, a paid leave for permanent male employees with up to two surviving children. New fathers are eligible for seven days of paid paternity leave at a stretch, inclusive of any rest days, weekends, off days, shutdown days and public holidays.