International Women’s Day 2022, celebrated on 8th of March, companies across the globe took the opportunity to recognise their women employees and ensure they received the respect and honour they truly deserve. Many companies introduced women-friendly policies as well as skill-development campaigns and more.
Hero Housing Finance
Hero Housing Finance introduced the ‘pink leave programme’ where women employees can take a break from work to recover from menstrual pain and discomfort. Sharing the details about the programme, Paramjit Singh Nayyar, CHRO, Hero Housing Finance shares with HRKatha that as per the pink leave programme, women employees can apply for half-day leave during that time of the month. So overall, they can take up to six leaves in a year, which is over and above any other causal, sick or privilege leave.
Talking to HRKatha, Nayyar shares that the Company did a dipstick survey before introducing this programme. As per the feedback received, all women employees agreed to the fact that half-day leave is enough for them to take rest, rejuvenate and resume work. “Generally, if one wants, she can choose not to take this leave at all. But as a company we want to give them an option where they can create a balance,” says Nayyar.
Since the subject of menstrual discomfort is a sensitive subject and many women are not comfortable discussing it openly, they often end up not using such leaves in the first place. To make this simple, Nayyar says that if women employees want to avail this leave, they are not required to take an approval from their supervisor. “They can simply apply for the leave on the Company’s dashboard,” says Nayyar.
“We could have also celebrated this Women’s Day by just offering flowers and chocolates to our women employees, but as a company, we wanted to do something truly meaningful and useful. Our vision is to create an equitable environment. For that, we all need to understand that we have biological differences and accept those differences. As a company, we chose to talk about it and address the issues around it as well,” shares Nayyar.
Currently, Hero Housing Finance employs 1200 of which 10 per cent are women. As Nayyar further shares, the Company is working to create a diverse workforce and has plans to move beyond gender diversity. It will onboard people with disabilities and also from the LGBTQ community.
ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India
ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India (SAVWIPL), celebrated this international women’s day in a different style. The company decided to start a campaign called ‘License To Drive’ where about 100 women employees of SAVWIPL from across locations participated and received their learner’s license on March 04. All female employees took part in the online training sessions for driving and also took an online exam to get their learner’s licence.
The second phase of the campaign commenced from 08 March, which will include a month-long drivers’ training programme, followed by an RTO (Regional Transport Office) exam for obtaining the driver’s license.
“Driving isn’t just a male forte. The number of skilled women drivers are increasing every-day, and today it is HER Lane as much as it is HIS. As a global organization with a strong focus on promoting equitable workplace and inclusion, the #LicensetoDrive initiative is a natural fit to encourage our women employees who, for various reasons, have not been able to commit their time and effort towards learning this vital skill. I am happy to share that almost 100 of our colleagues have received their Learner’s licence under this program and will undergo further training for their Driver’s License. We take this opportunity to wish our women employees and customers a very Happy International Women’s Day,” says Sarma Chillara, CHRO, SAVWIPL.
The initiative is being implemented with a series of communications campaigns, training sessions, and on-ground events.
Bata India, the Indian footwear brand also celebrated International Women’s Day by announcing the opening of 25 stores across the country, run by an all-women staff.
The women-run stores are operational in metros such as New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru & Chennai and also Tier one and three towns like Pune, Nagpur, Udupi, Jamshedpur and Visakhapatnam.
“Diversity & inclusion and empowering women to pursue their dreams has been a key part of the ethos at Bata India. Retail traditionally has been a male dominated space. By increasing the all women-run stores from 10 to over 25 now, we wanted to shatter the glass ceiling and encourage more women to become a part of the fashion retail industry. We have now 25 women-run stores across metros and smaller towns. I’m also heartened by the fact that we have now more women entrepreneurs who are coming up and partnering with us to open Bata franchise stores in smaller towns. At the grass-roots level, we continue to support girls’ school education under the Bata Children Program(BCP) initiative,” shares Gunjan Shah, MD & CEO-Bata India.
The launch of all-women stores is yet another step taken by Bata in consolidating their commitment towards diversity and inclusion and nurturing an environment where everyone can grow.
ShareChat, the Indian social-media platform, has rolled out unique and progressive policies for all its employees, especially women on the occasion of Women’s Day. This includes leave allowances and packages around childcare, fertility, adoption and miscarriage.
Employees can avail five days annually to take care of health-related emergencies at home or education-related matters of their children.
Women will be provided Rs 7000 per child per month, as nanny expenses, up to six years of age.
Twenty-six weeks of adoption support leave will be provided to adoptive mothers of children less than six months old. For children older than six months, the adoptive mothers will get 12 weeks of leave.
The employee health insurance will cover fertility-related treatments and care packages for all expectant mothers. Commissioning mothers can avail up to 12 weeks of leave.
Additionally, to foster and reinforce a culture that supports employees through tough or critical times, employees can avail five days of leave to help associates or colleagues undergoing a tubectomy or vasectomy procedure. ShareChat will provide up to five days of leave to male employees to take care of their partners in case of their partners suffering a miscarriage or having to undergo a medical termination of pregnancy.
Being committed to diversity and inclusion, ShareChat already provides insurance coverage for live-in partners including members from the LGBTQ+ community. It organises webinars and Q/A sessions with India’s leading experts in women’s health, for the benefit of all the women in the workforce.
It celebrates new milestones and loved ones in the lives of employees with special gifts for new born babies, and even curated gift hampers for pets.
Mitalee Dabral, vice president – human resources, ShareChat and Moj points out that ShareChat aims to “create a truly inclusive and agile workplace where our employees are valued, supported, and feel a sense of belonging”.
The firm thought of launching these unique benefits on the occasion of International Women’s Day to celebrate womanhood and take a step towards ensuring holistic wellness for all its employees.
The Company wishes for its employees to “have not only a work-life balance but also a mental-physical balance”.
According to Dabral, these benefits are the Company’s way of letting employees know “that we understand their needs and have their back in managing both home and work.”