The FMCG player has introduced several new initiatives to promote a gender inclusive culture.
Promoting an inclusive culture and improving gender diversity has become a top priority for businesses in India. Nestle India, the Indian subsidiary of the Swiss FMCG major, has introduced several new initiatives to ensure balanced gender diversity and make the workplace even more favourable for women employees.
The company aims to include more women in its field force. As women normally do not prefer field jobs, the company has introduced a new practice wherein potential women candidates get to work with the company’s nutrition/sales officers for a day to understand the challenges involved in the role, and take an informed decision before joining.
Nestle also ensures that women employees, who are part of the field force, get enough flexibility with regard to travel and stay during the field work.
The organisation has proactively increased the number of women in its workforce in the recent years. It claims that, on an average, 47 per cent of management trainees in the past three years have been women. In case of technical trainees, over the same period, the average share of new women hires has been 40 per cent.
Nestle claims that it has been taking positive measures to nurture key women talent and strengthen the diversity of the talent pipeline, through robust career and development plans supported by mentoring.
Nestle India CMD, Suresh Narayanan, says, “The increasing ambition to seek diversity means that Nestlé is constantly reviewing workplace facilities, enabling measures and pro-active sensitivities to the needs of our women colleagues, as they traverse different stages of their lives. Recruitment of an increasing number of women, nurturing of talent, retention programmes as well as the revised maternity policy, all seek to provide nuance, sensitivity and a favourable work environment to women colleagues, especially those who choose to be mothers some day.”
The company has also increased the maternity leave from 18 weeks to 24 weeks. In case of adoption, the company offers six weeks’ leave with full pay and benefits for all permanent women employees. Though, many companies have kept the leave structure similar for both natural motherhood and adoption cases.
Narayanan adds, “One of the key socio-economic opportunities of the 21st century is the increasing role, involvement and contribution of women to the fabric of economic progress that is transforming the world. Indeed, the recruitment, nurturing and successful utilisation of women in the workforce is the edifice on which economic success and sustainability of businesses is predicated. At Nestlé, we have a very strong belief and commitment to increasing diversity in our business operations, factories, R&D centres and offices which is articulated in ‘Project Harmony’. We seek to strengthen our company through wholehearted commitment to, and practice of, managing diversity.”
The company claims to be strictly abiding by the guidelines for prevention of sexual harassment. Since 2014 it has an active ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) across all 12 units of Nestlé India, with the presence of an external member.