iWork@home: ICICI’s master stroke on gender diversity


The programme takes care of women’s needs as mothers and home-makers so that they can give their best to their professions as well.

It’s double bonanza for women folk at ICICI Bank. On the eve of International Women’s Day, the bank has launched a programme — iWork@home— which allows women employees to work from home for a year. The bank even plans to increase the tenure of the home stay depending on the success of the programme.

It’s indeed good to have a woman as a boss. She understands the challenges that women employees face while trying to find a balance between home and office. ICICI Banks’ MD & CEO, Chanda Kochar, says, “Although women form 48 per cent of the population in our country, their representation in the workforce is much lower than men. Many women who join the workforce are sometimes forced to take a break or even leave their jobs, due to various life stage needs, such as maternity and child care.”

“Lack of a support system due to predominance of nuclear families, inadequate infrastructural facilities, such as crèches, and long commute time further accentuate the problem. So, for women professionals, there is a strong need for a robust support system, both at home and at work,” she adds.

Chanda Kochar

ICICI Bank is leaving no stone unturned to ensure the success of this programme. Banking operations need a safe and secure technological environment, including data security. That is why, the bank, in association with IIT Delhi students, has developed a unique technology platform which will allow the employees to work in a safe and secure operating system, and also provide a seamless office-like environment.

The three-level security protocol of the indigenous platform ensures that only the concerned employee will be able to access the system — a unique facial recognition technology— to ensure that no one can impersonate the employee and get access to its applications.

The technology will also enable the bank to roll it out across several functions and at the same time ensure that there is no loss of productivity. It will also allow scalability of the ‘iWork@Home’ programme, which signifies that women managers will be able to avail this facility for long periods of time.

Currently, women employees, who have already opted for this programme, handle functions such as checking of documents for disbursement of loans, image-based verification of cheques for clearance, and first-level scrutiny of documents for opening of accounts, as part of the overall account opening process and processing of export-import documents for payments.

In addition, when women managers need to travel outstation due to work, they will be allowed to bring along their children (below three years) and also a caretaker, who could be a relative or a hired person.

This will allow the women managers to focus on their work, without the emotional stress of staying away from their children.


  1. It is a very good move. I appreciate the added drop which can add a healthy flavour to the tough life of a woman professional, especially for the women who like to have homogeneous priority between her profession and family.

  2. Government proposed an amendment for 6 mths in Dec’15. Is there any progress on the same and are there chances of it being implemented this year ?

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