March 8 is an aide-mémoire, a reminder, of our conscious steps to address and acknowledge the importance and significant contribution of Diversity at every level of the organisation. Corporations the world over are taking active strides to align their objectives and goals to key non-discrimination charters while defining actions to create greater gender equality within.
Aligned with Societe Generale’s mission to have a diverse workforce in an inclusive workplace, the global solution centre in India remains committed to promoting specific actions to respect, nurture and celebrate gender diversity. Taking a concrete step towards this goal, we recently became a signatory to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles (UNWEP) along with other SG entities worldwide – a pledge to take corporate action to ensure diversity at the workplace, the wider community and publicly report on these actions annually.
In recognition of our consistent commitment to increasing and improving women’s participation at the workplace, JobsForHer – India’s largest online career platform for women – under its flagship DivHERsity Awards, recently acknowledged the global solution centre in India as frontrunner in the categories of ‘Top20 Most Innovative Practices – Women L&D Programs’, ‘Top20 Most Innovative Practices – Women Leadership Development’ and ‘Top20 DivHERsity Champions (Large Enterprises)’. This follows the recognition last year as one of the ‘100 Best Companies for Women in India’ in a study conducted by ‘Working Mother & Avtar Best Companies for Women in India’ and an ‘Exemplar of Inclusion’ in the Working Mother & Avtar Most Inclusive Companies Index (MICI).
GENDER EQUALITY: AT THE HEART OF INNOVATION
A gender-equal organisation not only opens doors for equal opportunities but is also sensitive to consciously providing greater avenues for women’s participation and development in critical areas. Accordingly, policies are periodically assessed along with several initiatives aimed at enhancing the place of women in the professional world.
At Societe Generale, we are focused on promoting employee diversity through careers based on skills, a balanced compensation policy, promoting women to positions of responsibility and offering opportunities for professional growth through upskilling and reskilling.
A good illustration is the dedicated L&D ‘Women in Leadership’ program to harness high potential talent through mentoring. In parallel, the ‘Women in Tech’ program aims to identify women in high-impact roles and provide them with opportunities internally and externally with a three-fold objective – to increase their engagement level, enable upskilling and reskilling, and give them the right platform to network.
“The Women in Leadership program has made me understand a lot about how to work smarter and with more confidence, how to pitch for good work, be ready for any situation that comes up, never forget to share our gratitude to others even if they might not have done good to us all the time and move on and finally never stop dreaming of a ‘better you’.“
– Sheryll Dsouza, Women in Leadership program participant
We even had a maiden submission by one of our technologists Richa Kumari to the esteemed Grace Hopper Celebration India this year, with a presentation on 12 March. You can read her interview here.
Another area of focus for us is creating a seamless experience for women resuming work after a break, lateral mobility and enabling a conducive ecosystem while supporting the career progression of working mothers and returning mothers through various learning programs. Our colleague Anusha Kemparaju shares her story.
We have webinars for returning mothers, a buddy program offering support along with dedicated internal channels to voice concerns periodically. You can view a video testimonial from some of our colleagues who returned to work post motherhood.
We have sustained and intensified focus on these key topics, despite pandemic-induced disruptions, by adopting virtual platforms. Also, over the past year, we have adopted newer models of creating greater awareness on inclusion through theatre-based and virtual programs which have resulted in a high level of interest and engagement.
ENABLING WOMEN AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL
Our initiatives in diversity are not limited to the organisation. We are also taking it to the wider community through our programmes with our NGO partners Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, VIDYA and the USHA School of Athletics – through skilling programmes to empower women, supporting underprivileged women scholars, promoting young athletes from rural backgrounds, and career guidance sessions for Rugby players.
This year, we will continue to take concrete actions on gender equality with our leadership as role models to engage, enable and influence at all levels of the organisation. So, join us this International Women’s Day as we celebrate our champions and changemakers and pledge to create a more equal world.
#DiversityIsAStrength #TheFutureIsYou #SGChooseToChallenge