The year 2021 has been the inception year of the India Diversity Forum, and has been a year of learning, ideation and growing. From a thought to a forum of 200+ members, IDF along with its members, is united in its dedication to transforming India Inc. into a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace. DE&I is now a boardroom agenda in corporate India and therefore, there has been a significant shift in the way organisations perceive DE&I. Statistics show that India Inc. is dedicating more time and resources into this noble cause. Workforces are being actively sensitised through numerous initiatives on the various spectrums of diversity. With increased awareness, India Inc.’s vision of becoming a DE&I centric employer gets closer with passing time. The destination is in plain sight, the journey has begun. Much ground still remains to be covered though.
Building a strong DE&I foundation requires leaders to focus on building trust and creating a culture where everyone feels free to express themselves. Employees feel psychologically secure in expressing themselves and feel valued when their ideas and contributions are heard and implemented.
The Covid 19 pandemic has been a catalyst for enhancing and accelerating the diversity and inclusion initiatives of companies, showed a survey by Intel. Nearly 81 per cent of the business leaders surveyed in India said that the workplace disruptions caused by the pandemic have had a positive impact on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) initiatives in their organisations.
Raises issues on access to gender-neutral restrooms, adopting employee health benefits for transitioning individuals, and creating awareness around using inclusive language for gender non-binary and transgender employees. It’s a different mindset and we must be sensitive to it.
Gaining actionable insights from analytics and metrics is a given in the digital age. Diversity, inclusion and equity, as any business imperative, requires a structured approach and periodical monitoring and refinement. Analytics help reveal the underlying details and trends that otherwise may not be detected. A dashboard that brings together analytics can help managers visualize and forecast diversity trends, highlighting critical diversity metrics and the impact of leadership programs. Companies can create diversity scorecards to benchmark internal trends against external metrics such as industry, location or other parameters. Pushing diversity data out to managers’ desktops, and providing data relevant to their daily activities at the point of decision through embedded analytics provides transparency and supports actionable insights down the management line.
Organisations across sectors are increasingly turning to technology to address their DE&I challenges. Technology solutions such as AL & MI can address DE&I issues. AI-based software platforms that are both data-driven and taught to ignore traditional prejudices rely on algorithms that prevent historical patterns of underrepresentation. Such platforms will become the way of the future as they can support a full range of talent processes, including whom to hire and how to manage them, develop them and reward them.
It is amply clear that more diversity in a company does not necessarily equal more equity and inclusion. While efforts at diversity may increase, the same is not always the case for efforts at inclusivity. A growing diversity and inclusion trend in 2022 will be for companies to set transparent targets, goals, and D&I initiatives. Doing so will increase the accountability of people in leadership positions, encourage honest conversations between employees and their bosses, and inspire them to share ideas and solutions.
Using people analytics for decision making
Data analysis is a tool that can be applied to any area in an organisation including HR. In the coming years, this data will enable organisations to make smarter decisions.
Improving the job applicant experience
Applying for a new job can be a pretty complicated and lengthy process. By streamlining the entire process an organisation ensures and enables correct fitment of people.
Taking a stand with their people
Social Responsibility will be the driving force for employees who will expect their organization to take a stand on certain issues from gender and racial equality to mental health and environment.
Cultivating authentic workplace cultures
Organisations will be focusing on evaluating workplace values and providing a healthy working environment.
Embracing leadership from Millennials to Generation
We will soon be witnessing one of the largest generational shifts in the workplace. 2020 will see companies embracing this shift in order to modernize their workforce.
Establishing work life balance as the norm
People are more and more seeking a perfect blend of work and life and this distinction of sphere should be made in order to prevent burn-out.
Upskilling to invest in Team and Business growth
The dynamics of a workplace constantly evolve be it new technologies or new policies. It is imperative for the workforce to re-invent and re-learn in order to grow and become more efficient. Learning and Development is beneficial for both professional growth of the people as well as the business growth of an organisation.
Offering Flexible workspaces
Flexibility at work has been an on-going theme since 2019 and is still gaining momentum. In order to improve productivity, it is important allow employees to tailor and customize their work environment to best suit their working preferences.
Focusing on Employer Branding
A company always wants to hire the best talent but it is vital to be able to lure star performers in the team by living up to your promises. Organisations in 2020 will continues to build their employer brand by setting themselves apart and branding their workplaces as unique in terms of what flexibility and added advantages that they offer to their employees. A happy employee is the best form of publicity.
ONLY body in India focused on promoting diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in India. Inc.
India Diversity Forum’s first On-Ground event – attracting senior leaders and the most noted DE&I practitioners of corporate India.
The Covid pandemic accelerated the digital age. Engagements too were conducted online, but nothing can substitute a face-to-face conversation. The quality of ideas exchanged is higher and the rapports built-in person last longer than those built online.
Change is the only constant in today’s connected world. Today’s breakthrough idea becomes obsolete in a matter of months – as humans evolve, perceptions evolve, motivations evolve, and societies evolve. Keeping abreast can be daunting but you can get updated with what’s changing and influencing the DE&I movement in the country at the 2nd edition of the India Diversity Conclave.
Be aware of the latest solutions available in the market. Meet and interact with a host of pre-vetted solution providers bringing the most advanced solutions to your unique DE&I challenges. Explore how they can add value to your DE&I journey.
India Diversity Forum is an independent industry body (a Section 8 company) formed to create awareness about diversity and inclusion in the Indian workplace on one platform. It will also bring single-minded focus to the discussion around diversity and inclusion in India at a company, government and national level.
India Diversity Forum aims to increase employee engagement and confidence, help reduce conflict at workplaces and make the workplaces more humane and happy places.
Eminent Independent Director, (on Boards of Abbott, Welspun India, L&T Investment)
Serial Entrepreneur and Founder & CEO, Sapphire Human Solutions
Managing Director and Vice Chairperson ,NRB Bearings Limited
President HR - Strategic Initiatives & Workforce Automation, JSW
Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Tata Consultancy Services
Reputed Board personality, (on Boards of Goodyear, Alkem labs, SBM Bank)
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