Although industrialization broke the first of the gender bias barriers, it was rapid technological development in the late 20th century that enabled more and more women to join the workforce and reach new heights. In fact, technology skills are, and, will be the key to all jobs in the future for all diverse groups, including women employees. In this way, we delved into a unique perspective of diversity and inclusion with Veena Satish,VP People and Culture, MoEngage.
Q: What are the different ways in which the pandemic has impacted your policies? What steps have you taken to make your firm more inclusive?
A: Taking this thinking forward, it became imperative to roll out initiatives that enable groups of diverse employees to further their careers even during uncertain times (like the pandemic). We found value in existing and new diversity and inclusion initiatives which are based on the belief that the onus is on employers to upskill women employees and improve their access to challenging and lucrative job opportunities. Apart from fulfilling obligatory requirements, we are building our company culture on a strong faith that women bring different perspectives to the table. We are continually striving to address gaps that stall women from reaching the C-suite and achieving their professional goals. As a step towards addressing and bridging these gaps over time, we have introduced the below initiatives.
Q: What are the new perspectives on gender diversity? What initiatives have you taken to continue nurturing this valuable talent?
A: We believe in pay parity and other liberal and inclusive initiatives like making inclusion a continuous process, taking D&I across the organization, and not just keeping it as a top-down practice.
It is important for us to create a culture of belonging, and integrate inclusive values into the ethos of our organization.
In order to achieve this, we are also set to launch an Employee Resource Group (ERG) for women employees through which we will roll out a few key initiatives – for our women employee network and beyond. The objective of the focused Women Resource Council (WRC) is to:
- Build awareness (around gender diversity and inclusion) across all levels of the organization, starting from our management team
- Support professional and career development aspirations of our women employees through focused learning programs and mentoring opportunities
- Provide an opportunity to network, share ideas, support each other, and grow
In addition, we consciously aim to hire and retain candidates from under-represented groups. Right from scanning resumes to hiring to nurturing careers and helping diverse groups grow, it’s people and technology that hold the key to success at MoEngage.
Professional and career development is a key focus area for MoEngage. We’ve set up our Excelerator program that provides each employee with an individual quarterly budget to invest in their own professional development – courses, books, educational platform subscriptions, and more.
Through the onset of the recent COVID pandemic, we worked on adjusting company policies and re-aligning them to cater to added roles and responsibilities (and the challenges that come with it) that many were expected to take on outside of work. In those terms, we have incorporated a flexible working policy and option to work remotely (or choose to adopt a hybrid work model in the future), is meant to assist women grappling with dual or multiple responsibilities. We also started providing additional wellness days off with the intent of getting employees to take a break and focus on themselves. Work-life balance and employee wellness are essential to us. With so much for an individual to manage, burnout can happen, and we try to take measures to reduce that pain through our continuous listening process – we take employee feedback frequently and seriously and do what’s needed to best support them.
Q: What is the reason you have adopted D&I initiatives in your firm?
A: The benefits of having a diverse and balanced workforce – where everyone feels like they belong – are far superior to not having it. A training industry report rightly points out that factors like customer and employee satisfaction, higher morale, increased competitive advantage, and enhanced corporate image are all results of having a more diverse and inclusive workforce.
D&I is critical to businesses as it helps retain and cultivate the best talent that ensures organizational success. Companies can gain a competitive advantage if they utilize the wide range of skills and talents offered by women, racial and ethnic minority groups, older adults, LGBTQ+ employees, and people with disabilities.
To realize the full potential of D&I initiatives, companies must follow certain mandatory practices to augment their D&I strategies like establishing a sense of belonging for all groups, offering equal growth opportunities, reworking job descriptions, bringing in innovation, and educating all employees on diversity and inclusion.