Sound Maternity Policy Can Help Firms Improve Gender Diversity: Experts

Indian companies can boost their gender diversity score significantly if they decide to go that extra mile on maternity policies, say experts.

Globally, gender diversity at workplace is a mandate and most companies are trying to include sufficient women employees in their payrolls to achieve this.

“Currently, companies in India have on an average 15-20 per cent diversity workforce and most of the companies have kept a target to reach 25-30 per cent in next 2-3 years,” said Sunil Goel, managing director of executive search firm GlobalHunt.

In order to increase gender diversity, firms are relaxing their maternity policies and using it as a retention tool. Generally, three months of maternity leave is normally given to a woman employee who is pregnant but few top IT companies and start-ups have extended it.

Recently, Accenture extended the maternity leave for its women employees to five months.

“Providing a clear and visible demonstration of organisation’s support for working mothers is a sure shot method to retain them and also help them to gain trust in the organisation”, Society for Human Resource Management India Knowledge and Research consultant Dedeepya Ajith John said.

According to experts, such policies will not only help attract women talent into the company but also retain them for a longer term which would add immense value to the company and to the employees’ career.

“A generous maternity policy is a starting point but policy alone may not suffice to ensure retention,” said Savitha Gaekwad, managing partner of global executive recruitment firm Antal International.

It added that the companies which are striving towards becoming better workplaces for mothers are imbibing this into their culture, not just policy.

A large number of women discontinue their careers as they find it difficult to balance work and family commitments.

“A good maternity policy will definitely go a long way not just in retaining a potential employee but also a loyal and dedicated employee,” said Gayathri Vasudevan, co-founder and CEO of LabourNet Services, a social enterprise which enables livelihood through vocational education.

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About Antal India Recruitment Blog

Founded in 1993, Antal International is a global Executive Recruitment firm with 120 offices in more than 30 countries We work with professional and managerial talent worldwide. works with many of the world’s most successful and ambitious employers. In January 2007 Antal International established the first office in India, which led to the opening of 38 offices in 14 cities. In 2013, Antal named Joseph Devasia as its Managing Director for Antal International Network, India – the man who brought Antal to India 9 years ago. Antal India today has 100+ consultants working across offices in India filling more than 3000 assignments at the mid – senior level. Antal India today has offices specialising in various industries like FMCG/CD, Ecommerce, IT, Pharma, Auto, Engineering, Manufacturing, Real Estate, Construction, Retail, Oil & Gas, Aerospace, Defence. Clients: Over the past 22 years, Antal has worked with over several thousand clients making 60,000 placements. Antal extensive network of offices and deep market expertise is what sets Antal apart from its competitors. To know more about us – www.antal.com

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