With Indian women refusing to sit back at home, the percentage of women workforce in Indian companies have been on the rise. Working hand in hand with their male counterparts, women employees contibute majorly to the success of various companies. In turn, companies also strive to make workplaces friendly and convenient for them.
The Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI) study 2016 conducted by AVTAR Group- India and Working Mother Media surveyed 350 companies with respect to women safety, maternity leaves, paternity leaves, percentage of women holding top positions in a company, work culture and many more.
A first of its kind study, which took eight months to complete, listed out 100 best companies. International Business Times, India interviewed women employees of five of the top ten companies.
Below are the key findings of the study:
- 32% of the workforce in the Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India are Women and 25.25% of the workforce in the 100 Best Companies are Women.
- 37% of all the managers in the Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India are Women!
- The average attrition rate amongst women is less than a third (20%) of that of men (68%) in the Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India.
- The 'BEST IN CLASS' representation of women on boards is 22% in India Inc.
- 100% of the Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India have programmes for returning women, 30 % of the 100 Best Companies have second career programmes.
- Mentoring, executive coaching and networking platforms are the three most effective initiatives for women's career advancement, says the BEST IN CLASS.
- The 100 Best Companies for Women in India regularly conduct opinion polls amongst their women employees to assess effectiveness of their women-centric initiatives.
- Zero Tolerance to Sexual Harassment is the norm in the 100 Best Companies for Women in India!!
- 100% of the 100 Best Companies for Women in India provide Flexible Working.
- All the Top 10 Best Companies for Women in India provide flexi-time work options to their employees; 90% provide remote work
- Remote work, flexi-time and partial work, partial pay are the most favoured flexible working arrangements in the 100 Best Companies for Women in India.
- Flexible Working is a gender agnostic policy across Corporate India; With a surging millennial representation this has become the new normal
- The BEST IN CLASS maternity leave in the 100 Best Companies is 6 months – 18 of the 100 Best Companies offered 6 months of paid maternity leave in the year 2015.
- 86% of the 100 Best Companies and 100% of the Top 10 Best Companies offer paid paternity leave. The BEST IN CLASS for paid paternity leave is 20 days.
- 70% of the 100 Best Companies offer paid leave to adoptive mothers. The BEST IN CLASS leave was 28 weeks.
- The 100 Best Companies allow for an average of 6.3 months of phase-back (in addition to paid maternity leave) for young mothers rejoining after their maternity breaks!
- 40% of the TOP 10 Best Companies provide day care services for their employees' children.
- 70% provide tuition reimbursement and 50% provide sponsored care for their employees!
- 50% of the TOP 10 Best Companies for Women in India sponsor infertility treatments for their employees!
- 100% of the TOP 10 Best Companies train their managers to help advance women, 90% train their managers to understand the work-life issues of their employees.
- 60% of the Top 10 Best Companies train their managers to effectively supervise flexible workers.
Let's hear from the women employees of five of the top ten companies:
"The best part about being an Accenture employee is the paid maternity leave of 22 weeks and the flexibility that we enjoy, in case one has to change cities due to marriage, or health concerns," said Pritha Mondal, Accenture employee.
"Apart from the paid maternity leave and work from home options, we have a women's wing called— Women at Intel, where all women employees can connect, talk, suggest and chalk out solutions to problems (if any) and work towards creating a sustainable career for themselves at Intel," said woman employee at Intel, who requested that her name not be mentioned.
"Along with the benefit of work from home to take care of our children who have not yet started to go to school, what I love about Deloitte is its efforts to have a fifty-fifty workforce of men and women. It is the best and a fair way to break the glass ceiling and encouraging women," said a woman employee of Deloitte, who chose to remain anonymous.
"While the Human Resource policy of ICICI is the strongest as an employee can't be terminated until it is a money goof-up or playing with the law, the few other things which makes ICICI one of the best places for women to work at are; the company gives it's women employees android or iPhones, so when we are engaged in 'in-bound' or 'out-bound business' and sense any danger, all we have to do is shake the phone, a signal to rescue along with the GPS will reach the company and rescue operations will start immediately. The other liberty that we enjoy is, women employees have all rights to avoid and even confront the customer if they feel uncomfortable," said Swati Singh, Duputy Manager 1, ICICI Bank.
"The one thing that I would like to point out is the security IBM provides. Escorts accompany women in shuttles or cabs if they are the last to be dropped. They wait until the woman is inside their gates. Besides security, menstruating women can also rest during work hours," said a female employee of IBM who requested that her name not be mentioned.