Mumbai, March 12: Winds of change are blowing across Larsen & Toubro, as India’s construction and engineering giant embarks on a mission to make diversity and inclusion (D&I), which also includes ushering in workplace gender balance, as a strategic decision thatis set to quickly become a “business imperative”.
Besides directmoves to spike the intake of women in its massive workforce, L&T and its constituent business verticals in particular, embraced ‘Winspire’ which was aimed at spreading awareness and greater acceptance of workplace diversity and inclusion, starting this International Women’s Day (widely observed in L&T on March 8).
Company sources said that ‘Winspire’,was not a “one off” event and would be observed in greater measure across all L&T verticals in the years to come. A number of women employees working across many of itsGroup companies contributed stories on various facets of their organisational and personal lives, which were compiled into a coffee table book that was released online by L&T CEO & MD S N Subrahmanyan on March 8.
Speaking on the occasion, Subrahmanyan said, “As things settle and start returning to what is the new normal, all of us, more particularly the women, will find fresh moorings, new ways of working and new opportunities to succeed.” “Even as ‘Winspire’ is expected to take deeper roots, L&T, in accordance with its commitment to D&I will continue to view “success in today’s world” as “gender agnostic and entirely dependent on how well one capitalises on the available opportunities,”he said.
Company data indicate a steady rise in the intake of women at three major entry levels – Graduate Engineer Trainees (GETs), Post-Graduate Engineer Trainees (PGETs) and Management Trainees (MTs) across most Group companies, with Subrahmanyan declaring that there were now “more and more women on the shop floor, project sites and offices.” The Company leadership has taken several focused initiatives to restore and sustain a favourable gender ratio and there has been a significant shift in the mindset, which in the past formed the basis for relying on “male-dominated professions”.
In his address to L&T employees, Subrahmanyan’s thrust was on the crucial development in D&I.He said, “D&I has been made a critical part of almost daily functioning withinthe Company that has always valued its combined ability to allow the flourishing of differences and diversity.This in turn has encouraged the flowering of multiple viewpoints, thought processes and perspectives to work together in assimilative ways to reach our goals”.
L&T’s senior executives are fully aware and grounded that a diverse set of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds are crucial to innovation and development of new ideas. In a study conducted by Forbes, respondents from several companies, including L&T, agreed that gender diversity is crucial to encouraging different perspectives and ideas that foster innovation.
Without shying away from admitting that L&T has “to do much more on D&I”, Subrahmanyan said that the Company managementis upbeat on breaking new grounds to allow D&I to take deeper roots across all its other verticals. “L&T has always been and will remain an organisation of opportunities. It is for each individual, man or woman, to seek, find and succeed. All you women of the modern day seek nor take any quarter; for you it is not a question of who is going to let you, rather you dare who will stop you, he affirmed.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDEtch1LFfs PWR PWR