Breaking Barriers: Fostering Gender Parity in the Workplace

Bhupali Tambekar

Gender parity isn’t just good for women; it’s a boon for companies as well. India has witnessed remarkable growth as an IT services provider, yet businesses grapple with closing the gender gap in their workforce. A study mentions that women constitute roughly 25 to 30% of the engineers graduating every year; this demographic represents a substantial talent pool waiting to be harnessed.

A Case for Gender Parity 

Homogeneity stifles innovation. A diverse workplace introduces fresh perspectives, fostering creative problem-solving and unlocking untapped market potential. Forbes notes that companies with high gender diversity yield slightly superior returns due to increased and enhanced innovation. Men and women offer distinct viewpoints, contributing unique ideas that enhance problem-solving capabilities and overall performance.

Companies that prioritize diversity and inclusion gain a competitive edge by reflecting the diverse nature of their customer base and adapting more effectively to a rapidly changing global landscape.

Comprinno firmly believes in the competitive advantages that stem from prioritizing diversity and inclusion. Comprinno is committed to cultivating a team that values its women employees. Women-friendly policies, such as remote work, afford them the flexibility to work from anywhere and attend to familial responsibilities. Comprinno’s workforce comprises numerous determined and highly skilled women who bring multitasking abilities, high emotional intelligence, and meticulous attention to detail, creating a stimulating environment. As a closely-knit company, we envision our women employees as change-makers, inspiring them to contribute to superior technological solutions.

Challenges and Barriers

 

Despite progress, significant challenges still impede the journey toward gender parity. Identifying and understanding these challenges is the first step toward overcoming them.  

While McKinsey and Company’s recent report underscores the financial benefits of gender diversity, revealing that top-quartile diverse companies are 15% more likely to exceed industry medians, the reality in the IT sector tells a different story. Women still face under-representation, notably in software engineering (14% of the workforce) and computer science-related roles (25% of the workforce). Despite the industry’s strides, women’s inclusion in software engineering hires has only increased by 2% over the past 21 years.

Deep-rooted societal expectations often pigeonhole women into predefined roles, hindering their progress at times. Unequal opportunities further compound the challenge, as women frequently encounter systemic biases in hiring, promotions, and project assignments, limiting their career trajectory. Additionally, work-life balance struggles intensify the gender gap, as traditional expectations often place a disproportionate burden on women to manage familial responsibilities, impacting their professional pursuits.

 

Fostering diversity goes beyond recognizing individual strengths; it extends to taking concrete initiatives to promote the well-being and professional growth of women employees. Companies should not only be committed to creating an environment that encourages women to thrive, but also actively implements policies that support better working conditions, professional development opportunities, and avenues for career advancement. 

Strategies for Encouraging Gender Parity

 

A comprehensive shift in company policies is imperative to better support female employees. For empowering women at work, key guiding frameworks and policies & practices for gender equality should be the main focus. The Constitution of India has implemented certain laws including right to equal remuneration, right to harassment free work environment and so on. The Maternity Benefit Amendment Act also introduces favorable provisions like daycare facilities, a non-discriminatory performance appraisal system considering female employees’ absence, and work-from-home policies, enabling them to balance work and family commitments effectively.

 

At Comprinno, the organization has consistently underscored the importance of women, recognizing their role in fostering a culture of empathy and open dialogue. Valuing their diverse skills, the company has established a supportive infrastructure, encouraging open communication and providing mentorship opportunities. Many women at Comprinno have successfully resumed their careers after extended breaks, thanks to the company’s commitment to offering a robust support system and relevant training. This achievement is made possible by the presence of women in key leadership roles at Comprinno, driving impactful change as decision-makers in the top C-suite.

 

Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything for better or worse. Comprinno propagates a work culture modeled on fairness and inclusivity, trust and empathy. When I joined Comprinno six years ago, I was the first female employee here. Since then, a lot more women joined hands and together we have made considerable progress in terms of developing certain project execution practices from scratch to creating employee friendly policies to achieving success together. It could be about leading the technical team from the front or about representing Comprinno in various forums. The opportunities were offered to everyone equally without gender bias and the team made sure they delivered their best to make use of that exposure. A variety of training programs for continuous learning, remote-working enabling work-life balance, and raising awareness in the team leading to a fair, inclusive, and diverse work environment has been Comprinno’s forte. I am thrilled to be in a leadership role in a company that recognizes talent and offers an environment conducive to growth. 

 

With the IT world now becoming more conscious and responsible, it is encouraging women’s growth by providing more first-promotion opportunities, incentives for owning projects, and driving them to aim for leadership opportunities. This sets Comprinno apart from their competitors by bringing women who are at the helm of the company. The women here are decision-makers and a free, encouraging environment at Comprinno ensures that they deliver their best. Women are more resilient, and their emotional quotient can help deliver more robust solutions to technological problems. 

 


Building a Culture of Inclusion

 

Achieving gender parity is not a one-time initiative; it requires a cultural shift within organizations. Leadership of an organization plays a pivotal role as the architects of organizational ethos. Leaders must champion diversity, actively promoting an environment where every voice is valued and heard. By fostering an inclusive mindset at the top, leadership sets a powerful example for the entire organization to follow, shaping a culture that celebrates differences and thrives on collaboration.

Allyship, further fortifies this culture. Colleagues and leaders alike must actively stand as allies, advocating for underrepresented voices, recognizing and addressing biases, and promoting a sense of belonging. Allyship goes beyond passive support; it involves proactive efforts to dismantle barriers and create a workplace where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued.

The bedrock of a truly inclusive culture rests on well-crafted policies and practices. Organizations must institute and uphold policies that not only prohibit discrimination but actively promote diversity and equity. From fair hiring practices to inclusive promotion criteria, these policies should serve as a guidepost for creating an environment where diversity is not just tolerated but celebrated. By embedding inclusivity into day-to-day practices, organizations can cultivate a culture that thrives on the rich tapestry of its workforce, creating a space where every individual can contribute their best.


Final Thoughts

Don’t let gender be the measure of your potential! This is what organizations should be reminding their employees. Equal opportunities, liberty to take decisions and freedom to express, no matter which gender you belong to, should be given importance. Women need not be seen as a mother or a wife or a weaker sex but rather a team member and an individual who tries, fails, learns, and then succeeds.I am glad that I am part of a team that genuinely believes in gender equality and walks the talk. Nothing can inspire me more than the fact that every single day I will be pushed to work to my full potential at Comprinno and only the sky’s the limit.  

About Author

Bhupali is a seasoned technology leader with a passion for innovation and a deep understanding of the cloud computing industry. With extensive experience in cloud architecture and a proven track record of delivering successful AWS implementations, Bhupali is a trusted advisor to Comprinno’s clients. She is a thought leader in the industry and loves to channel her passion for technology through her insightful blogs.

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