One can clearly see the shift in the range of responsibilities women are taking today; from an all women employees managing a railway station to working in truck manufacturing units to flying fighter jets, women have taken up every challenge to take on the male dominated jobs. The corporates are no different and are indulged in measures of creating a balanced yet diverse work force. There are organizations which have imbibed this in their operating philosophy and created dedicated growth avenues to nurture the women employee cohort. Women employees have been recognized for their efforts to move ahead in their careers, in spite of their life stage needs. Women today have evolved from managing household duties to managing large P&L accounts. At IFIN, there has been a constant effort to promote Meritocracy and bring the best person forward for the job. “It was my goal and it was my vision to make the Women Business Leaders at IL&FS Financial Services (IFIN) the front face of the business and today you will find the Women Business leaders at IFIN are driving the business in a Fantastic way”, said Mr. Ramesh C. Bawa, MD & CEO, IL&FS Financial Services.
IFIN has been creating a lot of platforms to empower the women employee cohort by implementing targeted skill building programs. These programs are designed to help women employees overcome their life stage challenges and perform to the best of their abilities. Across all levels of management, dedicated learning interventions help them in understanding the potential psychological barriers to enhance their career. These interventions like experience sharing by Industry experts, lectures on financial stability and mental wellness go a long way in preparing them to take on the responsibilities in an effective way. Online Courses from top institutes help in fetching the best capability building opportunity and augment the professional efficacy of women employees.

There has been a dedicated approach towards ensuring there is enough support, in terms of the policies and facilities, to ensure talented women employees can be empowered to focus on their Careers.  Once empowered, the women employees have a greater affinity to leverage resources effectively, this was observed during the IL&FS Women’s day celebration this year, where all the women employees came together to impact the lives of more than 300 under privilege lives. They participated in providing financial advice, wellness advice and above a smile to their faces.

“Ananya” is an initiative, which revolves around creating a more sustainable and flourishing work environment for the women employees. Under this Initiative a holistic approach is undertaken which includes critical career nudges like, Leadership Development, self- confidence, achievement orientation, life stage support and realizing one’s true potential. This initiative saw some important infrastructure changes being made in the Group e.g. tie-up for on-site daycare. These kind of changes helps the women employees to be free from their responsibilities and focus on their jobs and careers. IFIN echoes the Group philosophy of taking a lot of pride to see a mother play with her child and at the same time bring business laurels to the organization as a functional Leader. The new mothers experience the understanding and flexibility provided by the organisation, through various people policies, which brings their talent forward. This ecosystem promotes a sense of responsibility in women employees and they work harder to achieve value for the organization and their respective careers.
Being an equal opportunity employer IFIN has always maintained parity in providing the same if not more opportunities to the women employees. Valuing contribution is gender neutral at IFIN. It is at the core of the rewarding superlative contribution. This empowers the women at IFIN to reflect the equal opportunity in their immediate ecosystem. Today, women employees at IFIN enjoy a respectful partnership at the office as well as at home.

IFIN Leadership Mentoring program, the mentoring initiative strengthens the philosophy further by providing the impetus to women leaders and helps them to play by their strengths, natural qualities which impact effective leadership. There has been vigilant yet consistent thrust in their careers and it plays a pivotal role in replicating the IFIN brand name in the financial sector. The systematic approach of allowing women employees to take calculated risks and hand holding them in the critical phase of execution has led the IFIN Leadership team to build a set of dynamic and competitive set of Women leaders at IFIN. A testimony of this empowerment is that at IFIN, women leaders are front ending five critical functions and the teams are flourishing under their leadership.

At the very core, IFIN demonstrates “support at life stage”. It is a matter of pride that more than 90% of women employees join back after their maternity break albeit some need extended maternity break. Fairness and meritocracy sits at the centre of career advancement and often higher order roles and growth during maternity is key to strengthening anchored performance and potential. This culture of inclusiveness provides an entrepreneurial spirit to the women employees. Their ideas are given respect and they have been empowered to take these ideas to fruition. This is critical in uplifting the morale of women employees, the feeling that they are an integral part of an organization’s growth builds enormous amount of self-confidence. At IFIN this is a reality, and a testimony to this is the fact in the last 3 years, IFIN's most cherished award “The Business Leader of the Year” has been bagged twice by Women Business Leaders.

It is important to be cognizant of the changes that are being observed in the needs of the diverse workforce, but what’s more important is to bring meaningful change to suit these needs. The critical thing is to develop a culture of inclusiveness i.e. respects all the individuals for their uniqueness.
With more than 35% women employees (way above the Industry standards), IFIN has been able to not only create a balanced workforce and has been able to provide the right impetus to its women employees.

 

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