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IT Companies Celebrate Women’s Day With Women Empowerment Initiatives

Tangible measures such as increasing the women workforce and including them in the boardroom are being considered

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Information Technology (IT) companies have always been at the forefront of embracing change – not just in technology but also in the social and cultural sphere. Not surprisingly, tech companies have employed several initiatives to celebrate International Women’s Day today, originally known as International Working Women’s Day.

Interestingly and much deservingly, the initiatives have gone beyond customary celebrations with chocolates and flowers. While some companies have organised women-centric workshops across areas of interest like motivational, self defence and health & wellness, some others have pushed the boundaries to announce serious and tangible measures like increasing the women workforce and encouraging them to rejoin work, say, after a maternity leave.

Canon, a leading digital imaging company in India aims to grow its women workforce to 20 per cent from the current 12 per cent over the next two years. Speaking about the significance of its women workforce, Kazutada Kobayashi, president & CEO of Canon India, said, “Canon’s policies and initiatives are in line with our vision to create stronger workforce where women can be leaders just like the way they lead their homes. Women today are superwomen in true sense.”

At Bosch India, investing in the future of women executives is a top priority. By 2020, Bosch aims to increase the share of women in leadership positions to 20 per cent. Women in boardrooms have been a key human resource discussion for some time now and Bosch’s initiative is seen as a major leap forward. In line with this objective and to address concerns of work-life balance, Bosch has implemented employee friendly policies like flexi-time working, 5-day working in corporate departments, half-day casual leave facility, and modified general shift working in plants.

Networking major Cisco recently launched Project Athena which is a homecoming project for former Cisco women employees who would like to return to work after a break. “We at Cisco believe that we are at the forefront of creating and fuelling exponential business growth through an intersection of inclusion, diversity, collaboration and technology,” a Cisco spokesperson said.

On the same lines, online payments company PayPal has introduced a unique six-week pilot program called ‘Recharge’ designed to empower women technologists to return to work after a personal career break. “The program is developed to increase diversity in technology, while also giving individuals who want to return to work an opportunity to expand their experience and network,” PayPal said in a statement.

Hinduja Global Solutions (HGS) which has over 32 per cent women in their organization has employed a childcare initiative wherein the company has tied up with various pre-schools. As part of the tie-up, employees’ children are provided with subsidized schemes and corporate discounts.

In a step towards prevention of sexual harassment at workplace, HGS has created a team called Internal Complaints Committee (consisting of 5 members including 1 external member) that investigates all issues that are brought to their notice and ensures a fair, just and speedy investigation including initiation of appropriate action against the offender.

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