Type of Gap: ...at middle management level
Tapping its rich mine of educated female talent has been an important factor in allowing India to become one of the world's fastest-growing economies. But recently this particular dynamo has been showing signs of strain. Not surprisingly, the most stress is felt among women between 25 and 55 years of age, who are trying to balance demanding careers with obligations at home. Surveys showed that many Infosys women dropped out after getting married; the numbers skyrocketed after the birth of their first child and were almost universal after the second.
Type of practice: Work environment, work-life balance
The gender diversity practices in Infosys seek to address needs specific to the development, engagement, growth and retention of Women by promoting an inclusive workplace where the potential of women is leveraged and every woman feels valued, heard and fully involved with the company. We were the first company in India to focus on gender diversity and create a gender based affinity network - IWIN - in 2003 to promote inclusion.
The Network's support allowed us to develop innovative practices to balance the needs of Indian women and traditions in a multipronged approach to help women achieve career and life goals. - comprising of (1) emotional assistance, (2) inclusive policies and (3) infrastructure support.
(1) Emotional well being
- Peer counseling: The gender affinity circles help women with work life balance concerns such as parenting matters, day care referrals, career road maps while being away on maternity etc. In addition we have working mothers discussion boards for women to network with peers and get suggestions regarding childcare.
- Professional counseling and workshops: Women face unique challenges during the child bearing and rearing stages. We provide online support by professional counselors to employees for advice on matters such as child behavior, education, nutrition etc.
- There is a support network available for women facing harassment at home. We have established counselors and referrals who can assist with emotional, legal, temporary shelter, and other related support.
- Health programs: We provide seminars by gynecologists, health and nutrition specialists, pediatricians, and other specialists on an annual basis.
- Pregnacare: This is a unique program offered for expecting mothers. A special yoga and fitness class is available in the Infosys campus. Besides, the physiotherapist provides ergonomics related counseling.
- Doctor on Call: We have on site Doctors who can assist with ready prescriptions for mothers as well as over the counter prescriptions for their children.
- Referrals: Referrals for day care, home care, schools, hospitals, etc are available on D&I portal.
- 1 year child care sabbatical and the part time policy has helped women balance their child care priorities, irrespective of the age of the child. Part time also allows compressed work hours at Infosys. Employees can either work half a day or work for a few full days in a week. The flexible working hour policy allows mothers to attend to the children’s needs along with work.
- The telecommuting policy allows employees to attend to family emergencies and the on - duty policy facilitates working mothers to prioritize their work life matters.
- Satellite office policy allows women to work from the city office during pre and post maternity periods.
- Alternate career opportunities help women with less stressful jobs and these are available through the internal job posting policy.
(3) Infrastructure support
- Near site day care centers: All our office locations have day care support within 4 KM radius for convenience of working mothers.
- Nursing stations: In order to help young mothers all the offices are equipped with lactation centers ably supported by the doctor on call and women helpers.
- Shuttle services: Infosys offices are known for their vastness; and expecting mothers require help for commuting within the premises for which we provide shuttle services. Also, we allow employees to use office buses for dropping their children in the day care centers free of cost.
- Travel support: Young mothers can take their children and an extended family member with them and use the office guest house while on long official travel. This facility is provided based on request from employees.
- For the convenience of working mothers Infosys campuses are equipped with the following: departmental stores, beauty salons, drug stores with over the counter prescription care for children, banks, ready to take home meals from the in house restaurants, and recreation facilities. The concierge services helps with tax returns, relocation, telephone, insurance, travel and other day to day matters.
All women at Infosys are members of IWIN and work through collaborative communities to shape policy and opinion on how to address relevant policies.
While IWIN is about 10 years old, polices and initiatives continue to be created periodically.
89% of our women return from maternity leave. About 6 go on maternity leave everyday!
- Committed senior leadership and openness to consider alternatives.
- Addressing needs specific to individuals.