Inaugural Panel Discussion:  Driving Change and building a safe work place

India Inc. discusses diversity and inclusion at India Diversity Conclave 2021

Apr 12, 2021

New Delhi [India], April 12 (ANI/SRV Media): "From last year, the gender gap in India has widened by 22.3 per cent. Working women are repeatedly made to feel guilty about working. They are told they are selfish and their husband's careers are said to be more important", said Apurva Purohit, President, Jagran Prakashan Limited, in her keynote address at the inaugural edition of India Diversity Conclave 2021 presented by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. (ZEEL) and executed by Sapphire Connect.
Apurva was speaking on the topic, 'Gender Diversity in Corporate India: Where are we going wrong?' on Wednesday.
Ludger Felix Ramme, President, CEC European Managers, while delivering the international keynote address the topic, "PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE: A global roadmap of Diversity & Inclusion" underlined the need to include the LGBTQ+ community in organizations. He said, "After being confused about my identity, I came out very late. My board accepted my coming out easily but there are also people who do not accept difference. With discrimination, one cannot show the qualities and performance but by being open, we can be the best version of ourselves. Make your workplace a safe haven for tolerance and acceptance of diversity. You and your company will benefit from it".
India Diversity Conclave, the first conclave of India Diversity Forum (IDF), a section 8 company formed to create awareness about diversity and inclusion, was a pan India virtual event with over 40 speakers with two joining in from Berlin and London. It had over 11,000 registrations and over 3,000 delegates listening to Chairmen, Managing Directors, Presidents, Chief Human Resource Officers, and experts on diversity and inclusion. Its various segments included panel discussions, a case study and fireside chats on diversity, inclusion, safe workplaces, infusing innovation in diversity, gender equality, pay parity, engaging men in women empowerment, managing a multi-generational workforce, removing stumbling blocks in disability inclusion and cognitive diversity. The Conclave witnessed the support of over 50 companies as diversity champions and AGS Health and Skillsoft as Associate sponsors.

Animesh Kumar, President - HR & Transformation, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd., said, "Gender intelligence is probably the most appropriate word that influences the narrative of diversity socially among corporates. It acknowledges the difference and does not support discrimination. It epitomizes the difference in behaviour and the whole nature of behaviour energy. It is believed that there are certain things that come to you because of your nature or gender or your experiences irrespective of your religion or orientation or the regions of the country or the world you belong to or the influences that comes from the family that you belong to. In our business, we serve a billion viewers worldwide which represents such a diverse cultural nuance and have such different stories and different narratives. We need to go beyond organic and design to improve diversity."
He went on to add, "In Zee, we have three approaches, one is to address the supply-side constraints on how you manage in a smaller industry compared to the other such as technology. Here we need to bring a lot more talent into the system. For this, we have institutionalized a process where we focus on hiring more girls at the junior level. We have approximately around 65 to 70 per cent female hiring at the management trainee level. Secondly, we have also experimented where we bring people from outside the media industry at the mid-management level and therefore improving diversity ratios there. Lastly, we ensure an increase in the internal supply of leadership going from middle management to senior management in the organisation."
Ankit Bansal, Founder and CEO of Sapphire Human Solutions, and on the Board of Advisors of IDF said, "IDF will work with its members to collectively raise the bar on D&I in India with a strong focus on achieving tangible, quantifiable results that lead to economic and social benefits to our members, industry and nation at large" while Dr Ritu Anand, Chief Leadership and Diversity Officer, Tata Consultancy Services also an Advisor of IDF, opined, "When barriers of minds are removed, the economic success follows."
Panellist Megha Tata, Managing Director, South Asia, Discovery Communications India, observed, "Multiple Leadership positions are led by women where the action is speaking more than words." While Anjali Rao, HR Head and Senior Director - Human Resources, Intel India asked: "Is it a level playing ground for equality where only 28 per cent of women are there in the workforce of which only 11 per cent are in leadership roles as compared to men?"

Advisors of IDF Harshbeena Zaveri, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, NRB Bearings, Sudha Ravi, CCO, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance Ltd., Anisha Motwani, Founder- Director, STN Centuries, Independent Director on board of Welspun India and Abbott and Gautam Chainani, President - HR, Strategic Initiatives & Workforce, JSW.
Adding to this, Rishi Kapoor, Associate Partner & Business Head, Sapphire Connect said, "We are glad to have been associated with India Diversity Forum as they embark on their journey to make India more diverse and inclusive. We look forward to organizing much more engagements such as industry workshops, job fairs, etc. under IDF throughout the year and aim to make each one better than the previous. We at Sapphire Connect advocate involvement, innovation, and expand access to leadership opportunities that maximize engagement across various groups through various activities. We intend to provide leadership and commit time and resources to accomplish this objective of building diversity and inclusion in organizations."
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