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For more than four decades, HCL has been at the forefront of employing and empowering women. We are delighted to partner with the International Women’s Day organization for the second consecutive year. IWD plays a critical role of pointing out the significant gaps that exist still today. This helps organizations like us create and sustain a gender-equal world.
This year, HCL will team up with the International Women’s Day organization (IWD) to further gender equality in two spheres:
- IWD’s mission for Women in Technology is to “celebrate digital advancement and champion the women forging innovation through technology.” HCL is a next-generation global technology company that helps enterprises reimagine their businesses for the digital age. HCL puts its employees at the forefront of innovation, where they create, collaborate with one another and customers to seed, nurture, and harvest ideas. We are focused on enabling strong career development for our women and leverage programs designed to enhance women’s careers at varying stages of their professional journeys. The HCL Foundation was established in 2011 as the corporate social responsibility arm of the company. It is a gold standard non-profit organization that brings about lasting positive impact in the lives of people. We have long-term sustainable programs implemented in full engagement with HCL’s own employees and partners. These gender-neutral programs include holistic community development, youth education and success programs, investments in IT centers, training in technology and life skills.
- IWD’s mission for Women and Sport is to “celebrate women athletes and applaud when equality is achieved through pay, sponsorship, and visibility.” Sports offer a platform for all to forge physical and mental benefits through better behaviours, habits, mindsets, and skillsets. However even in the new decade, young girls and women do not find sports to be a level playing field – with barriers to recreational and professional participation across unequal opportunities, sponsorship, pay, and visibility. HCL is specifically committed to driving conversations, raising awareness, highlighting successes, and celebrating achievements towards the IWD 2020 mission of women in sport.
A Gender-Equal World
International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on the progress made, a call for change, and to celebrate the acts of courage and determination by ordinary women. The world has made unprecedented advances, but no country has achieved gender equality yet.
Through sustained programs and initiatives, HCL has moved the needle positively on gender diversity which stands at 26.67%, an improvement of 1.8% over the last year. We have also seen a 13.42% increase of women in leadership positions, a jump of 3.5% over FY’19. We have consistently and consciously furthered this cause through various in-organization initiatives to create a larger social environment that facilitates gender-equal workspaces.
Along with gender diversity, HCL has a significant focus on cultural diversity and inclusion. We have taken steps to create an ‘inclusive ecosystem’ through focused initiatives aimed at the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities.
There is a long way to go before one can forge a true gender equal world. Each year the United Nations and the International Women’s Day organization work tirelessly to push this agenda forward. The idea is to challenge stereotypes and bias, to encourage organizations to implement progressive policies, and to promote the importance of having an inclusive work culture.
While March 8, 2020, will be a significant celebration pushing for #EachForEqual, HCL will work alongside the IWD organization in the coming year to drive progress in these critical areas. We hope that you will join us on this journey and make 2020 count for women and girls everywhere.
At HCL, we view Diversity as a ‘differentiator,’ which is a representative of the diversity in beliefs, behaviors, and skills within the organization. Our workforce represents a spectrum of 140 plus nationalities coming from many of the countries we do business in – where all work together to build a culture that respects inclusion.
HCL’s Diversity and Inclusion strategy focus on talent attraction, talent retention, and talent growth. These three strategies work in tandem to ensure a unified experience in promoting gender diversity, cultural diversity, and inclusivity across the enterprise.
To enable strong career development for women, HCL has key programs in place:
- ASCEND: This program focuses on their career progression into their aspired role. Key learning elements like one to one mentoring and coaching by senior leaders, peer coaching for domain and technical skill enhancement, blended learning in the form of videos, case studies, and webinars from globally acclaimed learning partners are integrated into the program. The program has been recognized by Brandon Hall as ‘Best Advance in Women Leadership Development’ - Gold Award (2017) and the ‘Best Diversity and Inclusion Strategy’—Silver Award (2018). HCL has been the recipient of NASSCOM’s Award for Excellence in Gender Inclusion (2019). HCL has also been recognized by Jobsfroher.com as Top5 Companies for Most Innovative Practices - DivHERsity Programs(2019)
- Stepping Stones: A focused career development program to enable mid-level female employees to realize their career aspirations and potential to help them in their developmental journey
- Prelude: This program mentors them for their ‘next level roles’ to create a ready pool of talent for existing open positions within the organization.
- Decode: A unique program focuses on ‘upward conversations’ which leverages a structured space, time, and content for engaging interaction between the employee and her reporting / skip-level manager.
- Senior Hire Integration Program: An exclusive program that enables new senior women hires to settle into the ecosystem of the organization seamlessly.
HCL has also taken steps to create an ‘inclusive ecosystem’ through focused initiatives aimed at the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities. HCL’s Employee Resource Group, Pride@HCL, supports the needs and aspirations of the LGBTQ+ community through the mechanism of advocate, build, collaborate, and develop for employees in India and the USA.
HCL has also created a charter for People with Disabilities (PwD) that focuses on their successful integration into the workforce, by providing them an inclusive and accessible work environment through the four tenets of ‘employ, enable, engage, and empower’.
The significance of diversity in HCL business and growth is evident from the high focus it derives from its leaders and employees alike. We believe that diversity will increasingly be a driving force in competitive businesses, now and into the foreseeable future.
Key Diversity Initiatives
Diversity & Inclusion Networking and Advocacy Initiatives:
- HCL Women Connect: Engages and advances women through development programs and advocates a gender-neutral work environment by suggesting appropriate policies. This group also coaches and counsels aspiring young women professionals, shares experiences on work/life priorities, and includes life coach support, day-care in some office premises, concierge services, and policies such as extended maternity leave, work from home, flexible careers, and flexible work hours.
- Feminspiration/iMotivate: A platform wherein successful women leaders from client partners and internal leaders are invited to address employees. This provides them with insights into successful leadership as well as understand perspectives on gender matters.
Women Lead Project:An exclusive 1:1 mentoring program led by HCL for aspiring corporate women leaders. It has seen three very successful chapters in Australia since its inception in 2015 and has recently expanded into Sweden.
- Red Ladder: A unique platform that celebrates and fosters women's leadership. The Red Ladder program recognizes high-performing, high-potential women leaders and positions them as role models for other aspiring women. HCL’s Red Ladder initiative is a winner of the Stevie’s Award for women in Business 2017 under the category of “Women Helping Women.”