How diverse practices are bringing changes at HCLTech | HCLTech

How diverse practices are bringing changes at HCLTech

HCLTech’s rich culture is open to new ideas; diversity, equity and inclusion is championed across employees with policies, programs, trainings and concrete steps
10 minutes read
Jaydeep Saha
Jaydeep Saha
Global Reporter, HCLTech
10 minutes read
How diverse practices are bringing changes at HCLTech

Women form 26.7% of the workforce in the global tech landscape. This represents a crisis for diversity and the resulting business benefits. However, a change is gradually occurring.

On this International Women’s Day (IWD), this article explores how the intervention of diverse leaderships — coupled with policies, programs and concrete steps — are being proven beneficial in big tech companies.

“An engineer is an engineer; gender does not matter. When I started out [nearly 30 years ago], the ratio of female engineers used to be approximately 10%. The amazing part now is that 30% of engineers who work for my organization, which is a smaller part of the overall HCLTech ecosystem, are women,” said Sanjoy Ghosh, Executive Vice President, ERS at HCLTech.

As it’s been documented, big tech companies are gradually changing the culture with initiatives around diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

For example, when Trends and Insights asked its Global and APAC Reporter Mousume Roy about her experience working with Cricket Australia, she said: “I was chosen to work on the thought leadership content amid predominantly male project managers for Cricket Australia’s campaign. This speaks volumes about the culture of equality and inclusivity within HCLTech. I’m grateful to be a part of such a forward-thinking team.”

Elsewhere, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple and Meta are leading by example by bringing in gender balance in the existing workforces.

Besides achievements in the DEI sector, their annual reports contain commitments toward building workforces and leadership roles that value (people from) different cultures, ages, ethnicity, education levels, disability status, race, sexual orientation, cognition and socioeconomic background. For example, the commitments of Intel and HP by 2030.

Similarly, HCLTech has committed to a diverse future. By 2030, HCLTech aims to improve gender diversity in the workforce to 40% and increase gender representation in senior leadership levels to 30%.

Among major goals already achieved by HCLTech are:

  • Gender diversity (GD) improved to 29.2% during FY’23
  • At senior leadership level GD has grown by 24% in last five years
  • A diverse board, with more than 30% women directors
  • Headcount of people with disabilities has increased by 9%
  • 27% of senior women employees in revenue generating roles
  • 49% of female students in total campus hiring mix

How to achieve it?

Dr. Nidhi Pundhir, Vice President, Global CSR, HCLTech & Director, HCLFoundation, which has implemented the HCLTech Grant in India and driven conservation work under Harit, The Green Initiative, is well-known globally for her work.

She said: “We have taken an ‘Integrated Community Development Approach’ in our CSR Strategy, where ‘gender and inclusion’ are cross-cutting themes. Implying that inclusion is imperative in everything we do. We’ve always taken it as something which is fundamental, which is central and core to our thinking. We’ve never worked on it after everything is done.”

Achieving a diverse organization requires a strategy based on metrics, reports and records. Here, transparency and accountability are also important for supercharging progress.

While forming a diverse workforce, offering a lucrative pay package is just one of the many factors that encourages people to join, stay, work and create the difference.

“Addressing salary parity is a pressing challenge in our industry. Decision-makers are actively implementing policies to narrow this gap, with the goal of encouraging more women to pursue this career path. In addition to this, we aim to provide a platform for continuous skill enhancement, empowering women to thrive in their professional journey,” said Vinutha Rao, Senior Vice President (Digital Business), HCLTech.

Rich culture

Inspire inclusion, the theme of this year’s IWD, is engrained in the DNA of HCLTech employees globally. Here, four out of five employees in the major geographies where HCLTech operates are local hires. This has led to a workforce that “stems” out of a 224,700+ strong employees spread across 60 countries and belonging to 167 nationalities.

Having considered equity as a differentiator and inclusion as an integrator, the right and diverse practices at senior leadership trust in “the power of difference.” For example, celebrating Diwali, Eid, Onam, Holi, Pride Month, Black History Month, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas together.

Finding and retaining the right talent

Although inclusion of women and people from other communities in the workforce remains an uphill task at many places, a job description is gender neutral at HCLTech and hiring of talent happens at various levels.

Dr. Pundhir added: “We’ve always kind of taken an approach where even before putting our feet on the ground, we have gender equality assured. We apply a human rights approach and scientific gender audits across various stages of planning, implementation and measuring impact.”

For example, HCLTech’s partnership with Girl Up. Created by the United Nations Foundation, Girl Up is a leadership development initiative with the goal of advancing gender justice and promoting girls and women in leadership roles. In this, HCLTech helps empower young leaders and create greater education and employment opportunities.

“Our women farmers, artisans, female sports champions, girls in STEM, including coding and robotics, highest cadres of academics, girls saying ‘no’ to child marriage, dowry, women making a choice on contraception and leading Self-Help Groups — all are testimonies to our ideology of inclusion. Of our 5.5 million CSR community members, half are women,” added Dr. Pundhir.

At an HR level, there are regular training and workshops on diversity, equity and inclusion, gender equality, how to keep away biases, develop digital skills, awareness on POSH and many more.

“HCLTech ideapreneurs should be excited to bring their ‘whole selves’ to work every day and inclusion is key to that. We ensure that through our Inclusion Lab and Inclusion in Action Allyship workshops for all. We encourage learning across levels and multiple topics for each one of us to achieve our aspirational goals,” said Anandita Chauhan, Senior Vice President - People Function at HCLTech.

HCLTech is the founding member of World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Parity Alliance on DE&I. It joined a cohort of the largest and most progressive companies in the world to pledge the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion and campaigns to welcome LGBTQIA+ talent into the organization.

To bring the DEI charter to life, HCLTech has established employee resource and multicultural groups and a diversity council. For example, Women Connect Network, Single Parent Network, Pride Group, The Heritage Network, She Powers Progress and Ability Connect Network.

Other initiatives include switching teams internally, upskilling and reskilling workshops, trainings in next-gen technologies (like AI and how to make use of generative AI in daily work) and take part in its CSR activities and career programs and sustainability practices.

For example, HCLTech sustainable practices came to limelight when Santhosh Jayaram, Global Head of Sustainability, highlighted that the WEF HCLTech pavilion was lit up with 100% clean and renewable energy.

Act, Pact, Impact - HCLTech publishes its 2023 Sustainability Report

Read the report

Programs and trainings

Among notable training courses, 10,000+ different technical and behavioral training courses are offered to employees.

For women employees, programs such as ASCEND, Steppingstones, DECODE and Senior Hire Integration Program have enriched the culture. Also, Inclusion Lab, set up to improve the ‘inclusion quotient’ of senior leaders, business leaders and people leaders, covers 23,000 employees.

HCLTech offers a ‘returnship’ program to women, military veterans and all eligible candidates who want to return to corporate life after a long career break. For example, Momtastic Program resulted in 98.7% of women returning to work after maternity.

Ghosh said: “For these special cases (when women go on maternity), we do create roles which are adept for them. We ensure that the leave of absence that they take for various reasons, such as childbirth, does not affect the progress in their career and the opportunities that they must get. So, we tailormade the rules for them and ensure that the sensitivities around these aspects are taken care of.”

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 
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