26 September 2023

Meritocracy: The culture that breeds equality and honours differences

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Samriddhi Srivastava* says while the progress has been slow, the wheel is certainly turning with companies enforcing gender-neutral hiring practices.

Universally workplace is known as an institution where employees devote themselves and their skills to create value.

Nowhere does gender emerge in this definition, nor has it ever been an accurate means of measuring talent or estimating efficiency.

Progressive organisations across the world agree as they increasingly witness women standing tall in the face of male domination to emerge successful and promote inclusivity stronger across hierarchies.

Women have established that they are just as good as their male counterparts in all spheres, from sports to academics, from politics to business, but still, we have a long way to go towards attaining gender equality at work.

To deliberate in detail on gender disparity at workplaces, People Matters spoke to Urvi Aradhya, the CHRO of K Raheja Corp.

She, who believes in the concept of meritocracy, suggested ways to achieve a balanced work environment that respects talent equally and rewards good work.

Pay parity

A 2021 study, The Glass Ceiling- Leadership Gender Balance in NSE 200 Companies, indicated that women in top management and senior roles earn a far lower average compensation than their equivalent male colleagues.

“Such disparity in compensation can be solved by evaluation based on the employees’ education, skill sets, experience, and domain knowledge.

“Once we focus on these qualifiers, move closer to eliminating pay disparity based on gender.

“This is the first and foremost step that organisation should take to truly honour the value its people bring to the table,” Urvi Aradhya told People Matters.

Hire for the role

The biggest conglomerates of the world have nurtured thought leaders and visionaries who have scaled up the growth of their industries over time.

Aspirants look up to such brands and hope to nurture a career with them.

“Organisations must do away with sustaining age-old biases, prejudices, and a bro culture that drains value in the long run.

A fair evaluation would translate to hiring a candidate for their expertise,” said the CHRO of K Raheja Corp.

Enforce non-discrimination policies

The Government of India is proactively ensuring a healthy workplace ecosystem by combining 25 laws into three codes on social security, industrial relations, and occupational safety, health, and working conditions.

On this note, “companies enforcing strong diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies become talent attraction magnets because of their industry reputation.

“Such policies secure the interests of employees and benefit dedicated, hardworking women as they pave their career paths with determination,” Aradhya told PM.

Noticeable progress in India

While it has been slow, “the wheel is certainly turning, with companies enforcing gender-neutral hiring practices.

Women are also showcasing their excellence, adapting to expanding KRAs and performing exceptionally well in traditionally male-dominated roles such as structural engineering for instance.

With encouragement from the top management, we are seeing an increasing number of women in leadership roles across departments like Legal, HR, Finance and more,” she advised.

Not just women

“At K Raheja Corp, gender is no longer just binary.

“While we are moving on from male-dominated roles, we are also opening up roles to deserving candidates who are gender agnostic.

“We lay focus on sensitising our workforce to be more inclusive and accepting of colleagues’ differences, time ensuring a great environment for women and extended to LGBTQ+ colleagues as well,” revealed Urvi Aradhya, the CHRO of K Raheja Corp.

The time is now, for the corporate culture to pave the way for a gender-neutral ecosystem that rewards everyone.

*Samriddhi Srivastava is working as Senior Associate- Content with People Matters.

This article first appeared at peoplematters.in

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