March 2018 | 1040 words | 4-minute read
Tata Consultancy Services, with 134,000 women employees, is an example of how diversity can be good for business.
Technological advancement has become a key differentiator between organisations, countries and economies. It is transforming industries at an unprecedented clip, along with creating and reinventing jobs and sources of wealth at a breakneck pace. A recent survey of technology companies revealed that, on an average, women comprise about one-third of the workforce, with few of them holding leadership positions. African American, Latino, and Native American employees make up only 12-15% of the overall tech workforce compared to 31% of the general labour force.
Studies indicate that the tech industry could generate an additional $320-$390 billion every year if the gender diversity of its headcount reflected that of the talent pool. Therefore, organisations need to start thinking about diversity and inclusion as a journey of improvement, and not merely as a checkbox. Here's the Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) perspective on enabling diversity and inclusion.
Have an integrated approach
Diversity and inclusion is about understanding the unique skills and perspectives of an individual and creating an environment that encourages and respects these to the benefit of the organisation. An effective diversity approach is one that integrates this perspective into all processes of the organisation, to the extent that diversity becomes a way of life. TCS has a talent pool of 384,792 employees, over a third of which are women. As much as 85% of its employees belong to Gen Y. The company understands that diversity comes in many forms — gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, age, culture, etc. The focus on inclusion should be on a complete buy-in and creating allies and advocates within the organisation. Today, the social engagement platforms of TCS connect 300,000 users to senior officials, allowing open dialogue and idea sharing.
Improve core competencies
TCS functions on a simple philosophy — the diversity of its customer base should reflect in its workforce too. With 134,000 women in its global workforce, the company is among the world's largest private sector employers of female STEM talent. Structured programmes have helped achieve this, such as:
1. Network to Win (nWin)
Mentors are assigned to provide guidance on career aspirations, work-life integration, organisational culture, leadership development, etc. This is facilitated through formal and informal networking, coffee and virtual live chats, and panel discussions. Nearly 80% of the company's female staff has been covered under this programme.
A training programme for high-performing women managers, who are at a critical point in their career goals and are progressing towards leadership roles, iExcel is a comprehensive programme with focus on employees’ core business competencies and personal effectiveness. Since inception in 2011, around 400 women have benefitted from iExcel. Going beyond workforce development, TCS is creating greater employment opportunities for women. An example of this is the all-women centre for business processes and IT services at Riyadh. This is a one-of-a-kind, all-women employee office with over 1,000 women, of which 85% are Saudi nationals.