Bridging the Gap

Successful business team

Client: A multinational Consulting and Outsourcing firm

A US based Consulting and Outsourcing organization with its India headquarters at Gurgaon was restructuring to align the India based operations with its Chicago headquarters. This meant that people based in India would be working on various global projects that involved stakeholders in various parts of the world including China, Poland, Singapore and South America. The company at this time faced two main challenges:

  • The skew in the leadership group in India was evidently in favor of men whereas the global leadership and key stakeholders in other countries were a healthy mix of men and women. Women in the North American groups in fact outnumbered their male counterparts. There was a need to ensure that this skew in diversity had to be corrected in order to represent a healthy mix
  • Greater exposure to different countries meant greater need for intercultural sensitivity at all levels in the organization

A project was taken up with a mission to achieve the following objectives:

  • Improve gender diversity in the India based workforce, especially at managerial and leadership levels
  • Improve Intercultural competency of employees in different countries that work with each other

A study was done, current state analysis carried out and the following solutions were implemented over a period of two years:

  • A leadership program for women was rolled out in India and high potential female talent was identified to go through this program
  • Specific people were developed and given leadership opportunities that involved responsibilities across the country and other parts of the world
  • For positions that were not filled internally, talent was sourced laterally from outside the organization with key emphasis on merit based recruitment of women in leadership roles
  • Merit based hiring of women was taken up as a recruitment policy and emphasis was placed on hiring women at all levels within the organization
  • A global mobility program for women leaders was launched and the first batch of female leaders came to work out of India for a period of one year and role model leadership success
  • Sensitization workshops were carried out for male colleagues
  • Assertiveness workshops were carried out for women over a period

Within a year of implementing this exercise, the female population at leadership positions rose to 25% and overall female headcount in the organization grew from around 19% to 23%

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