We are currently focusing on improving Gender Diversity through our initiative called ‘WINSPIRE’. This is an umbrella initiative under which we conduct all our programs for improving Gender Diversity. We have a DEI Taskforce comprising of Business and HR Leaders. At Corporate and Business Level, there are identified DEI Champions that drive DEI within their businesses. This ensures all initiatives conceptualised and planned are implemented across the organisation, with required modifications to suit the culture of specific Business.
Our leaders and DEI Taskforce members have formulated DEI Charter, that has leadership buy in. The DEI Charter rests on four pillars: Induct, Develop, Engage and Enable.
- Trainee Hiring: Our largest hiring happens at the Trainee level. We hire in disciplines such as Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering etc where availability of women at source – ie at college level itself, is limited. Given that situation, it was difficult to improve % of women trainees to be hired. However, our Campus Hiring team put special efforts during their recruitment drive to hire more women.
- Renew – Career Re-entry Program: To encourage women entering workforce after a career break due to personal reasons, we have a program by the name Renew. With this program, we are attracting professionally qualified women who had to take career break for personal reasons and wish to resume active workforce. On L&T Careers page, there is a special section on Renew where women can post their resumes. We have now started receiving more resumes through Renew.
To get people thinking and talking about D&I within L&T, with specific focus on Gender Diversity, we initiated WINSPIRE Campaign that covered Interviews with women leaders, Panel Discussions, Quiz, Contests, DEI Showcase etc. We also engage actively in Sensitisation workshops on Unconscious Bias and creating Respectful Work environment through online and offline training modules.
We designed two special training interventions to develop women at Early and Mid level Leadership positions.
WINSPIRE PROPEL : It is a Leadership Journey program, with four contact sessions, spread over Six months. Purpose of this program is to explore elements that come in way of Women pursuing their leadership journey. It is centered on four pillars – Lead Self, Lead Others, Navigating through the Organisation and Claim Your Spot. While some elements may come across as Gender agnostic, this program specifically looks at all the issues from the lens of mid-career women leaders
WINSPIRE RISE : We have also designed an Early Leadership Program for Women – WINSPIRE RISE. The workshops are a unique approach to helping women develop a sense of legitimacy and entitlement for leadership and build skills to weather challenges with resilience and optimism to ensure they sustain and build successful and fulfilling careers for themselves.
We have one more training program for women at entry level – with 1 – 5 years experience, that focus on building growth mindset and having lasting careers.
We are focusing on creating infrastructure and ecosystem friendly for women at all our offices and sites. Safety of women is of utmost importance. All efforts are put in place to maintain a respectful work environment for women.
Rest Rooms and Sanitary Products: For a manufacturing and site based organisation, the primary facility for women starts with wash rooms. We ensure women’s washrooms at all sites, manufacturing shops. Sanitary product vending machines are provided in all Washrooms and rest rooms for women
Ergonomic Chair for Expecting Mothers: We have special chairs approved by Doctors to provide ergonomic comfort to Expecting mothers during pregnancy and new mothers.
Work From Home: Women in advanced stages of Pregnancy can avail Work From Home.
Wellness Rooms for Women: A set up with comfortable chair, a bed/sofa for rest, a refrigerator is created at seven locations in last one year. These Wellness rooms for women are helpful to lactating mothers as well as works as resting facility when women need it on specific days in the month.
Creche: We offer Creche at all our office premise. This helps women restart their work post maternity, and not be dependent on other family members to take care of their child.
Transport Support for late Staying Women Employees: In case women employees are required to stay beyond office hours, they are provided with transport reimbursement.
In addition, following policy support is provided for women so that they marriage and mobility do not become limitation their career progression.
Rating Protection for Women going on Maternity Leave – We have a policy directive in our Performance Rating Guidelines that rating of woman employee proceeding to or returning from ML can not be less than average of the past two years rating. This has resulted in better engagement of women proceeding to and returning from Maternity Leave.
Mobility Support: If any woman employee needs to relocate in view of marriage or her husband moving to a different city for work reasons, we try and explore the possibility to relocate the woman to the preferred location, if there is an L&T entity there and there is a role that fits her profile.
Our efforts will always be directed toward exploring and implementing practices that will make L&T move inclusive and a workplace where people feel belonged.
- Your leading DEI Initiative: (up to 800 words)
As L&T, we appreciate the value offered by our Women Employees and would like to see them grow. Two of our Leadership Development Programs – WINSPIRE RISE and WINSPIRE PROPEL can be considered as our Leading DEI Initiative.
To support the Organisational Vision and Lakshya26 target to improve gender diversity and build a steady leadership pipeline of Women Leaders within L&T, Corporate Learning & OD team has designed special Leadership Journey for mid career Women – WINSPIRE PROPEL.
This journey has four phases:
Aarambh: Preparing for the journey
Pratibimb: Deep self-reflection
Chintan: Longest of four phases, this phase deals with:
Decoding and building – Power, Influence, Trust & Collaboration
Social Capital and power of alliances
Emotions, Neuroplasticity and Growth mindset
Manifesting power and confidence
Udaan: Consolidation of Learning and Graduation
Other Elements of the Journey :
- Perspective of wider spectrum of L&T
- Sessions of Leaders within the organization
- Group Coaching
- Guided self-reflections
- Small assignments to experiment with learning implementation
- Involvement of Immediate Superior, Dept Head and IC HR Head for finalization of Leadership Development Plan
The RISE workshops are a unique approach to helping women develop a sense of legitimacy and entitlement for leadership and build skills to weather challenges with resilience and optimism to ensure they sustain and build successful and fulfilling careers for themselves.
This series of workshops is intended to raise aspiration levels by exposing women to ways and means of maximizing their personal and professional potential. It will help them revisit their contexts, build confidence and overcome socialized inhibitions and find a refreshed perspective on career, life, and leadership.
The interventions progress from intra-personal reflection and goal setting to interpersonal success in workplace settings to building organizational influence and power.
More specifically, it:
- Explore and identify the unique challenges for women at work
- Help women develop strategies to address these challenges and navigate workplaces effectively
- Facilitate the creation of an action plan for personal growth
At the end of the session, participants:
- Have the opportunity to unearth and articulate the personal brand, become intentional about how she wants to show up in life
- Find the confidence to start putting oneself out there more effectively using 3 types of network
- Create a Life Integrated approach and summarize the learning so far from the program to translate in action plans to build a proactive approach towards their careers
Over last one and a half years, we have completed two waves of WINSPIRE PROPEL and three waves of WINSPIRE RISE. More than 250 women employees have undergone these programs. Participants of these programs are going ahead and occupying Leadership Positions at work. We have highest number of women participants in our Management Education Program offered by IIM Ahmedabad exclusively for L&T. 80% of these participants are coming from WINSPIRE RISE. The program boosts their confidence and fuels the ambition to grow further.
One more important DEI Initiative to increase Gender Diversity is Career re-entry program – RENEW
Renew – Career Re-entry Program: To encourage women re-entering workforce, a program Renew has been instituted. Through this program, we attract professionally qualified women who had taken a career break and want to resume active workforce.
Unlike many other organisations that restrict the re-entry to career break of two years, we do not have any such barrier to re-entry. As long as the woman is qualified and meets the job requirement, she is onboarded for the role, despite long career break.
- Employee Testimonial for this initiative: (preferably by a diverse employee, up to 200 words)
Testimonial: WINSPIRE PROPEL
When we speak about leadership, a lot of us think in terms of the position we hold or the behaviors that we exhibit in our day-to-day life. But in WINSPIRE PROPEL – Leadership Journey program for women leaders like me – we came to know that how leadership is so close to the identity you hold. A lot of these identities were formed so young in your life that you are probably not aware of some of the roles you play. Activities during the program makes us learn so much. Through collective reflections we realize there is commonality of lived experience amongst all. That gives the sense of comfort that you are not alone. There is so much dialogue and discussions that gives you the sense of community. I am more confident of my identity as a woman leader now.
Ms Surya Ravi, Deputy General Manager – Treasury, Larsen & Toubro
I am indebted to L&T for providing me an opportunity to restart my career after a break. Though I had initial apprehensions about my career’s second innings after taking a sabbatical for personal reasons, they were completely put to rest as I was welcomed back with open arms across all levels of management. The trust and belief that the company placed in my abilities was a tonic that propelled me to do better in my new role. My commitment to L&T goes beyond just work, as I want to give back as much as I can to a company that I know has my back, no matter what. So, to all the qualified people out there who are unsure about potential opportunities after a personal break, my career is ample proof that if I can do it, so can you! Be rest assured that L&T will be there to support and guide you all along in your professional journey.
Ms SWATHI PARAMESWARAN Senior Dy General Manager – Planning – Larsen & Toubro
- Impact Statement: (up to 200 words)
While we have always taken pride in being a diverse organisation, our journey to specifically focus on Gender Diversity began only a few years ago. Within this period, we have acceptance from larger organisation about improving Gender Diversity. In last two years, % of women employees has improved by 24%. We are also working on creating more inclusive work environment. We are expanding our focus to inclusion of Multigenerational workforce and sensitising the ecosystem for PWD and LGBTQAI+.
- Your advice for organizations looking forward to working in this area:
Our advice for any organisation looking forward to working in this area is as follows:
- Get Leadership Attention – and then Buy In: It is extremely important to have leadership buy if for any change effort – more so for this one. Unless top leaders showcase their support to this initiative by making statements and some visible actions to support Diversity, ret of the organisation will find a reason not to follow.
- Set up a structure and team of people passionate about DEI – If the team driving DEI looks at it as ‘work’, they will find it difficult to sustain the hurdles. We need employees passionate about DEI to be driving it within the organisation – there should be enough options to draw such people and then engage them to implement DEI
- Have a framework – When starting on DEI journey, it is easy to get confused – there is always a lot to do and limited resources. Having a framework with priority areas helps to make a sound plan. Then we need to follow it up with proper plan with time frame and responsibilities. Avoid opening too many fronts together. Unless you have unlimited resources, it is better to go slow and steady.
- Keep the buzz alive – at least in the initial period, find ways to engaging many people through various interventions to get their attention that organisation is thinking about DEI, talking about DEI and doing something about DEI. Sensitisation programs are very useful at the initial stage. Best to start at the top – but if that is taking too much time, start anywhere. Look for low hanging fruits for the agenda to take up traction.