Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion have evolved in recent years and now have multiple layers of meanings; their impact now spans across continents. It is another approach to how life is made up of!
Everyone comes across D&I examples and situations in everyday life, but with our busy schedules, hardly anyone notices that. If one takes a pause and reflects on events in life, we will realize that the spectrum of D&I has been infused into our daily schedules and activities more than we are aware of.
Interestingly, this analogy directly applies to the healthcare sector, which, traditionally, has been a very diverse workplace because more than 50% of the total workforce in this sector is women.
The CARE & Healthcare Story so far:
Other industries and sectors have moved on with powerful D&I messaging and have their own D&I sub-functions in areas like talent management and policy making. The healthcare sector is still establishing its niche. This is because the healthcare sector is a highly-skilled, high-pressure environment with a massive churn of talent, with frontline workers moving across for other opportunities at an upward rate of 40%. When faced with such enormous movement, organizations narrow their focus on only retaining or hiring talent.
However, the approach to DE & I is slowly but firmly changing in our space. With new-age leaders coming on board, D&I policies have become firmer, with companies investing in learning about D&I principles and educating their leadership teams on diversity, gender, race, and sexual orientations. The fact that we, in India, are highly diverse is aiding our journey towards becoming a truly diverse organization, not only with gender but with other concepts of D&I as well.
Healthcare diversity is a problem. While the workforce has more than 50% women, leadership roles will take time to catch up to other sectors and industries! However, moves to correct the imbalance are underway with more investment in women leaders.
Evercare Group’s D&I statement says, “To be the leading impact-driven healthcare for millions of people in emerging markets. This mission is central to our passion for commitment to the fundamental values of diversity, inclusion, and belonging.”
Taking it further from our group’s approach to D&I at CARE Hospitals, I am happy to note that the progress towards reinforcing inclusiveness at the workplace is a well-paved path. Given our more significant chunk of the workforce comprising women, many policies have revolved around keeping them in mind. For example, we have a CARE medical benefit & hospitalization policy covering extended family, including in-laws! This is one of the firsts in the healthcare industry. Another example is the hostel facility with food and accommodation for all our nursing staff.
In 2019, in business and process re-engineering, we rolled out the first policy for non-partial recruitment of all genders. In the years post that, we have strengthened the policies with new additions to the definition of a “D&I workplace.” We recently added sections, including LGBTQAI+ sections, and constituted a stringent mechanism to ensure that gender or sexual orientation is not a barrier to hiring talent! We have also initiated an audit process to ensure compliance with the guidelines in our D&I policies across the group.
In conclusion, I take a moment to reflect on the progress we made in ensuring education on diversity and inclusion in the workplace at CARE Hospitals while acknowledging that the journey ahead looks exciting as this would mean that CARE, in particular, and healthcare, in general, will see a lot of powerful D&I interventions in the days to come.