How Companies are Drafting Policies to Support Women at WorkPlace

'Women are far more superior than men across aspects and if provided with a level playing ground with the basics of equity and equality embedded into the DNA of an organisation - we can witness unprecedented growth of industries, opportunities and wealth across sectors.' Before you jump into conclusions and treat the quote as one of those gender discrimination types, against men - let me tell you this serves a different and much deeper cause.
It's about the fundamental flaws in our thinking of a perfect organisational structure which generally puts men on top, except a few exceptions - wordplay we know! But, then to provide a level playing ground we first need to undo the damage done to the structure via making some changes that helps women to get that much coveted kickstart to contribute to their fullest. They've earned it and deserve every bit of it, forever. On this day, we get to step into the shoes of few of these women entrepreneurs and understand what changes they've made keeping the welfare of women in mind. Let's begin:

Geeta Ramakrishnan, ontological coach and Author
We have assigned lactation rooms, offer flexi and work from home schemes, and have designated parking space for pregnant women. We are also looking at associating with nursery and child-care near our office area. We recruit women management trainees and mentor them. We have competent women in C-Suites and leadership positions. We are also promoting more women in the Maritime industry and have women crew onboard our ships. We follow a strict sexual harassment policy and conduct women-specific well being and wellness workshops.

Harshita Gupta, Founder at Hail Women
We respect women regardless of the colour, caste, body type, Age, Position & in regards to everything, from suggestions to new idea we welcome with open hearts.-- we are trying to create difference in the women's formal wear section by providing the major customisation options so that they can choose the level of comfort accordingly, without struggling and compromising with the trends.

Chinu Kala, Founder at Rubans Accessories
Women constitute 65% of my staff; they are hardworking and shuffle between responsibilities. As an organization I have given the flexibility of work timing to my women staff so that they can simultaneously take care of their homes too.

Pavithra Rao, Cofounder and VP at Growth and Revenue, WaterScience
Manufacturing is traditionally a men’s industry, and where women are hired, they are paid less than men. We make sure to hire women across all departments, so that as the company grows there are enough women in senior roles who can be role models. All our policies are designed so that all employees -not just women have a safe, happy and a comfortable workplace where they feel empowered.

Sumita Tulsiani, Co-founder & Director at TravelDilSe
We currently have the following policies protecting the rights of women :

  • Equal Pays
  • Holidays & Leaves
  • Maternity Leaves
  • Work from home flexibility
  • Safety and Security

Swati Chugh, Director at 7th Heaven
Apart from complying with the usual government policies and other internal benefits one of the main advantages for women working in my company is that we allow many of the females to work from home and get the work done at the time they have.  If they complete their work in the given period of time, we are fine with it. We do not bind them by a fixed time as we understand that they are caretakers of their respective households and children. When such freedom is provided, you would be surprised to see their level productivity and sincerity. These women are spread out across India and we stay connected with them through the help of technology. This has not only helped the women working for us, but by eliminating the need to be physically present in the office, we have been able to hire many competent staff regardless of where they live.

Ms. Avni Kaul, Nutritionist, Wellness Coach & Certified Diabetes Educator, Founder at NutriActivania
Nutri Activania is an organization that has staff that only consists of females. If you come and visit Nutri Activania you will get to see that all the employees here working are women. I think there was a misconception about women are not capable especially when it comes to working outside their home. I never believed that myth and misconception. This is why I decided that I will make a company that will be run and managed by women. Honestly, in my views, women are nowhere lesser than anyone. It is just that they need an opportunity to explore new horizons. And I am glad that Nutri Activania is able to create that environment where women can not only work as an employee but they also contribute immensely towards the overall growth of this organization. I think in terms of policies Nutri Activania being the only women-based company is the best part.

Saumya Kaushik, Founder at Growup Technologies
My company, Growup Group, has 100% Women Workforce. We are a workforce as a service company. 100% of our workforce comprises women. They all come from different walks of life. We have various women from different fields as some are lawyers, some are teachers, some are software engineers. We train them to become Virtual Assistants and help them gain 150+ business skills.
We are intent on employing only those women who have a limitation in the case that they are not able to work a full-time job. We employ them as virtual assistants which aids them in being employed, virtually. My company gives such women a second chance- a chance to restart their careers. We call these amazing ladies who try to balance work and life are, in my company, supermoms.

Ankita Sheth, Co-Founder at Vista Rooms
We implemented a policy, focused at working mothers, giving them flexibility with respect to working hours, wherein, they could work some hours from home and work completely from home on Saturdays. We figured that young mothers were very career oriented but because of some restrictions and responsibilities at home due to their children, they often could not continue with their work, but by being flexible on the employers side and giving them the right platform. We also encourage women who were on a maternity break to come back and join us even after a year of their childbirth. Many women have come back at the same or even higher levels.

Charmi Sheth, Senior interior Designer at Livspace
At Livspace, there are a host of benefits and policies catering to the well being of women employees. The ratio of women present at Livspace is much higher than that of men, making it important for leadership to cater to the needs of the workforce, and the challenges that they face. Paid maternity leave and on-demand cab services to and from the office are examples of some of the policies that are in place to cater to the well beingand safety of women employees. Great attention is paid to making the workplace atmosphere comfortable and competitive for women at various stages of their lives- from trainees out of college, to women who are looking to rejoin the workforce after a break due to familial and other reasons. Livspace also offers employees flexible work hours, the option to work from home, or even the option to be a design partner- working independently from the company. I am a design partner at Livspace, and this has allowed me the freedom and flexibility to design and consult independently from the projects I am assigned by the company. This has allowed me to dabble as an entrepreneur, while also having the security of a full-time job that would provide me constant access to leads to practice my craft.

Dr. Patricia Connolly, CEO at SMC Squared
The first policy and belief is in pay equity. Discussing this and making this a priority is key to inspiring and motivating all team members. Women have not yet achieved this globally, however if we are able to stand up and provide an example, I’m proud to play that role.
Second is a willingness to be flexible and work with women and men as they move through life events. This may be growing young families or caring for our valued parents and seniors. When you company stands with you, it makes a personal difference, makes the team stronger. This is less about policy, and more about doing the right thing in each situation.
Also, we also established FACE as our stated values. The culture of a company is played out internally and externally. I’m a strong believer in not just talking about our values but delivering on them. FACE stands for Family, Allocation of Success, Continuous Learning, and Excellence.

Kriti Jindal, Owner and Designer at Kari by Kriti
I work with a local NGO, here in Hyderabad - that helps economically challenged women find meaningful livelihood. The NGO trains the women to stitch and then provides them employment at centers in their local urban villages. This way they are able to work much closer to work, without even leaving the village and still earn a living for themselves. I support these women by working with them for my stitching requirements.
I also have a few women who come and work for me a couple times a month. I employ them for tasks like making tassels, packaging, and some embroidery. On days that they visit me, I invite them to bring their little children and babies with them, so they don’t have to leave them in the care of neighbors or other family.

Deepikaa Jindal, Creative Director and Managing Director at JSL Lifestyle
I feel blessed to have an opportunity of contributing towards the society in my own way. I passionately work towards making some difference that we can bring through our assorted efforts, especially for women. We value all our employees and have taken numerous initiatives to ensure their well being and security, like 24 Response enrollments, POSH policy enforcement, destination call checks for women employees, and much more.
Furthering this, as a chairperson of varied O.P. Jindal platforms, I feel that we are not leaving any stone unturned to make constructive change in the society, and are utilizing every resource available to better lives that we are able to touch through our deep rooted social work. These duties entail me to get involved at the ground level and see how we can contribute in making social difference. We have planned interventions in the fields of education, vocational training, integrated health care, women empowerment, social projects, rural infrastructure development, environment sustainability, sports, preservation of art and culture, and much more.

Shruti Shah at Attaichi
I am looking at a women led organization, right now it is me and I am in the process of hiring more women especially who are more in need for work. There is no question that women are more efficient and organized, even in the favour of what I am aim to do, it feels like the right choice to be working alongside talented, hardworking women.

Dr. Prerna Taneja, Director at Clinic Eximus
So as an doctor and entrepreneur I started my clinic called Clinic Eximus. We have women majority workforce to encourage more and more women to connect and work with us. I take special privilege in saying that I do feel good about it that I have been able to do a bit for the women who want to pursue their dreams. Also, in my other companies we are trying to recruit more of women employees. Having said that we obviously give them flexibility of time and understanding their needs and working closely. And they come back as a growth partners in a very very impactful way as they get emotionally bonded to the company. We try and support their dreams and help them to grow as a person who can live their life according to their rules and not restrict their ideas and creativity inside due to any fear of judgment from our society.

Rashmi Shetty, Co-founder at Storytellers 101 Communications
Women with multiple roles in their daily lives find it difficult to manage work, family and other personal commitments. We believe that when you have the freedom to manage you work day to accommodate your personal responsibilities or follow your hobby/ passion you work much better and deliver creatively achieving the oft elusive work – life balance. For brands and businesses who put their faith in us, not only does their work get done in a personalised manner and more effectively; they also become part of a change in the way the PR industry functions. Collectively, we are ushering a change that is needed at this time and age.

Regila Marinus, Cofounder at Vidhya Vidhai Foundation
As a growing organization with an intention to be gender neutral, we do not have gender specific policies. But, we are making efforts to address the physical challenges faced by women. For example: Work from home option during menstruation and 3 months leave during Pregnancy.

Divya Gupta Lawyer, Writer, Life Coach, Entrepreneur
My company Dialogue Room is very sensitive towards and supportive of women. In case a woman is on her first day of the period, and I understand some women have it bad on their periods, we offer them work from home. Office timings are sane and we offer flexible working hours. If in case, work does get too demanding, we all pitch in from home.

Rajni Ohri, Founder Ohria Ayurveda
Ohria is a women-oriented team. Hence, we have policies, mainly for women's safety. Also, to support, we celebrate women and sisterhood very strongly. We work with NGOs like SEWA and employ underprivileged women to stitch potli bags & travel sachets. SEWA works to strengthen the unprivileged women by giving them identity as informal workers.

Shobhana Sriram- Co-Founder and CTO of Quick Ride
As one of the founders of Quick Ride, which is a carpooling platform connecting individuals traveling along the same routes in real-time, I have seen immense growth and potential in this eco-friendly and sustainable commuting option. The Government has in the past supported carpooling as a concept but more needs to be done through regulatory changes and creating awareness. Given the importance of carpooling in reducing both traffic congestion and vehicular pollution, the central and state governments must advise companies and tech parks to promote carpooling among their employees.

Tina Garg, CEO at Pink Lemonade
We've actually done quite a few unique things. All of these are open to men and women but women may use them more because we have more women at work.
We allow all employees' kids to come to work as often as needed. Children can also attend workshops with us over summer holidays. We have hobby classes for our people, helping them learn different and fun things like making dream catchers, salsa dancing, clay molding and so on. There are head and neck massages for everyone every month. Our leave policy allows people to take off over weekends easily. We have a Pink Holiday which allows a working day off for 2 people in a month. All these policies and benefits allow people to enjoy a better life at work. Women of course avail of them more than the men at work do.

Mona Dahiya, Co-Founder and Director at Homefoodi
We are committed towards the success of every Home Chef on our platform.We have made it extremely convenient for every woman to understand the opportunity and our policies to make them successful. As a practice, Homefoodi team visits everyone at the comfort of their home who reach out to join us. All selected Home Chefs are supported to manage their business professionally. We address all their challenges of Banking, FSSAI registration, food photography, packaging, delivery, online payments and lastly marketing. We have strong collaborations with the support ecosystem and have continuous workshops for Home Chefs. Every chef is ably supported to ensure a seamless on-boarding on the platform with adequate training to understand the market potential and leverage every opportunity through Homefoodi. As a matter of fact, we actively promote every Home Chef to create their unique identity through our marketing campaigns and personalized videos.

Freny Jariwala, Founder at The Secret Ingredient
We are an entire women-only team and I appreciate the team of women I work with every day. We listen, we suggest - we challenge each other without fear. We support, we encourage, we strive to make our mission better every day. We work in an environment where everyone's voice is heard, and everyone feels comfortable being themselves, and I think that is very rare.
Although we are all very different, we all seem to share a really unspoken but felt a bond, and we all just seem to get each other. So, the base is simple, you think you can work, come join.

Moushumi Pal , the founder at Woodpecker Media
The main idea in the company is to allow a free flow of ideas without the hurdles of policies and hierarchies. Being a creative agency, it is important that we give our team members the room to allow them to engage in creative thinking. In a nutshell, we ensure that those working with us have flexibility, more leadership roles and empower them to be the decision makers on behalf of the company.
We are trying to make independent thinkers instead of robotic members.The agency aspires to enable women to forge a successful career while raising a family.

Madhura Moulik, Co-Founder, Skilfinity
As a startup, all our employees, be it, women or men, get to work from home, get a flexible working hour, fair pay and choose their own holidays. We also have an open-door policy to maintain transparency and resolve various challenges like work pressure, financial need, etc.
While policies are easy to make, it is difficult to build up a culture. The core culture that we want to inculcate is to think like an entrepreneur and not as an employee. So far I have observed that women have an ingrained sense of responsibility and ownership that makes it easier for me to establish this particular school of thought when I am working with women colleagues.

Barkha Bhatnagar Das, Co-founder Greendigo
At present, we are a small team comprising of only women. We consciously hire women who have the will and motivation to be a part of the working force. We try to employ women who may be from economically weaker segments but foresee themselves as significant contributors in a corporate set-up. To hone the skills of such women, we focus extensively on ‘on-the-job’ learning. We also encourage those women to join us who may have taken a career break for starting a family. For such employees, we offer flexible work timings so that they can tend to the needs of their family while rejoining the workforce. At Greendigo, we counsel and help women employees understand their true potential. Very recently, we realized that one of our women staff members aspires to be an IPS officer. We encouraged her to give the UPSC exam her best shot and not shy away from getting out of her comfort zone.

San Banerjee, CEO & Founder- ADDA
Caregiver Leave. This is a policy where anyone (typically it ends up being the woman) can focus on arranging the care for an elderly parent or family member. This was inspired by my own experience of my father battling cancer where I worked sitting outside ICU and between arranging Home Nurse etc. I wished I could completely take my mind off from work and just focus on setting up the caregiving infrastructure. This could help me get back to work with full focus.

Ms. Pooja Nagdev, Cosmetologist & Aromatherapist, Founder, Inatur
We are a women centric organisation, proudly made in India. Personally I feel men and women are equal and we are fighting on the same ground. Empowering women listening to them and encouraging them to reach the top is what needs to be done. I believe in India women basically lack equal career opportunities. If at all they have job opportunities it is difficult to find safe and conducive work environment and culture. At my company it is our constant endeavor to ensure that women not only have secure career and equal growth opportunities but also an environment that empowers them and inspires them to give their best.

Meenakshi Pandey, Co-Founder of White Mushroom Holidays
Our company believes in woman empowerment & 2 out of the 3 directors are women
Monisha & Meenakshi. We invest in training women so that they become an asset to the company. We also believe that women can multitask thereby manage their work effectively as well as run their homes. We also give maternity benefits along with job security as retaining talent is something we value in White Mushroom.

Vani Kabir - Writer | Brand Strategist | Divorce Monk
Vani Kabir Worldwide works for men and women both... because we believe that when it comes to the matters of the heart, we all are same. But we are progressing towards speaking to the judicial system to help single mothers financially, medically and also help their children get easy education. All divorced women are not financially strong and independent and the govt. need to realise this. Only 1% of cases end up in divorce, which isn't a good statistic because the rest are suffering in bad marriages creating more broken children. I believe relationships are there to bring peace, happiness and growth, not pain, misery and degradation. I decided to be The Divorce Monk giving strength and courage to people who are in this hellfire.

Prashanti Malisetti, CEO and Founder, Pixel Pictures
More than Policies, I believe it is the culture that matters the most in any team, We have adopted a pretty collaborative style of work culture, where all of us are inter-dependent on each other and draw strength from one another. My team at Pixel Pictures has more female members than Men in every department. In most cases, they are the decision-makers, and make the rules for the rest.

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