The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Mudit Singhal, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
With issues like Women Empowerment, Gender Diverse workforce and Women Leaders, getting bigger and more important, retaining Top notch Female talent has been a challenge for Human Resource personnel, at the same time when Labour ministry is trying its best to amend and put a stronger Maternity Benefit Act which will entitle female employees to avail 26 weeks of Maternity Leave in private sector instead of 12 as of now.
The big four consulting firms have taken a step forward, with Deloitte already declaring 26 weeks of maternity leave to its female employees, the other three PricewaterhouseCoopers, EY and KPMG are in finalising stages of such policies. Severe crunch of female employees at the top has been driving factor for maternity leave benefit and other initiatives towards female employees.
Consulting firms have a healthy ratio of 30-35 % of females at entry level but it gets skewed at top with only 10-15% women employees.
EY will be rating male and female employees on two different bell curves from this year, ensuring there exists no unconscious biases. Also they are going to have same number of promotions for women and men. They are also going to have a program called “Maternal Coaching” for its needed female employees.
Deloitte is introducing a new campaign “Bringing Women Back to Work”. The current flexi-work policies at Deloitte and KPMG are made even more women friendly. PwC plans to retain its female by “Umbilical Cord” of up-to seven years or so wherein women employees availing maternity leave would on rolls of the company without working and without pay.
Microsoft India is among a handful of companies which allow maternity leave up-to 6 months.
Deloitte’s Nathan said, “”The talent shortage of women in leadership is due to a pipeline that was not built for the future, and one that was leaking along the way. But now we are building a strong pipeline and things will improve in some years.”