Salt-to-software conglomerate Tata Group's steel wing—Tata Steel aims at achieving 20 percent women workforce by 2020 to ensure gender diversity in the company, a top company executive told Mint.
"Gender diversity is essential, and not having it can be detrimental to business. A diverse workforce ensures that we have different mindsets dealing with challenges in different ways, and this helps us strategise better," Mint quoted a Tata Steel chief diversity officer and chief group HR Atrayee S Sanyal.
Sanyal of Tata Steel said that the company has set a target to increase women in its workforce from current 11 percent to 20 percent by end of this decade.
"We are definitely planning to employ a large number of women in the coming years. Tata Steel, as an equal opportunity employer, believes that women can perform any role with equal competence as that of a man," Sanyal explained.
Sanyal said the company has not restricted itself in defining certain roles or levels where they will employ women. The firm's diversity targets have been taken for the overall organisation and it is open in employing women across all roles and levels.
"Our recent Take 2 policy aims at filling these gaps due to maternity and child care leaves by hiring women who are experienced professionals on project basis for short-term engagement. This is a mutual benefit as we have a good replacement resource for a woman and it also becomes a platform for those women looking to resume their careers," the business publication quoted Sanyal as saying.
On difficulties faced in hiring women employees with the required skills in core sectors likes manufacturing, mining and engineering, she said that availability is gradually improving.
"It is supply-led demand to a great extent. Engineering institutes need to have more women and only then companies can recruit women in these areas. We engage early with various leading institutes that helps us capture the best women talent in the early years of engineering," she added.
Sanyal explained that a mix of people with diverse views encourages innovation and problem solutions, thereby leading to increased profitability and opportunities for business. "Our recruitment sensitisation handbook clearly mentions that at an equal level of merit and competence, we would prefer a female candidate but we consider merit as the ultimate criterion for selection," she added.