Diversity & Inclusivity is the need of the hour: Leena Nandan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways
“Recruiting a diverse workforce and forging an environment that promotes inclusion is the need of the hour,” said Ms Leena Nandan, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, addressing the third edition of HR Crystal Ball organised by Confederation of Indian Industry at New Delhi.
She stressed on not limiting the responsibility of diversity & inclusion to HR function only. “The leadership in any sphere of life will have to lead by example and companies who do not encourage diversity will find it difficult to grow as it will kill newer ideas,” she added. She gave an example of diverse instruments striking the right chord to produce beautiful music as an example of beauty of diversity.
Mr Ranjan Kumar Mohapatra, Director – HR, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd stressed on the need to move away from ‘Compliance Requirement’ nature of D & I to business need. He gave several examples of good practices from his company to underline the importance of diversity, be it, race, ethnicity, orientation, gender, socio-economic, preferences, anything. He shared that research shows the 3 types of diversities, namely Gender Diversity, Diversity of Thought and Behavioural diversities, if handled well, give maximum productivity.
Mr S Y Siddiqui, Chairman, CII Northern Region Committee on HR & IR and Executive Advisor, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, said, Accepting and valuing all types of diversities and preferences should be part of our DNA. Today, diversity is not a good to do thing but has become business imperative. He also highlighted how diversity in multi-generational workforce brings new challenges in terms of expectations from the company. A diverse workforce is also more innovative workforce as it brings out newer ideas.
Mr P Dwarakanath, Chairman, GSK Consumer Healthcare Ltd, said that accountability on D&I should be of top management. The workforce down below should see the leadership leading by example. The organizational culture is best developed when leadership walks the talk.
Mr S K Bose, Co-Chairman, CII Northern Region Committee on HR & IR and Executive Director – HR, Indian Oil Corporation Ltd shared story of an inspiring initiative wherein IOCL partnered with Jail authorities in Hyderabad and got female inmates between the age group of 20 to 80 to come together and man some of the IOCL petrol pumps and the results have been promising.
A CII-KPMG report on ‘Diversity & Inclusion at Workplace’ was also released as part of the conclave. Ms Vishalli Dongrie, Partner and Head – People & Change Practice, KPMG India, briefed about the study.
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