At a press conference in the city, Chennai’s very own diversity advocate & workplace inclusion expert, the AVTAR Group, joined forces with the world`s most celebrated gender parity champion, WORKING MOTHER MEDIA, to bring the latter`s prestigious 30-yr old 100 Best Companies for Women ranking to India. To be called the 2016 Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India, this survey cum bench marking project will be the largest self-tracking and self-evaluating opportunity for Indian companies working hard in the areas of gender diversity & inclusion.
Dr. Mariazeena Johnson, MD, Sathyabama University welcomed the project saying, “On the eve of the International Women’s day, I am here to launch this project along with AVTAR, and I really feel that this is the day we have been waiting for. This is one of the biggest problems faced by Women today - the companies are not ready for them. We need more policies and practices that will enable women to continue their careers without breaks. Dr. Saundarya Rajesh has clearly shown us the way here by launching the Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for Women in India.”.”
Mr. C.K Kumaravel, CEO & Co-founder, Naturals Salon & Spa added, “Ideas are the currencies of the 21st century and the idea what Working Mother and AVTAR has come out with is brilliant. The Working Mother Media’s partnership with AVTAR will make this project very popular here. I am convinced, out of my own experience, that an increase in Women’ workforce participation not only is beneficial for the women, but more so for the companies. .”
Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, Founder, AVTAR Group, explains the impact of this survey on India: “The 2016 Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for Women will be the first unified mechanism to assess Indian companies on their abilities to engage with their female wealth creators. Lakhs of aspiring young Indian women, especially, the millennials, are joining the workforce and they want to make informed choices. Their say in purchasing decisions and spending power is increasing. And when they are well represented, companies are proven to financially outperform their peers. Engaging and retaining women at the workplace is, therefore, not just a moral imperative, it is a strategic one.”
She adds, “I am proud to be associated with an industry leader such as Working Mother on this important journey. Together, we want to create a solid measurable platform for Indian companies to compete on Diversity & Inclusion and give India organizational role models. I also hope to see a trickle down effect of gender parity consciousness & best practices into other sectors and eventually, into our homes.”
Subha V. Barry, Vice President and General Manager, Working Mother Media, says, "We are thrilled to launch the Working Mother 100 Best Companies program in India to track and celebrate the progress of women in the workforce. The 100 Best has been a standard bearer to document and drive change in U.S. companies that are committed to the advancement of women, and we look forward to watching its development in India, now and for years to come."
The Project kicked off on International Women’s Day and the 2016 Working Mother and AVTAR Best Companies for Women list will be announced in November 2016 at the Global Advancement of Women Conference in India. The best companies will be honored, awarded & celebrated amidst South Asia’s biggest women leaders & diversity experts.
AVTAR & Working Mother urge Indian companies - MNCs and domestic corporations, to participate in the survey, self-assess their individual environments and also pose as a national industry collective to identify the factors causing this significant departure of women from the workforce. Participating companies will also be able to make peer-to-peer comparisons on best practices, and judge for themselves the economic impact of their choices. Companies with already-established gender parity goals will benefit from cross industry data and some may come out as equality champions, inspiring others and becoming the most desirable workplaces for talented & highly skilled women.