"Merit-Based Culture Spurs Women Representation At Work": Dilip Sinha

Dilip Sinha, CHRO of Vedanta Aluminium, advocates that holistic solutions for new mothers and older employees helps foster workforce diversity balance


In an exclusive conversation with BW People, Dilip Sinha, chief human resource officer (CHRO) of Vedanta Aluminium shares his thoughts on building meaningful and merit-based growth culture to accelerate the representation of women at work, especially post-pandemic. He believes that developing a holistic and supportive ecosystem helps promote an inclusive and diverse workforce in organisations.

As a CHRO, what is your idea of a high-performance work culture? 

To develop high-performance work culture, it is very important to build a sustainable growth culture with a blend of individual and organisational growth components by developing a safe environment, a focus on continuous learning through inquiry, curiosity, and transparency, manageable experiments with new behaviours that challenge the status quo and lastly, continuous feedback --up, down and across the organisation to grow and get better.

After quiet quitting, loud quitting is the new trend where employees actively disengage, and they are not afraid to show it. How should HR leaders address such concerns? 

This development is fantastic for the human resource (HR) fraternity since people aren’t shying away from candid feedback. Considering the candour and feedback it will help HRs to re-evaluate policies, culture, WOW (Way of Work) and ambience of the company and include suggestions to evolve them further. 

Companies are observing high attrition of women employees as work from office is becoming mandatory. How can the leaders actively take part in balancing the slate? 

This was bound to happen post-COVID. However, to attract and retain the best talent, especially female employees, we are looking at far more holistic solutions. We find that women like all other employees stay at work if the work they are doing is rich and meaningful, if they are seeing a merit-based high-growth culture and if there is enough flexibility in the workplace to allow them to manage the needs of their unique life-stage, whether they are new mothers or older employees taking care of ageing parents. More than a hybrid workplace, a continuously evolving and supportive workplace is a far more enduring solution. 

How has diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) evolved over the years in organisations? How has covid contributed to this acceleration?

Over time, diversity, equity and inclusion have morphed and changed significantly. I am running multiple projects in my organisation which are related to the evolution of DEI like employing females on the shop floor to scale and sustain, hiring more and more females from army/defence backgrounds, hiring girls who have completed 12th standard education from marginalized communities from all over India and are dropouts, hiring from LGBTQ community and specially-abled category. Covid has accelerated this as we accelerated the deployment of digital technologies that made working on the shop floor a standardised experience for men, women and differently-abled people alike, as it now requires lesser human intervention. 

What are some metrics or indicators to measure the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion initiatives? 

To measure the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion initiatives, there can be three metrics. First, demography: increase in numbers, improvement in the percentage of top management female representation. Then, developing a holistic and supportive ecosystem: better job content, support and flexibility to manage different life stages, healthier and diverse culture, sensitization and acceptance of diverse thoughts and workings in the organisation, all of which will lead to better retention numbers. Lastly, institutionalising talent management and development initiatives to make employees who are partially ready or completely ready to take on higher roles to minimise the leaky bucket syndrome where diversity representation is minimal at senior levels, though it appears healthy at junior levels.


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