Envisioning D&I Policies For Workplace 2.0

Correspondingly, in the technologically driven landscape of a rejuvenated workplace, we recognize both the advantages and challenges that technology poses to D&I efforts says Kanchan Sharma, VP Human Resource/ People, Urbanic India


As we stand on the cusp of Workplace 2.0, the dynamics of the modern workplace are undergoing a profound transformation. This era demands a reinvigorated approach toward Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) policies. In my role as the VP of Human Resources at Urbanic India, I am deeply engaged in crafting strategies that not only celebrate diversity but also foster an inclusive environment where every individual can thrive.

It is imperative to understand that diversity extends beyond demographics. It encompasses a rich tapestry of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives. Thus, our approach to D&I must transcend the limitations of mere compliance and become an integral part of our organizational culture.

One of the fundamental shifts in this new era is the evolution from a compliance-driven model to a culture-driven strategy. Embracing diversity should not be a checkbox exercise to fulfill statutory requirements; it should be ingrained within the very fabric of our organization.

At Urbanic India, we recognize that the journey toward an inclusive workplace begins at the recruitment phase. To widen our talent pool, we have instituted measures to combat biases in our hiring processes. We actively seek out diverse candidates and have established partnerships with educational institutions to nurture a pipeline of diverse talent. This proactive approach ensures that our workforce reflects the richness and diversity of the world we live in.

However, recruitment is just the initial step. The true test of our commitment to diversity lies in retention and growth. We have instituted employee resource groups, regular diversity dialogues, and comprehensive leadership training programs focused on fostering an inclusive environment. These initiatives have not only increased employee engagement but have also sparked a culture of innovation within our organization.

Correspondingly, in the technologically driven landscape of a rejuvenated workplace, we recognize both the advantages and challenges that technology poses to D&I efforts. While technology enhances flexibility and connectivity, it can also at times perpetuate biases. Therefore, in 2024, our D&I policies incorporate regular technology audits to ensure that our systems are designed with inclusivity in mind. Additionally, with remote work becoming more prevalent, our policies are designed to bridge geographical, cultural, and temporal divides, ensuring that every employee feels a sense of belonging.

Furthermore, cultural competence is a cornerstone of a truly inclusive workplace. We actively promote the celebration of diverse cultures, customs, and perspectives. Cross-cultural training initiatives and the acknowledgement of various cultural celebrations serve as catalysts for building cohesive teams where differences are not just tolerated but embraced.

The leadership's role in driving D&I initiatives cannot be overstated. Leaders at Urbanic India are not merely advocates but active participants in creating an inclusive culture. We understand that leaders who champion D&I efforts set the tone for the entire organization, creating a ripple effect that permeates every level.

Despite the strides we have made, challenges persist. Resistance to change, unconscious biases, and the need for continuous awareness are hurdles we face. However, these challenges are not roadblocks but rather opportunities to reaffirm our commitment and innovate our approach toward D&I.

Urbanic India's dedication to inclusivity doesn't end with hiring practices; it permeates the very essence of our brand identity. Recently, we embarked on a transformative journey with our 'UR' campaign, redefining our brand ethos around inclusivity. This initiative wasn't just a marketing strategy but a conscious effort to embrace diversity and celebrate individuality. Inclusivity became the guiding principle from our advertising campaigns to our product lines. Our collections now reflect diverse styles and sizes, showcasing the beauty of individual differences. The 'UR' campaign was about rebranding and embodying a culture where everyone feels represented and valued.

Moreover, as Workplace 2.0 unfolds, we recognise the need for continuous learning and adaptation. Our D&I policies are not static; they evolve in tandem with societal changes and employee feedback. Regular surveys, focus groups, and feedback mechanisms are in place to ensure that our strategies are effective and resonate with the diverse voices within our organization.

Lastly, the impact of our inclusive policies goes beyond the confines of our organization. We actively engage in partnerships and collaborations with external organizations advocating for diversity and inclusion. By contributing to community programs, participating in industry forums, and sharing our best practices, we aim to foster a broader cultural shift towards inclusivity within the fashion and corporate sectors.

Envisioning D&I policies for Workplace 2.0 in 2024 requires a holistic, culture-driven approach. It is about creating an environment where diversity is celebrated, where inclusion is not just an initiative but a way of life. At Urbanic India, we are unwavering in our commitment to this vision, understanding that a truly inclusive workplace is not just desirable but imperative for sustained success in the ever-evolving landscape of the future.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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