How Cyient is Fostering a Culture That Embraces Diversity and Inclusion Within Their Organisation?

COVID-19 put well-being front and center for Cyient, as physical, mental, and financial security became paramount.


With remote working becoming a norm, corporates are going all out to become more diverse. The pandemic has worked as a catalyst and India Inc is witnessing a sharp rise in its diversity and inclusive quotient. Study conducted by Avtar shows that companies are also no longer shy of increasing spend on gender diversity hiring which indicates an increase in intent.

Cyient understands the importance of what a truly inclusive environment means for an organization’s growth and associate engagement and has always fostered a culture that embraces diversity.

Hence, BW People put forth the opportunity for Keith Pritchard, Global HR Director, Cyient to candidly have a detailed conversation on how did Cyient build an environment that seeks to bridge the gap in gender diversity, provide a workplace free of discrimination, enhance the professional growth of associates and empower his teamates to create real change. 

Q: Since Covid-19 has infused a new spirit of working culture, what does the future workplace look like?

COVID-19 reminded us that our people remain motivated at the highest levels when they can connect their work contributions to a greater purpose and mission. At Cyient, we remain committed to ensuring that we apply technology imaginatively for problems that matter. 

As we look to the future, we believe that our people want to contribute when they understand how their unique talents, strengths, and contributions are making an impact on larger goals, irrespective if they work remotely or in one of our offices. As we stage the return to work across our operating geographies, we believe that our employees will continue to hold the importance of strengthening the link between belonging and organizational performance, whilst living our values and treating our employees fairly and respectfully. 

Q: The crisis has put an organization culture to the test, what have been some of your learnings? 

COVID-19 has reinforced our conviction that our employees remain resilient, innovative, and determined in the face of a crisis. I think we surprised ourselves with our ability to ensure 97% of our employees were enabled to work remotely within three working weeks – an incredible feat given our globally disperses teams. Our employees also created lasting memories of collaboration and humility whilst supporting their colleagues in rural communities and across regions.

However, COVID-19 put well-being front and center for Cyient, as physical, mental, and financial security became paramount. As the pandemic continues to destabilize our lives, we have recognized the importance that we proactively engage with our people to tackle issues of burnout or stress, as our people balance both their professional and personal commitments. As we begin our phased return to work, we cannot underestimate the necessity of fostering open dialogue and open practices around well-being. 

Q:  What is the future of telecommuting from your standpoint and what is your stand on the remote working model?

First and foremost, we have identified that despite the historical hesitation or resistance to working from home, we have been able to maintain a positive utilization and production level. As we look to the future, we have to accept that we will need to consider a hybrid model of working. Any hybrid model will need to be agile to adapt to the continuous uncertainty during pandemic times.

Q: What has been the highlight of your diversity and inclusion journey so far and what are the measures to build a DEI workforce pursued by Cyient?

Our D&I journey of creating a collaborative workplace that supports diverse thinking and inspires talented people to reach their potential remains paramount for our organization.

Throughout the past three years, our D&I council has implemented a global inclusion ambassador program, rolled out a global mentoring program, and launched a series of inclusive leadership/management initiatives. All these initiatives have led to being highly commended at the European Diversity Awards 2019.

We continue to measure the impact of our initiatives to build a work environment that bridges the gap in gender diversity, is free of discrimination, enhances professional growth, and empowers employees to create real change.

Q:  How have the focus areas changed over the period for HR leaders and what are some areas of diversity that you sense need greater focus?

In the past few months, I believe have seen a greater appreciation for the breadth of what HR does and can do. Our HR team, alongside our support colleagues, have been essential in everything from monitoring workforce sentiment to mobilizing our workforce, to establishing connections between organizational leaders, workers, and teams, to integrating well-being into work and reimagining how, where, and what work gets done.

As we emerge from this pandemic, we have to consider how to encourage and offer opportunities for workers to continue to grow and adapt based on their potential, rather than solely on their existing skills or certifications. It would be counter-productive to slow down of developing our people for the future, so we are committed to building a resilient and diverse workforce that can adapt in the face of constant change.

 Q: What are some of the actions organizations can take to support the continued success of an inclusive workforce? 

For those organizations who wish to be considered an inclusive employer, it is critical to ensure the DEI agenda is integrated into the business strategy and committed to by those in the C-suite. Although senior leadership endorsement of inclusivity related initiatives is critical, these initiatives should have a demonstrable difference to the working lives of the employees. 

With the support of our CEO and Executive Board of Directors, we are in a very positive position to challenge ourselves against measures, assess the impact on our business, and see tangible differences in our employee life cycle.

Q: What part does preparation and learning play for a diverse workforce and how Cyient is inducing the same?

After being heavily involved in establishing our D&I strategy and implementing several key programs, I can safely say that you will not get it right the first time around. So be prepared to fail, learn, adapt and grow with each stage of your D&I journey. 

From our own experiences, as you become more inclusive, you will begin to see more "green shoot" ideas and feedback coming from across all levels of the organization to support the strategy.

 Q: What are Cyient's latest policies and programs expected to launch as we step in 2021?

2021 is the year of enabling our transformation. This transformation comes in many forms such as creating a digitally savvy workforce to adapt to the new technologies, developing emerging and inclusive leaders to implement successful talent management across a global business, leveraging people data to shape our employee experience (EX), and adjusting to an agile way of working during (and after) the pandemic.

We will see a series of new training, coaching, and mentoring initiatives to embed the behavior change and policies that will underpin new working arrangements and our DEI plans.


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