How Is Godaddy’s Initiatives And Policies Are Empowering Their Women Employees Across Various Segments?

Women represent 30% of GoDaddy's global workforce as of December 2020.


Gender Gap in India and all over the world has always remained a core cause of social development. However, India’s gender gap has narrowed in comparison with the past few years and despite facing challenges, women in India are moving up the academic and administrative ladder by breaking down both systemic and structural barriers to excel.

GoDaddy is cognizant about gender parity at workplaces and strive to drive more inclusiveness for corporate wellness among its employees. To substantiate on this, and women in leadership, Nikhil Arora, Vice President and Managing Director, GoDaddy India threw a spotlight on how differently are they bridging this gender-gap across all their verticals.

Ques: Working women in India are fighting for both equal pay and opportunity the most due to the pandemic, according to the LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021. How does GoDaddy ensure that there is pay parity in the organisation and everyone across the organisation gets equal opportunities? 

According to India Skills Report 2021 the employability of women stands at 46.8 percent as compared to 45.91 percent of men. However, there is still a lot of work to do to ensure complete gender equity and pay parity among male and female employees across the country. At GoDaddy, we are strongly committed towards ensuring our employees are paid and treated fairly. We do this by continually working towards minimizing unconscious bias across the organization, specifically in the areas of recruitment, performance reviews and career advancement. As a proof point, our 2020 Diversity Report shows that in the technical ranks, women make one cent more on the dollar than men, and in non-technical roles women make $1.00 for every $1.00 a man makes. 

We also actively work to educate and create policies and programs that will attract a diverse pool of candidates and promote an overall inclusive culture at work.

Ques: GoDaddy has always encouraged small businesses and independent entrepreneurs to grow online. What are some key challenges you think women-run small businesses faced during the pandemic and are likely to continue dealing with this year?

Women entrepreneurs have always acted as a catalyst for change in India’s social and economic development. In line with the government of India's vision for entrepreneurship development and a culture of innovation, there is an increase in the emergence of accelerator and incubator programs. For instance through Start-Up India, women entrepreneurs are now getting proper training and mentorship to help build their enterprises. Statistically, a recent report by Bian & Company (Source) shared only 13.5 to 15.7 million were women-owned enterprises—fewer than 20% of all enterprises that exist in the country. Here are some key challenges faced by women business owners in India:

  • Lack of adequate funds and limited funding discourages women to start their own enterprises. Women are often condemned as ‘discouraged borrowers’, and are less likely to seek credit loans from banks or access to venture capital. Given such circumstances, women entrepreneurs are bound to rely on their savings. Moreover, lack of technical and business acumen, financial assistance, exposure to the programs, and expert advice especially in the Tier2 and Tier3 adds to their already existing challenges. 
  • Social and cultural barriers are a root cause of the problems faced by women entrepreneurs. Personal obligation towards family and child care, prioritizing household work over professional work creates a large barrier to their success. Women often consider themselves the primary caregivers. According to the OECD (Source), in India, men devote 36 minutes a day to unpaid care responsibilities, as opposed to women who spend six hours. Women usually give up the opportunity to continue working and rise to the top, post-child-birth, especially if their family income is adequate. Not only are women shouldering the brunt of unemployment, they are also bearing the burden of unpaid caregiving, including child care, homeschooling, household duties, and eldercare. 
  • Motivational factors and low self-confidence due to lack of support from family, organizations, or not working in a safe environment also proves to be a major roadblock. .
  • Lack of space, infrastructure, access to the internet, and skills needed to support working from home is a constant challenge for women entrepreneurs, which got into the forefront during the pandemic. 
  • Promoting digital literacy has now become an essential for female entrepreneurs in the ‘new normal’. With lack of education around building a website and creating an online presence, women have not been able to promote their businesses. Owning to the rising need for digital skilling, especially among our women customers, we launched GoDaddy Academy only in India, last year, to help people with varying levels of technical expertise to take certification courses and learn about how to easily build, confidently run and successfully grow their businesses online. 

Ques: What are some of best work practices at GoDaddy that can be model for other companies in the area of employee retention, mental health, equitable hiring, and diversity and inclusion?

We, at GoDaddy are committed to creating a workforce that is as diverse as the customers we serve. While we believe we're on the right path, we recognize there is still work to do to increase the number of females and ethnic minorities across the company. Women represent 30% of GoDaddy's global workforce as of December 2020. Moving forward, we aim to continue working on creating an ecosystem that provides equal opportunities, protections, and benefits for our women employees in their path towards achieving success and equality. 

Across our global markets, we  continually work towards developing a conducive culture for all our employees, by encouraging frequent conversations with supervisors, to enable personal growth, focus on evolving learning mind-set, in addition to discussions on setting goals and achieving results..

 In addition , health and wellness has been a key focus area for GoDaddy India for the last couple of years. With the pandemic impacting mental and physical health of people all over the world, employee health-related initiatives have become a priority now more than ever. We have crafted a wellness strategy, which is not limited to specific initiatives. It has become a way of life at GoDaddy and is designed in a way to be holistic, inclusive and create value for all our employees.. 

For a number of years, GoDaddy has  also been working hard to better support women in the tech industry and create a more women-friendly and accepting environment. Some of our key women oriented initiatives include -

  • Leadership engagement, in which GoDaddy executives personally get involved in conversations about gender diversity and inclusion
  • Encouraging women employee participation in GoDaddy Women in Technology networking groups - an internal mentorship program wherein members volunteer their time to help each other grow professionally
  • Recruiting and hiring prominent and accomplished female executives, to help serve as   role models for other women employees working at the company, as well as  for those considering a career at GoDaddy.
  • In 2016, we partnered with Stanford’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research to refine how we evaluate performance at GoDaddy. This helped us to create consistent and specific behavioral criteria aligned to key qualities most central to performance. We also experimented with how we identify qualified candidates for promotion consideration.

Ques: How would you define gender equity and equality? What do you think needs to be done to achieve both at the workplace?

Gender equality means ensuring that an employee’s rights, responsibilities, and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. Gender equity means fairness of treatment for women and men, according to their respective needs. This may include equal treatment or treatment that is different but is considered equivalent in terms of rights, benefits, obligations, and opportunities.

I believe the work needs to start from the grass-roots level. Eliminating social-cultural barriers that are present in our society should be brought to the forefront. As Indian women are often seen as homemakers and caretakers of children and elderly, organizations should keep this in mind while creating welfare policies for them consisting of child-care policies, flexible working hours for new mothers without compromising their salary. Proper training of skill development should be put in place for women returning from sabbaticals. Most importantly, witnessing a tremendous internet boom and digital acceleration, companies should prioritise organising workshops around new technologies, applications and processes designed to educate the workforce overall and improve their digital skills. 

Ques: How can organisations help women leaders to succeed?

Gender has and should never been a factor in defining the qualities of a great leader. Leadership characteristics are dictated by a person's strength and personality, whether male or female. Having women in leadership positions can help promote and develop expectations for those who are just starting out in the workforce or are looking for growth.

Organizations should take a broad approach to recruiting, and creating, retaining, and encouraging women employees across functions. Some simple steps taken by an organization can help women leaders succeed. Address the challenges faced by women leadership and ensure they can take advantage of all resources available and have the required tools and support they need to help their women subordinates learn and grow. This may include coaching, mentoring, and conducting seminars or services, as well as on-the-job learning instruction. Consider a leadership development programme especially designed for women. A female-only curriculum or project can encourage more participation from the women in the workforce. 

Ques: How do you feel about the new concept of remote working? Do you think it’s a better working style?

Remote working is the future of workspace and is here to stay. While 2020 will be considered as the year of remote work, it is only the beginning, as the trend is expected to continue in 2021. 70% of the workforce will be operating remotely at least five days a month by 2025, according to a survey. 

Working remotely might have allowed people to cut down on commuting to the office, and focus more on their work, but it has also affected productivity and performance management.  Remote working has also raised concerns of cyber security.  The question of whether the advantages would outweigh the disadvantages can only be answered once it is fully implemented.

Ques: On this Women’s Day, any advice that you would like to share with the originations or leaders of tomorrow on creating an equal workplace?

Organisation and future business leaders, collectively, need to work towards creating a safer working environment for women at work; provide required learning, education and financial support to mothers returning from childcare leaves; encourage a culture of mental and physical wellness; and finally minimize unconscious bias, specifically in the areas of performance reviews and career advancement.  An overall attitudinal shift is required for women to be considered as equal to their male counterparts within their workplaces and in broader society in India as well. 

Ques: Do you think the process of hiring should change to alter and change the realities of gender bias?   

Talent acquisition makes the core of any company.  Due to the pandemic, one of the biggest challenges that recruiters are facing today is coping with the virtual hiring process. With the advancement of technology, the hiring process should be altered not just to eliminate gender biases, but also to ensure the candidate experience is not interrupted.   

It is a preconceived notion that a person is likely to be attracted to someone else having the same attributes. This type of bias often appears in the corporate world when the hiring team is looking for people who will be a ‘cultural fit’ to the organization.  To remove this, with the evolving recruitment strategies, the human resource team should be trained with quarterly workshops for essential hiring ethics. Further to this, to support women's development, a company should actively look for qualified female talent to take on suitable roles, and increase the number of women leaders/ role models on the interview panels. 

Companies should also focus on providing incentives including child care facilities, maternity/paternity leaves, and ensure strict policies against workplace offenses. Lastly, organizations should release gender diversity and salary data to ensure transparency in terms of maintaining pay parity and keep a check on themselves. 


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