Post the pandemic, have the work places made even more efforts for being inclusive because we could work remotely with people, we didn’t had to get them to office, we didn’t had to get them to travel. So, has the inclusion agenda been advanced in the last 25-26 months or has the other business issues – ‘continuity’, ‘profitability’, in some cases ‘existence’ – took the centre stage. And the diversity and inclusion agenda – has it moved forward or it needs to catch up from the last 26 months?
To this, Gaurika Tandon, Head – Learning & Engagement, Bennett & Coleman, replies, “I think it’s a mix bag, there are some portions which have gone up. For example – for hiring and onboarding new folks, for them to get to understand the feel of the fabric, it’s important for them to see more people. For us as an organisation, our average tenure is 10 years plus. Everyone knew everyone. So instead of meeting people face-to-face, I did a phone call or a Teams or Zoom call. So certain portions have come up. There have been inclusions in terms of when you get to a MS Teams meeting, your videos are on and you actually get to be more inclusive because you say things like – I have not heard you enough, can I start with you, can we begin here. So I think these calls are a little more inclusive.” “The flexibility that has come has kind of expanded the work force,” Tandon adds.
She was engaging in a panel discussion organised by BW People, at ‘Diversity & Inclusion Summit & Awards’. The other industry experts joining her were Prem Singh, President – Group HR, JK Organisation; Dr Ashish Ambasta, Founder & CEO, Happy+ Consulting and Radhika Tomar, Chief Human Resources Officer, Kimberley Clark India.