Mahindra Group Associates with S P Jain to Introduce ‘Women Leaders Program’ in India

September 12, 20168:51 am1305 views

Mumbai, India: Recognising that the mid-career stage is when many women veer off a leadership track due to work-life concerns, perceived lack of fit or other factors, the Group Diversity Council at Mahindra Group introduced its first Women Leaders Program (WLP) on September 7.  The WLP is focused on advancement of women in the workforce and will look towards encouraging and supporting women employees in the middle management cadre.

The WLP proposes a unique professional development journey spanning 18 months and has been specifically designed to help participants develop competencies needed to advance into future leadership positions. The program encompasses:

  • Classroom learning in collaboration between Academy of Leadership Development under the aegis of Mahindra Leadership University and SP Jain Institute of Management & Research
  • Access to mentors and coaches, for personalised guidance and development
  • Instructor-led training, webinars and e-learning modules as interventions to supplement class room learning
  • Mentor orientation, manager sensitization and coach alignment workshops to connect and align the education and experience journey
  • Networking opportunities with internal and external role models including women leaders
  • Business simulation exercises and leadership challenge projects

Commenting on the initiative, Anita Arjundas, President, Real Estate Sector and Chairperson, Group Diversity Council, Mahindra Group said, “Diversity of thought, ideas and viewpoints is at the core of the Mahindra Group’s DNA.  Flowing from this philosophy is the Women Leaders Program, a strategic component of our efforts to create a diverse and balanced workforce that will truly represent the increasingly varied communities and markets we serve.”

She further added: “We are 17% as a group in terms of women representation; however there is only 7% women representation at the senior leadership level and this whole programme has been curated to create a women leadership talent pipeline for the future.”

The four tenets on which we build the gender diversity platform in the Mahindra Group, as stated by Anita during the launch are:

  • Awareness and Sensitisation: Driving gender diversity is not just about getting more women into the workforce, but it’s also about creating greater awareness and sensitisation in the rest of the workforce.
  • How do we shape policies and create infrastructure: This will help us drive talent retention, while businesses generally focus on talent acquisition. However, without policies and infrastructure how do you manage to retain talent? This is a challenge for growing global organisations, which this programme intends to cater.
  • Creating networks and communities: Irrespective of the sector focus on the diversity spectrum – this programme is developed to help chosen talent to be able to connect one another, to be able to have access to role models and to be able to drive internal behaviour.
  • Targeted development Interventions: These involve working consciously with the spectrum of diversity and push the agenda for creation of leadership pipeline. Focused interventions around talent acquisitions, infrastructure creation, policies such as extended maternity leave, adoption leave and also big push around gender neutral policies like work from home and flexi hours.

See: India: SPJIMR Launches Management Programme for Women Aspiring to Return to the Workforce

Dr. Prince Augustin, EVP, Group Human Capital and Leadership Development, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., added, “Only when we create an inclusive ecosystem that brings in people with wide-ranging backgrounds and perspectives into all parts of the organization can we drive holistic, positive change.  The Women Leaders Program will help talented women in the organisation transcend perceived limitations and achieve their full potential.”

Dr Ranjan Banerjee, Director, S P Jain Institute of Management & Research, shared that the “WLP is a distinctive and path breaking initiative between SP Jain and Academy of Leadership Development of Mahindra Leadership University (MLU). The result of this creative collaboration in developing talent pool of women leaders within the Mahindra Group has reached a distinctive milestone in Industry-Academia partnership.”

“This program is unique and distinguishes itself from other similar programs in synthesizing current contemporary tools integrating knowledge with real-time life experience to build competencies in managing life, teams and business challenges in an ever-changing VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity) environment.”

Introducing the initiative, Dr Augustin added, “This whole programme is about accelerated development and accelerated talent pool creation. The women leaders programme has been created in association with one of the reputed management institutes in the country, S. P Jain Institute of Management and Research. This initiative is created around three broad themes –

  • Leading Self – Created with the need to empower one self. “Since you can only empower the empowered.”
  • Leading Teams – Working with teams which are diverse, to energise, innovate and reinvent.
  • Leading Business – The programme is developed to cater to business impact. Irrespective of the gender, the workforce should be able to translate thoughts into impactful strategies for business growth and development.

Speaking at the launch of this programme, Dr. Sumita Datta, Head of Women Leadership Program at S. P Jain Institute of Management and Research said, “Looking at one of the glaring paradoxes today, in terms of gender diversity is that, while the participation of women at entry levels has increased in the last few years, almost half of women drop out in their mid-careers. The number of women in executive directorship roles in companies listed on BSE is as low as 3%. So, the institute has taken this programme as one its goals to develop knowledge and expertise in order to contribute to gender balance in corporate and society.”.

The Mahindra Group values the uniqueness of every individual and is fostering an environment of inclusion and empowerment that will enable people and communities to rise.  Gender Diversity is thus a key focus area for the group, which is committed to creating an inclusive ecosystem that supports and encourages women to reach senior leadership positions within the organisation.

The Group Diversity Council (GDC) was established in 2012, as part of a structured, conscious approach to enhancing diversity within the organization, while maintaining a strong business connect with measurable outcomes.

Gender diversity is a key focus area for the GDC, which is committed to creating an inclusive ecosystem that supports and encourages women to reach senior leadership positions across Mahindra Group companies. The Mahindra Group Diversity Council has representation from different sectors within the Group, different generations and leadership levels

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