Smart Choice

Things to check out be­fore you join a new work­place

India Today - - CONTENTS - CHARANDEEP KAUR Part­ner, Tri­le­gal, Delhi

The leg­is­la­ture has fa­cil­i­tated in­creased in­volve­ment of women at work­places by amend­ing ap­pli­ca­ble leg­is­la­tions and mak­ing them more con­ducive. Em­ploy­ers have also started to recog­nise the role played by women and are ac­tively look­ing at en­gag­ing and in­clud­ing more women to make the work­force gen­der di­verse. While there has been a marked change in the at­ti­tude of both the so­ci­ety and the econ­omy, it is im­por­tant that you as­sess whether the cho­sen work­place is con­ducive for your long term growth.

The cul­ture and poli­cies

A good place of work main­tains strong hu­man re­sources poli­cies, has an em­ployee-friendly en­vi­ron­ment, com­plies with law, and has zero tolerance to­wards gen­der bias. With the emer­gence of tech­nol­ogy, it has be­come eas­ier to re­search about the work cul­ture in ad­vance. Your prospec­tive work­place should have mech­a­nisms to en­sure that the en­vi­ron­ment is safe, en­cour­ag­ing and con­ducive to­wards em­pow­er­ing fe­male em­ploy­ees. Poli­cies should pro­vide for flex­i­ble work­ing hours and work from home op­tions as well.

Ques­tions that should raise an alarm

The na­ture of ques­tions asked dur­ing the in­ter­view is a good in­di­ca­tor of the ide­ol­ogy and ethos of the or­gan­i­sa­tion. Sev­eral coun­tries reg­u­late the ques­tions that can or can­not be asked by an em­ployer dur­ing the in­ter­view. While there is no such reg­u­la­tion in In­dia, sev­eral com­pa­nies have in­ter­nal poli­cies set­ting out the ques­tions which an in­ter­viewer can­not ask such as those re­lated to mar­i­tal sta­tus, fam­ily de­tails, race and re­li­gion. It is im­por­tant to as­sess whether the ques­tions are fo­cussed on your ap­ti­tude or are tainted by pref­er­ences of the in­ter­viewer.

Gen­der di­ver­sity at se­nior po­si­tions

While there have been in­stances of women lead­ing global or­gan­i­sa­tions, ac­cord­ing to the Global Gen­der Gap Re­port re­leased by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum in 2017, In­dia ranks at a measly 108 (out of the to­tal 144 coun­tries) on the gen­der par­ity scale. This in­di­cates that a lot of ground is yet to be cov­ered at In­dian work­places. Be­fore join­ing, you should be ap­prised of the gen­der di­ver­sity within the or­gan­i­sa­tion, not only at lower po­si­tions or en­try level po­si­tions, but at se­nior po­si­tions as well. In fact, an or­gan­i­sa­tion with a greater num­ber of women in se­nior po­si­tions would in­di­cate a greater chance of fu­ture growth for any woman plan­ning to join the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Men­tor­ship ini­tia­tives

Look out for any men­tor­ship ini­tia­tives that the prospec­tive em­ployer may have. Such ini­tia­tives have proven to be a driv­ing force for women to­wards self­de­vel­op­ment, col­lab­o­ra­tion, im­bib­ing lead­er­ship qual­i­ties, meet­ing their ob­jec­tives and build­ing com­pe­tency for fe­male em­ploy­ees un­der the ca­reer guid­ance of top man­age­ment lead­ers.

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