Shriram Housing Finance – SHeFirst Initiative | Easwaran Krishnan | Executive VP & Head – HR | Shriram Housing Finance Ltd
Workplace diversity means the inclusion of employees with different characteristics, backgrounds and experiences, and gender diversity is at the crux of a balanced and progressive work environment. A diverse and equitable organisation is able to grow its talent pool via a wider range of candidates, and improve employee satisfaction, retention and productivity as people feel accepted, acknowledged, represented and appreciated. In addition, it also helps to boost innovation and creativity as the overall range of skills, talent and experience is more rounded and varied.
Shriram Group believes in creating a sense of belongingness for employees by encouraging them to put their best foot forward and connect with the organisation. This, in turn, leads to greater engagement and creativity in the workplace.
Shriram Housing Finance Limited, a leader in the affordable housing finance sector, empowers every individual to contribute to their full potential, and reimagine various processes and systems. The company has a bottom-up approach that includes all employees, their ideas, perception, and participation in the decision-making process.
This has been made possible through a strong diversity and inclusion strategy to help the organisation attract top talent and drive innovative results. As a part of this endeavour, Shriram Housing Finance has launched an industry-first practice of putting women first through the ‘SHeFirst’ initiative, to enable a more equitable environment through increased women hiring, women-centric welfare policies and flexibility in the workplace.
The ‘SHeFirst’ programme strives to emulate the true essence of diversity through unique and varied thoughts and views, especially those of women, who remain under-represented in the Indian workplace due to lesser opportunities and societal constraints.
Shriram Housing Finance recognises that supporting gender diversity and engagement is not only a ‘good thing to do’ but a ‘must do’ for all businesses. Women today represent a larger part of the decision making population and contribute significantly, both as customers and employees. Our commitment is woven into our values and beliefs, which we embrace both in letter and spirit.
With the launch of the ‘SHeFirst’ programme, Shriram Housing Finance designated May 2022 as the ‘Gender Diversity’ month. The company is looking to double the number of women employees within a year through the host of new policies and initiatives introduced to support and promote the wellness of women employees, among other measures.
As we understand and respect the needs of our women colleagues, we have introduced flexible working hours to help them meet their familial and personal commitments.
Alternatively, they also have the option of working from home or opting for a hybrid work model, which helps them balance their work and personal needs. Further, women employees can also avail sabbatical leave to help them step back from work and focus on personal enrichment, professional development, or deal with exigencies or medical issues.
As we grow in terms of business, customers and people, Shriram Housing Finance’s focus would continue to be on hiring a diverse workforce. We welcome women professionals who had taken a career break owing to personal or other reasons, and want to re-join the workforce. Under our unique Women’s Referral policy, employees can earn double the
normal referral bonus amount for referring women candidates when they get selected against vacant positions. Further, as an ongoing practice, all teams across regions and branches have been empowered to hire additional women employees, over and above the approved headcount for their function, with an aim to promote gender diversity hiring.
Shriram Housing Finance firmly believes that diverse companies are more successful, and a more accurate reflection of the society in which we live and work. Promoting diversity, through our HR policies and adopting gender-friendly progressive work practices, delivers a competitive advantage that also helps to address some important issues in today’s world, both inside and beyond the workplace.