At Freecharge, building a diverse and inclusive organization is a top priority for us, not just because it’s the right thing to do; rather we strongly believe that it’s a must thing to do so that we can emerge stronger as a business.
We are still in the nascent stages of our D&I journey, and are currently focusing on promoting” Gender, LGBTQIA & PWD diversity”.
Some ways in which we feel that diversity and inclusion will help our business grow are as follows:
- Promoting Belongingness: By building an inclusive workplace, we can help employees bring their whole selves to work, which can help them feel a sense of belongingness. Some examples of how an inclusive environment really makes a difference to employees are as follows:
- Employees from the LGBTQIA community would be comfortable to express their identity at the workplace, and will be able to access the same benefits as their peers, such as medical policy for spouse, adoption benefits, gender affirmation surgery leaves, day care benefits etc.
- A working women would not be concerned that a flexible working arrangement would hamper her chances of a promotion/ growth in her role.
- Employees with special needs (PWD) would not have to worry about basic things like how to access their place of work, since the office infrastructure will be able to accommodate their needs through ramps, wheelchairs etc.
- Better Decision Making: When groups with diverse perspectives come together and are provided with the psychological safety to express themselves freely, it can really help bring out many alternate approaches of problem solving, thus resulting in better decision making. Being a disruptor in the Fintech space, it’s very important for us to think differently, and this would not be possible until we promote cognitive diversity within the organization.
- Broader Talent Pool: Having witnessed a phase of ‘The Great Resignation’ within our industry, due to the demand- supply mismatch of talent, it becomes even more important for us as a business, to tap the diverse talent pools to address the talent supply shortage gap. Moreover, diverse talent often has many unique strengths which can be a perfect match for some job requirements. A few examples are mentioned below:
- Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, has often mentioned that his Dyslexia is his superpower, as it bestowed him with a vivid imagination which helped shape his business. He also advocates that the world needs more dyslexic thinking
- Many large tech companies have realized that there are a few innate strengths of neurodiverse talents such as special skills in pattern recognition, memory, or mathematics which can be a perfect match for some niche tech roles. Hence, many of them have modified their hiring processes to welcome such talent.
As a smart business, we need to identify the right roles in line with the strengths of the diverse group, to make the hiring process a win-win proposition.
Based on the above points, we are strongly convinced that D&I will be a key enabler for our business. Below are a few ways through which we at Freecharge are currently trying to promote a diverse & inclusive culture at our workplace:
- Focus on hiring diverse talent: While hiring talent based on meritocracy is our top priority, when given a choice between two equally competent candidates, we would prefer to hire diverse talent to help increase the talent pipeline of under-represented groups within our company and reach a critical mass. We have been regularly reaching out to diverse talent for hiring through special campaigns such as #ComeAsYouAre, #HouseWorkIsWork, in partnership with our parent organization.
- Sharing success stories: It’s said that ”Seeing is Believing”. At Freecharge, we have adopted a similar approach where we regularly share success stories of employees with diverse backgrounds as we feel that it will help the diverse talent feel a sense of belongingness and become role models to whom the entire organization can look up to.
- Inclusive Benefits & Policies: We regularly revisit our benefits and policies to ensure that they are inclusive. This year we had extended our adoption leave policies to all genders, covered all birthing parents under our maternity leave policy, and introduced leaves for gender affirmation surgery. Our Mediclaim policy now cover same sex partners, and it covers the cost of Gender Affirmation Surgery. We plan to regularly revisit all our policies to ensure that they are beneficial to all employees.
- Sensitizing employees about unconscious biases: All of us have developed some mental models and unconscious biases, either due to evolutionary reasons, or because of our upbringing. At Freecharge, we regularly organize sensitization sessions called ‘Pause for Bias’s to give everyone an opportunity to reflect and overcome these biases, especially at the time of recruitment.
Finally, I would conclude the article by re-iterating that for us, D&I is not an HR agenda, but a business imperative. Hence, we see a lot of enthusiasm and support within our organization from all key stakeholders including top leadership to make our organization a diverse and inclusive workplace for all.