135.6. That’s the number of years it will take for the global gender gap to be closed, as per the World Economic Forum. Although women form half the labour force globally, resources and opportunities are not divided equitably. Aware of this disparity, as responsible corporate citizens, we have been taking conscious steps to empower and help improve the quality of life for women, in various ways.
Logistics has traditionally been viewed as a male dominated bastion. However, women are surely and steadily changing this perception by increasing their presence. As per Gartner’s Women in Supply Chain Survey 2021, women make up 41% of the supply chain workforce, up from 39% in the previous year.
An enabling environment, gender positive policies, and a safe workplace go a long way in attracting more women to the field, which is exactly what we focus on. Ample opportunities to learn and grow in their career, the enforcement of strict prevention of sexual harassment (POSH) regulations, guaranteeing a safe working environment, contribute to a safe and encouraging atmosphere.
Our global subsidiary, ECU Worldwide, has a staggering 56% women on its rolls. With more than 50% of the workforce being women, it goes without saying that one can find them across different levels in the organization.
On the domestic front too, we continue to be focussed on hiring more women, setting up diversity and inclusion committees at the regional level, conducting gender sensitization workshops, and more.
Through the diversity and inclusion policies, we are committed to making sure that we are not only a great place to work, but also a safe place to work and an enabling place to work.
The focus on empowering women is not limited to breaking the glass ceiling. Women Empowerment being a key focus area for our CSR arm, Avashya Foundation, a series of initiatives aimed at the community that impact women and girls are undertaken.
The beneficiaries of these interventions come from a wide variety of marginalised backgrounds – women farmers in rural villages, girl students who are in need of scholarships, women in need of medical care, young women who need skill development to find gainful employment, women from underprivileged communities who need support, among others.
The programs first seek to understand and identify the right kind of assistance that is needed by them and then works towards enhancing the quality of their lives.
Betting on sportswomen
Moreover, we have gone a step ahead and are supporting three immensely talented budding lady golfers, Avani Prashanth, Pranavi Urs, and Sneha Singh for a period of three years each.
Each of them has shown immense potential in the game. At a time when male sports icons outnumber their female counterparts, such an investment in their growth and development, is aimed at encouraging more women to take up sports, especially professionally, and bring laurels to the country.
Breaking the bias, requires concerted efforts at multiple levels. And empowering women goes far beyond the ambit of the organization – it needs to be extended to communities, especially those who need it. It requires dedication, commitment and a passion to bring about gender equity – a dividend that is worth all the efforts.
Indrani Chatterjee is Group Chief People Officer at Allcargo Logistics.