Diversity breeds innovation and out- of-the-box thinking. This is our business case for diversity and inclusion at the workplace, says Anu Koshy, Global Head for Diversity and Inclusion at digital technology services player UST Global.
It has been established both in industry studies and from our collective experience that a diverse group of individuals is needed to achieve consistent success in delivering innovative solutions that meet customer needs, says Koshy in an interview to BusinessLine.
Is there a case business case for ensuring gender diversity and inclusion in a company such as yours? What exactly is it?
Very much so. Delivery of software services, products and platforms is a complex endeavour involving several aspects right from understanding the customer's needs, some of which may be not be articulated.
So too designing the solution, developing the software, project-managing the entire endeavour, or deploying it to the customer, training and then supporting them and looking for future business.
All of these requires myriad of skills which may not be present in one individual or even in one group of individuals.
Does UST Global link diversity, gender justice and inclusion with vital business metrics?
Yes, we have set out on this journey. We have been tracking some key metrics related to employee diversity ratios, diverse hiring pipeline, employee retention and advancement, and employee pulse checks.
We have started seeing promising trends based on the diversity and inclusion programmes that we have rolled out. We'll continue down this path to establish other metrics to link diversity to company growth metrics.
Do you think diversity also promotes innovation, creativity and therefore bottom line results?
Indisputably. 'Same old' thinking leads to 'same old' results. Creativity manifests as a novel way of addressing a situation or problem.
Without diversity and the lateral, heterogeneous thinking that it results in, companies can't hope to innovate and come up with solutions to problems that the hyper-connected and rapidly evolving world throws up every day. Companies that leverage this will see their bottom lines improve.
What’s your view on the Supreme Court judgement on decriminalising homosexuality?
We welcome decisions by the courts that uphold non-discrimination towards any group of individuals. UST Global has always had the policy of not discriminating towards anyone based on protected attributes.
What is the current level of engagement of women executives in UST Global?
Our gender parity ratio for fresh graduate recruiting is 65 per cent for women and overall ratios are above industry average.
We have initiatives such as women's mentoring and 'Sheroes' partnership to further improve the representation of women at higher levels of management.
Our leadership team is fully supportive of these efforts and we hope to keep the momentum going.
Does your company have platforms such as ‘inclusion councils’?
We have several councils to deal with issues pertaining to diversity and gender justice such as NotHere, location-wise Internal Complaints Committees and Ethics point at UST Global. Hotline numbers are available for associates as well.