Education

Taking a break from work should not be seen as a negative: HDFC’s Parekh

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on January 16, 2018

Deepak Parekh, HDFC Chairman

Companies must harness the benefits of gender diversity



Taking a break from work should not be viewed as a negative by organisations, feels Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC.

Speaking at the inauguration of SP Jain Institute’s Management programme for women (wishing to rejoin the workforce) after taking a career break, Parekh said “Unfortunately getting back on track, post the work break, is difficult. But we need a mindset change here. Taking a break must not be construed as detrimental to one’s career. It is alright to take a break and such decisions must be respected.

Women, as role models

“Despite all the challenges it is also important to recognise that in India today there are number of women who have done exceedingly well in their careers and are at their helm of their organisation. These women by default become role models for others to emulate,” he added. He urged companies to harness the benefits that gender diversity brings to the table adding that India Inc’s performance would be much better if this ‘key lever’ of human resources was harnessed.

“Though many employers have recognised the benefits of diversity in their work force, the reality is that gender ratios still remain immensely skewed. At the entry level this is not so; but the divergence begins at the mid career and continues to get more acute at higher levels. On SEBI’s one-woman director rule, he said “The initiative to appoint a women director on publicly listed companies was to sensitise corporates on the need to embrace gender diversity but somehow we still have a long way to go.

“Some companies view this as a compliance exercise, some companies use it as a tick-the-box issue. According to Prime data base 75 per cent of these appointments are non-independent and family members, defeating the very purpose of bringing in diversity into corporate board rooms.

Women directors

“I know many companies who have not even followed the SEBI requirement of having a women director on board.... I do not think it is right for corporate India to lament that there isn’t a large enough pool of talent to recruit women directors. Corporate India has to be a facilitator to find optimum solutions,” he observed.

Published on September 02, 2016

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