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Diversity Not An HR Initiative But A Top Management Commitment

Narayanan attributed the success of the relaunch of Maggi in India to the diversity that existed in the team working on the issue.
Diversity Not An HR Initiative But A Top Management Commitment
Image credit: Shutterstock

Women contribute to over 40 percent of its total population today, but this does not prohibit discrimination against them at various levels of the society - from workplace hierarchy to rural education.

Speaking at an event organised by NASSCOM on Diversity and Inclusion, Suresh Narayanan-MD and Chairman at Nestle India, spoke about things that impeding companies from having a diverse work place culture.

Narayanan, who has held important posts at several FMCGs, has been an important participant of Nestle India story. 

Narayanan said that we as human beings develop an unconscious bias about things before knowing the actual reality of things. 

"We have always seen within our organisation, there is a richness in our discussions when we have a diverse team," he said, who also spearheaded a team that relaunched Maggi in India. Narayanan attributed the success of the relaunch of Maggi in India to the diversity that existed in the team working on the issue.

Talking about reservations, Narayanan said it's demeaning for women to provide them something on the basis of quota system. He believes that there is enough merit in the women these days to achieve the same without reservation.

Getting an organisation to understand the economic need of having a diverse workforce is still very difficult, as people continue to have certain baisis, he said. He also added our country continues to have biases that women cannot take up jobs like manufacturing and sales at Organisations.

Talking about Nestle India, Narayanan said that the company strongly implements rules around workplace safety, hygeine, health benefits, growth programming, maternity rules - citing them as some basic amenities that a workplaces in India should provide for women.

Narayanan should understand the economic imperative to include women in their workforce and should encourage open talent pooling.

"Diversity is not a HR initiative but a top management commitment," he added and requested Organisations must work on creating women role models.