Sakshee Katiyal, CEO of Home & Soul is one of the few women entrepreneurs in the Indian real estate sector who has established herself in a short span of time. Home & Soul focuses on luxury based housing projects. Coming from a background of Fashion designing (in her academic life), Sakshee set foot in real estate business and after years of hard work and labour, she established and developed Home & Soul. She realised that in order to be a successful entrepreneur, she has to acquire knowledge and expertise in every aspect of her work. A dynamic leader with hands on experience in operations, marketing, sales and client relations, Sakshi’s contribution towards developing projects is tremendous. She is leading the company, focusing on building partnership and broader business relationships. Under her leadership, Home & Soul is creating value through excellence in delivery. The emphasis on world class architecture showcases a modern lifestyle which is a dreamlike home for any client.
Gender equality is one of the key driving forces towards a healthy and cohesive work environment in any organization. More women employees can create the right kind of work and cultural balance in an organization. Just like the way women add heart and soul to a house, they can bring more life into a workspace. Women are also recognised for the kind of effort and sincerity they put into work. Such dedication is a requisite for any organization, which looks for a strong and dedicated workforce for the overall growth of the company.
A sector like real estate, which is known to be more dominated by men should also change the lens and hire more and more women employees. However, only hiring women in an organization is like a half-baked cake; organizations should look at making workplaces more conducive for women. Only monetary compensations are not lucrative enough for women to join an organization; they look at safety, protection, flexibility, and gender inclusiveness. Thus, companies should look at including some additional perks for retaining female talent. Below are ways in which companies can make organizations women-friendly:
Understanding their individual needs: Organizations need to understand that women do not look only for salary in a job. The needs of a man and woman are very different when it comes to a job. While some women look at flexibility as their primary criteria, some might look at learning and growth, while some might look for a work environment that makes them feel safe. An organization should always try and ask questions on the expectations from the female employee while hiring. Many national, as well as international organizations, have been able to crack the code, thus making workplaces more gender inclusive.
Creating leadership positions for women: This is significant to encourage quality women workforce join an organization. Women in a leadership position in an organization usually depict a very positive and encouraging image of the organization. One might not realise, but such organizations open doors for hiring more and more quality women workforce, as they see an opportunity for growth in such companies.
Offering more paid leaves: One has to realise that the cultural structure of our country remains the same, where women are expected to fulfil most of the duties and responsibilities of families. Juggling between office and work, especially during certain occasions, can become cumbersome for women. Organizations should be flexible in such situations and look at offering paid leaves to women. It could mean considering adding a few more paid leaves in a female employee’s leave calendar. Maternity leave has been a great step the industry has taken for women; it has saved plenty of women from losing their jobs and/ or taking a sabbatical.
Women-friendly HR support system: While organizations hire women, many companies overlook a strong HR support system, which is essential to support safe women work environment. The HR eco-system should be strong and effective enough to support the women workforce in case of any issue faced by them. Strong policies, strong actions in case of any offense against women, POSH related policies should be implemented to make women feel more safe and secure. While companies talk about gender diversity, many of them fail to take effective steps to make women feel safer and more secure.
There are many other factors that organizations should look at to make the workplace more women-friendly. Most importantly, companies should promote the culture of breaking the ‘Glass ceiling’ and creating women role models in the organizations. When women envision themselves working for a company, they look for personal and professional growth. Thus, a women-friendly workplace, with women in leadership positions can work a long way in hiring and retaining quality female workforce.
The corporate eco-system has witnessed big names in the female workforce; people like Indra Nooyi, Chanda Kochar, Naina Lal Kidwai and many more have proved over the years, what women are capable of doing. Companies need to give them a chance to prove their worth.