Flexible work hours key to support working women
That India’s workforce has a gender gap problem is a known fact. At Fortune India’s Most Powerful Women summit this year in Mumbai, Kaku Nakhate, President and India Country Head, Bank of America who is one of the 50 most powerful women in business for 2018 shared her thoughts on how to boost women’s participation in the country’s workforce.
Commenting on the specific aspect of maternity leave, Nakhate said that increasing the duration of leave to six months was a welcome move as it helps in a nuclear family setup. She went on to say that flexible working hours can go a long way in supporting women who are expecting a child or are new mothers.
“In American companies, we do believe in flexible working hours. When somebody is pregnant we try to ensure she takes time off because she could be having issues. And for the next couple of years we try and protect her pay,” she said, adding that the added bonus of building the employee’s loyalty to the company is a significant positive.
She also believes that companies should invest in creating a more diverse workforce. “I do feel as a company you need to invest in gender diversity, LGBT and differently abled people. The more people you have with different and diverse thoughts, the product will be more consumer-driven,” she said.