Jul 10, 2012

A discussion from our Warp & Weft group on Linkedin

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A long way to go for the Indian woman to shatter the glass ceiling in the corporate world re-iterates the recent article in the Times of India. Extensive surveys and research in the report indicate that the percentage of women in corporate boards or executive boards is a mere six percent. This is at least ten times lower than the percentage found in our global counterparts.
This survey raises very vital questions some of them being:
1.       Is having a handful of women at the top like Chanda Kocchar (Head of ICICI Bank), Vinita Bali (CEO of Britannia) and a few others, enough to represent the power of Indian women.
2.       What happens to the several women graduates who pass out each year?

The Mc. Kinsey survey reports that at least 45% of Indian women leave the workforce each year citing needs of wanting a better work life balance or quoting family problems. Many women succumb to the pressure of juggling the priorities of work and family and tend to quit their jobs or stick to entry level or mid-managerial roles. The survey put out these facts and numbers painting a very bleak picture for Indian women in the corporate sector. Makes one wonder if the Indian woman is being punished for nurturing or taking the role of primary role giver in the family too seriously. These facts also reflect poorly on the dynamics of the society. Questions that arise from this survey are worth a thought and will make a lot of difference to our approach to a mutually inclusive society at the workplace

1.       Is this imbalance in numbers a good example for our little girls? Are we depriving them of role models? Are we teaching them that it is a norm to give up their career or ambitions of being gainfully occupied to bring up a family?

2.       Why is care-giving or looking after a family so gender specific? Why is society imposing such biased stereotypes? How do we change the cultural influence and the traditional mindset?

3.       How can we empower women to stay on in the corporate world and excel in their chosen profession? How do we feed the corporate pipeline with more women leaders who are happy individuals with happy families?

Join our discussion group, Warp & Weft: Threads of Diversity & Inclusion in India on Linkedin and share your thoughts.

Jul 9, 2012

Interweave in news: Knowledge @ Wharton

A Bullish Outlook for India’s Female Entrepreneurs

Nirmala Menon, founder and CEO of Interweave Consulting, a Bangalore-based firm that focuses on diversity management and inclusiveness in the workplace, points out that there is a lot of visibility and acknowledgement of women entrepreneurs as reliable partners and vendors. “Some organizations are encouraging them as part of their corporate supplier diversity programs. This is spurring other women to enter the space as well.”

Menon adds that Indian women inherently have an important entrepreneurial trait — resilience. “Women in India have had to traditionally manage with limited resources and that native intelligence helps them manage creatively with frugal resources available,” she notes. “They reuse, save, negotiate, find alternatives — all of which contributes to their success as an entrepreneur.”
But what are some of the challenges that they face?

Menon suggests that women find it more cumbersome than men to navigate the regulatory and procedural complexities. She attributes this to “a fairly complex process managed mostly by men.” Menon adds that while women entrepreneurs have domain expertise, they often lack profit and loss experience and by consequence could struggle with the “business-side” of an enterprise. However, the biggest challenge for women entrepreneurs in India, she says, is coping with societal expectations. “These are changing, but still have some way to go.”

Jun 14, 2012

The #1 Habit of Great Dads

You want your kids to be just as fit as you, right? Well, quit missing family dinner—frequent family meals mean healthier eating and a lower body mass index in children, according to a new review of 68 reports on the subject by Rutgers.

Whether you're a schoolteacher or a pro athlete, we know how work gets in the way. So here are from tips on how to get dinner at home to the top of your to-do list.

If You're Always on the Go

"It's so inconsistent when I'm home because I'm traveling so much," says Kevin Robinson, professional BMX rider and dad of three (calling us from China). Beyond riding internationally, Robinson speaks at events all over the country, and is at the helm of his apparel company, Grindz. "When I'm home I try to time riding and events around my children's school day," he says. "They have no idea what I just ran around doing all day."

Your move: Try to book the afternoon flight, not the evening one, back from business travel. "If I get back too late, it's just one more day they don't see me," Robinson says. Got little guys? Steal Robinson's trick: "We count our days by 'night nights,' not days," he says. "If I'm going to be gone three days, that's only two nights."

If You Have Teenagers

Cook together. It requires communication, says Gary Erikson, co-owner and co-CEO of Clif Bar, and father of three -- including a teenager. Read: Teens will be forced to grunt a few words and descend from the bedroom. "One of the best side effects of preparing a meal with your family is that everyone is in the same space sharing an experience."

Your move: Speed things up by assigning duties -- one person sets the table, another tosses the salad, and someone else grills the fish. "When our family works together in the kitchen, we can have a meal ready to go and on the table within a half an hour," says Kit Crawford, Gary's wife and co-owner and co-CEO of Clif Bar.

If Your Job Is Demanding

"Working in software is competitive. It's intense. It requires lots of long hours," says Vic Gundotra, Senior VP at Google who oversees the company's social efforts, and father to two children. "It's also engaging -- it's easy to let the hours slip away." When you were a post-grad, hanging out with your office buddies until 10 p.m. was standard -- but with a family, that's just not possible, Gundotra says.

Your move: Prioritize. "Men understand priorities," says Gundotra. "We make tradeoffs all day. If family is as important to you as work is, then -- like you would for any business priority -- you make it happen." Simply say, "I have to leave, they're waiting for me." (Of course, the right approach also helps.) Dinner together isn't just about quality time; it's about what the quantity of that time adds up to. "You can make a lot of mistakes in business and you can correct them -- it's very hard to go back and fix missing time with your kids," Gundotra says.

Source: http://living.msn.com/family-parenting/the-number1-habit-of-great-dads

Jun 11, 2012

The Changing Role of Fathers!

Interweave recognises that the 'modern day' father comes in various forms. To support the new breed of fathers across the country, we have launched a module on parenting for fathers. 

Sharing a short and interesting article that also recognises the changing role of fathers.

"It is a wise father that knows his own child" - Shakespeare's words continue to resonate in the modern world where fathers are moving away from being strict, disciplinarian figures to a source of emotional support for their children.

"My father is not just my father! Of course, he is strict at times as far as my studies are concerned, he gives me limited money like all stingy fathers...but he is also a great friend. He takes me out on weekends, we go bowling, we discuss my personal life, he guides me...and he is a fantastic counsellor!" said Abhinav Sethi, a 17-year-old college-goer here.

Many fathers have started going out of their way to understand their child - once the preserve of mothers.

"I think it is very important to connect with the child; otherwise they will always be in fear of you. If we try to be friends with them, they will share a lot of stuff with us, as they do with their friends. There's so much stress these days, so much competition...so if we start pressurising them with the typical father ways, it's not going to help at all," says Arvind Singh, a father to two boys.

Films reflect society in many ways and it seems to be true in terms of the portrayal of a father on the big or small screen. The entertainment industry has attempted to portray the more compassionate side of fathers in recent times.

Ekta Kapoor's recently launched TV show Bade Achche Lagte Hain shows actress Sakshi Tanwar's on-screen father as more loving, considerate and understanding than her mother. In Pavitra Rishta , Sushant Singh Rajput's character has a father who is more compassionate than his mother.

Earlier shows like Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahin or Astitva - Ek Prem Kahani showed protagonists enjoying better communication with their dads respectively.

Cut to celluloid and films like Wake Up Sid !, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham , Waqt: The Race Against Time , Apne and Yamla Pagla Deewana have portrayed the father's vulnerable side.

A recent survey by online matrimony site jeevansathi.com revealed how a father is moving towards a role where the child can look up to him for a feedback and be the confidant while choosing a life partner.

About 45 per cent of the 25,000 respondents, who were independent youngsters looking for a life partner on their own, depended on their dads to help them make a decision.

"The new generation of children of marriageable age are starting to lean towards their parents for opinion. Traditionally it was the mother who played the influencing factor and the father the decision maker," said Rohit Manghnani, business head, jeevansathi.com.

Today the roles are changing and the survey shows that young men or women take the decision and parental feedback is a key influencing factor, said Manghnani, adding, "The father has also started playing the role of the influencer rather than the decisionmaker."

But there are some who belong to old school of thoughts. Popular sarod players Ayaan and Amaan Ali Khan, who have a guru in their father, sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, says their father likes to maintain a certain protocol.

"It took us time to draw the line as to when he was a father and when he was a guru. This realisation obviously happened as we grew older. We feel ecstatic to think and realize from time to time that our guru is our father. As classical musicians, music for us was not just a profession but a complete way of life.

Abba is an old timer with regard to many things. For one, even though he is a dear friend to us, a certain protocol in the relationship is always maintained," said the duo

Jun 4, 2012

Interweave in the news!

.........The idea for Interweave came directly from Nirmala’s experience with IBM where she was part of the global management development team that focussed specifically on Diversity and multi-cultural inclusion. Having worked with IBM for five years in several countries around the world on this initiative, she was the Diversity and Employee Relations Lead for IBM in India when she quit in 2005. In 2006, she had the idea of pioneering work in this space on a larger scale in India. Ironically, IBM was her first client and Interweave has gone on to work with several other Fortune 500 companies over the last few years.

Interweave began as a proprietorship – a one-woman army actively crusading for a culture change well before D&I was a subject of conversation at business meetings in India. “Challenging work and the thrill of creating niche offerings and the excitement of being pioneers in the space were what kept us going for a good part of the initial three years. We registered as a Private Ltd. company in late 2007 with two employees and have since grown to be a team of 10 across Bangalore, Gurgaon, and Mumbai,” says Nirmala......

Prashant, Kalpana, Nimmi (L to R)

May 16, 2012

'Get Set, GO!' An empowerment programme for women professionals!

Interweave is coming to your city with our workshop “Get Set, GO!” an empowerment programme for women professionals. This one-day programme will help women employees build and sustain their personal power. We look forward to your participation. 
For any further details or clarifications, please contact us on the numbers mentioned below.

Apr 3, 2012

We are hiring!

Looking for a role that helps you learn, grow, ideate? Looking for a job that allows you work with the best names in the industry?

 If you are, drop us a line with your CV. We're a young firm working in the space of Diversity and Inclusion and we're looking for people with at least 2-3 years of work experience; in fact, if you are returning from a break this might be ideal for you . We work with a number of large MNCs, defining strategies and delivering programmes to meet their business needs. Each day presents unique opportunities for us to explore and become leaders in a space that is here to stay.

If you're enthusiastic, organised and interested in HR research, you will enjoy working with us. If you think logically and enjoy a challenge, mail us today and let's work together! People with an understanding of the corporate work environment, HR practices and the space of diversity will be given preference.

We are also open to taking Summer Interns on a project-basis.

Check us out at www.interweave.in. 
Write to us at interweavesolutions@interweave.in.
Tele: 91-80-41482787/ 91-80-25932516