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Workplace disruptions boost diversity, inclusion at Indian firms

Business leaders in India see the state of inclusion at their offices changing, as workplace disruptions during the pandemic have had a positive impact on diversity, equity and inclusion at the organisation in the country, a study has revealed.

In India, more than 200 top business leaders across the country (out of more than 3,000 business leaders across 17 countries) said they plan to build inclusive and diverse companies going forward, according to the study by chip giant Intel.

The pandemic has been a catalyst for businesses to reimagine the workplace model and adapt to new ways of working, which were historically unimaginable.

“Nearly 81 per cent of the business leaders surveyed in India said that these workplace disruptions caused by the pandemic have had a positive impact on diversity, equity and inclusion in their organisation, demonstrating how remote workspaces and hybrid work models have been successful for achieving such goals.

Furthermore, 71 per cent said their organisation has significantly adapted such initiatives for a hybrid workforce.

“As organisations plan for the next phase of work — whether remote, in-person, or hybrid — leaders need to continue thinking differently about diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Anjali Rao, Senior Director-HR, Intel India.

About 69 per cent of participants in India who have set diversity, equity and inclusion goals said they want to achieve them in next two years, and 77 per cent of those are confident in the company’s ability to do so, compared to 66 per cent of business leaders globally.

In thinking about how changing work models will impact diversity, equity and inclusion at work, 71 per cent of Indian leaders whose companies offer hybrid work options said their organisation has significantly adapted these initiatives for a hybrid workforce.

On the other hand, 16 per cent of Indian business leaders have indicated a negative impact on diversity, equity and inclusion progress due to the pandemic, with the top reason being that remote work has made inclusivity challenging, the study showed.

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