Wipro Unza Malaysia took home the bronze award for 'Best Women Leadership Programme' at the Employee Experience Awards 2021, Malaysia, in addition to being nominated as a finalist for 'Best Diversity & Inclusion Strategy'.
In this interview, Jessica Loretta, Senior GM Cluster Head – HR, Wipro Unza Malaysia, shares the three strategic pillars that guide them: deliver a great colleague experience every day, grow the best talent, and develop new ways of working to unlock value for the organisation.
Q Congratulations on becoming a finalist at this inaugural edition of the award! What is your employee experience strategy that led to this achievement?
At Wipro Unza Malaysia (WUM), diversity and inclusion are essential parts of our 'great place to belong' culture. WUM recognises that an individual's strength and personality traits make up their leadership attributes, and are never gender-dependent. We believe diversity in leadership is good for business.
Attracting and developing more women in leadership roles requires company-wide change, driven from the top. Retention, succession, addressing the skills gap, and committing to inclusion are some of the ways our organisation challenges the status quo. We have the full commitment and support from the management to ensure there are sufficient rungs on the ladder to support women climbing into management positions.
The key is to put in motion initiatives to develop women leadership.
Progress in this vein, will most definitely help our organisation build more leadership representation across the board, driving greater performance, and ultimately enhancing the bottom line.
Q How did you and your team conceptualise and adapt this strategy to suit evolving workforce needs in the past year?
'Great place to belong' (GPTB) is a platform we proudly advocate in our approach to becoming a diverse workforce that cultivates diversity and inclusion (especially in promoting leadership, career development, safety & wellbeing, and employment for women). Our GPTB initiatives are built through our impact on:
- People – To create a work environment of inclusivity and leveraging on the differences of our employees working at Wipro.
- Process – We emphasise practicing diversity of thought and strategy through various platforms made available to our employees.
- Pride – For greater engagement and creativity at the workplace, a sense of belonging and pride must first be established.
Q What challenges did you face along the way, and how did you overcome them?
Championing women leadership does not just happen overnight. These challenges can be categorised as follow:
a. Aligning diversity and inclusion strategy with the organisation's goals
In addition to formal processes, we need to consider whether the broader organisational culture and infrastructure, including workplace policies, business strategies, design, and technology; promote social connections across the organisation.
b. Employer branding and employee engagement
In our efforts to attract young talent, we need to first strengthen our employer branding and at the same time recognise the need for diversity in gender, race, and age in contribution to the company, particularly in critical decision-making positions.
c. Full support from the organisation to support women leadership
Developing a culture of women leadership requires strong support and commitment from the top leadership. Our leaders are committed to prioritising time, energy, and resources to address diversity and inclusion, signalling their commitment as a priority.
Q How did the strategy add to the overall employee experience in your organisation, in terms of ROI?
Today, the gender diversity ratio for our Wipro International Business proudly stands at 73.5% female versus 26.5% male for the total organisation. In addition, we have an impressive 44.4% female employees helming managerial levels and above in the organisation.
At Wipro Unza Malaysia:
- 75% of our management committee (local talent) comprises women leaders,
- 1,200 strong in-store promoter force is almost 100% led by women,
- We provide contractual employment for employees who have reached retirement age,
- Starting in 2014, we have successfully recruited and trained 18 management trainees, of which 72% have been women,
- Since the beginning of 2016, we have offered a total of 78 internship placements to successful candidates – 54% being female interns,
- A steady improvement in our bi-annual employee perception survey results over the last four survey exercises (58% in Y2014 to 70% in Y2020).
Q What is the most exciting and valuable thing about being part of the debut Employee Experience Awards?
It is an honour to be judged among as the top three winners for 'Best Women Leadership Programme' and as a finalist in the 'Best Diversity & Inclusion Strategy' by the panel of senior and highly-experienced HR practitioners across various industries in Malaysia.
Recognising women leadership is an area our CEO is very passionate about.
This recognition reflects all the good initiatives put in place by Wipro Malaysia, that are designed and intended to drive diversity and inclusion in the organisation. Apart from diversity of gender, race, and age, we also believe in practicing diversity of thought and strategy. At Wipro, we are committed to creating a great place to belong for all our employees; one that ensures diversity and inclusion for all.
Q Looking ahead, what else do you have planned as you continue to enhance the overall employee experience?
Wipro firmly believes that the most effective decisions are made based on a range of experiences and entrepreneurial thinking styles. We believe, to have a culture of effective leadership and a performance-driven mentality, requires a collective effort, involving different genders, ages, races, and diversity in thought and strategy. The company will continue to put in place initiatives designed and intended to drive women leadership.
Q Do share tips to inspire your peers who are working on their EX-strategies and would love to participate in the awards next year.
The most practical advice is to be practical in your submission contents!
Q Lastly, to end on a fun note – if you could describe the employee experience at WUM in one sentence, what would that be?
‘Once you have experienced excellence, you will never again be content with mediocrity.’
- Thomas S. Monson
Photo / Provided
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