For us at GE, inclusion is not a new concept; for decades we had been practicing it as one of our growth values. We call it W.O.W; as it’s our Way of Work. Rather than segmenting people based on their differences, our efforts are focused on creating a culture, where every employee proudly brings their whole self to work and is enabled through structure, policies, systems & facilities, to achieve their best. We are committed to Inclusion, its embedded in how we hire, grow and retain our talent!
Our Gender-neutral job descriptions attract the best talent. In 2018 it helped us increase gender diversity in external hiring by 5%. Our state-of-the-art on-campus infrastructure for child care has a Day care for babies to toddlers with 100% utilization. We have parent-child rooms for children of all ages to put our parent employees mind at ease with respect to their child’s well -being. The Wow Mom program supports and enables our expecting and new mothers by providing them policy, emotional, physical and infrastructural support. This has been a widely used program with more than 8% of our women workforce benefiting from it. With a 12-year-old women’s network working across 15 cities, there are endless opportunities to network and leverage the platform for professional growth.
We kicked off our People with disability Network (PDN) late 2018. We have ~80 employees in network as members or allies. In a short span, this affinity group has been able to implement 2 key policy changes – car lease policy amended to accommodate car modification done by employee with disability; getting golf cart in campus for easy mobility of employees. Our PDN team has benchmarked with multiple organizations and engaged with NGO’s active in this area to formulate a game plan to create the most conducive environment for our employees. They are actively working on auditing our infrastructure, IT audit, HR policies.
This year, we formed LGBTQA+ ally group. This affinity group has implemented policy changes to update our medical insurance and relocation policy to include same sex partner declaration. We also have gender neutral restrooms in every building and at every floor. Our EAP team provides specialized counseling support. This month, we hosted our first pride circle meet up at campus with ~100+ employees participating in the meet. We are also participating in the LGBT+ job fair in July, organized by Pride Circle.
The uniqueness of WoW team lies in the fact that it comprises of members from different businesses of GE, cutting across experience levels, functions, roles and drawn together by the common compelling purpose of crafting an inclusive way of work because for us it’s THE only way of working.
About the Author: Sanjeev Jha, Nishitha Jetta