We want Nestlé to be a gender-balanced and truly equal workplace that can serve as an example to others.
Why it matters
Gender equality and women’s rights, education and empowerment are critical to our business. However, women continue to face challenges in the global workplace, from under-representation in business management generally, to a lack of access to training, tools and finance for agricultural workers. Our initiatives tackle these issues throughout our value chain.
Gender inequality affects people and places all over the world, from boardrooms to cocoa farms. Our initiatives aim to address this problem wherever we find it.
What we are doing
Nestlé India embarked on a focused diversity journey in 2010 with Project Harmony and we have seen multiple milestones through the years. Today, for us, diversity and inclusion is a way of doing business and we attain this through our three-pronged approach of Attract, Retain and Develop.
Diversity and Inclusion Council
In line with the organization's vision of an inclusive workforce, a D&I council has been formulated. This council comprises of members from management committee, an external member and rotational women members from units. This composition ensures that we have relevant representation of stakeholders, sponsorship of the leadership and unbiased counsel. The primary objective is to formulate strategies across the framework of Attract, Retain and Develop and promote a more inclusive environment.
We believe there is no room for bias at any level, starting with recruitment. This is why we do sensitization trainings for hiring managers. We have initiated focused interventions for functions, like for women in field force - identification of safe territories, enhanced travel entitlements and an opportunity to experience one day in the field before the recruitment process to ensure clarity on expectations. The result is that today we have one of the highest number of women in field force across the FMCG sector.
Retain and Develop
Diversity and inclusion is an integral part of our company’s culture and is one of the ways we bring our purpose and values to life. Our values are rooted in respect: respect for ourselves, for each other, respect for diversity and respect for the future. An important step in building an inclusive culture has been the Unconscious Bias and Gender Sensitization awareness sessions. Run by our shop floor colleagues in the factories and sales managers in the field, these sessions are interactive, local and relatable and create an experiential learning environment.
To support expecting and returning mothers Nestlé India launched the first of its kind initiative in form of Pre & Post Maternity Benefit Policy which includes ergonomic seating, priority parking and special travel entitlements for the mother, child and a caregiver. We have a provision for 26 week maternity leave with full pay and benefits, with the flexibility to decide on whether to opt for it before or after the delivery. We also ensure that women have the right to return to the same or equivalent job role and are supported with flexible working arrangements in form of Work From Home Policy. The benefit is extended with our paternity leave and adoptive parent leave. We at Nestlé, strongly believe in the importance of breastfeeding, and provide a conducive environment for mothers to breastfeed. Breastfeeding mothers are entitled to reasonable daily breaks. All our facilities with a female population above 50 women are mandatorily required to provide breastfeeding rooms to enable them to lactate and or breastfeed during working hours in a secure and relaxing environment. Our Start Healthy Stay Healthy campaign is available online to provide counselling and guidance to expectant and new mothers.
To further our commitment towards creating a healthy and safe work place, we initiated Project Sanjhi in 2018. Complementing the provision of essential infrastructure in form of sanitary pad dispenser and disposal units, menstrual hygiene awareness sessions are conducted for women employees in factories. In the field, ensuring access to sanitation facilities at distributor points has been a key focus area for us.
Empowering women in agriculture
Nestlé India recognizes the crucial role played by women in dairy farming as the primary caretaker of cattle and therefore, a critical contributor to the quality and yield of milk. The Village Women Dairy Development Programme has been developed in the local language specifically designed for women dairy farmers and is imparted by an all-women training team from Nestlé. The aim is to empower village women engaged in dairy farming to improve the quality and productivity of milk. The training provides knowledge on the following topics:
- Dairy practices, including feeding and breeding practices
- Animal care and treatment
- Sustainable agricultural practices
- Personal health, hygiene, water conservation and economic independence
As of December 2018, over 70,400 village women have benefitted from the Village Women Dairy Development Programme.
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