If there’s anything that stands true now more than ever, it is that inclusive workspaces are the need of the hour. With women’s participation in the formal workforce at less than 30%, there is a dire need for organisations to delve into the root causes of what keeps women out of the workforce.
In August, Zomato took one step in that direction.
On August 8th, Zomato CEO and founder, Deepinder Goyal announced that all of the organisation’s menstruating employees are eligible for a period leave on days when menstruation makes it difficult to work. Women and transgender persons were eligible, with 10 extra paid leaves a year.
Zomato’s period leave policy announcement resulted in a 3-fold increase in women’s applications
Today, Deepinder Goyal took to Twitter today to announce that since the policy was officially rolled out, Zomato’s inbound job application rates have tripled, and all the applicants have been women.
“For Zomato, it’s the 3X number that is important. We are indifferent to whether the increase comes from men or women. We now have way more talent coming our way,” he tweeted.
“Men and women are biologically different – they cannot be identical to each other. However, at least at Zomato, both are equal in value delivered towards the company. #EqualNotIdentical,” he concluded.
The August 8 announcement sparked a major debate on social media, with many men (and some women) against the idea for several reasons – while some stressed on the claim that this wasn’t ‘true’ equality, some stated that period leaves only painted women as weak. Others went with the age-old argument of women ‘misusing’ the leaves and availing them to do other things or just to take a break.
But as the numbers suggest, allowing women extra paid leaves for conditions they have no control over does not make them lazy or incompetent; in fact, it does the opposite.
Corporate policies, in general, are made without women in mind. Long work hours, abysmal childcare facilities, and the general lack of a work-life balance are just a few of the many problems that discourage women from joining the workforce. To add to that, the double burden of childcare and unpaid labour also falls on women, making them a liability in the eyes of employers.
Zomato’s period leave policy is a breath of fresh air in the corporate sector for this very reason. It encourages more women to be a part of the workforce and carves a space for them and their biological differences.
Here’s hoping more organisations take note and do their bit in making workspaces more inclusive!
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