FMCG company Godrej Consumer Products Ltd is building diversity in operations, promoting inclusivity through affirmative stances on gender and LGBT+ rights and hiring from different backgrounds and skills, the company said in its annual report.
This would not only provide "equality and inclusion", which is in the DNA of the company but also provide an "excellent business sense", said GCPL Chairperson and Managing Director Nisaba Godrej.
She suggested a "concerted shift" into the hiring process, while expressing her concerns over decreasing participation rates of women in the workforce.
"In India and at Godrej, we grapple with already low and decreasing participation rates of women in the workforce," Godrej wrote in her address to shareholders in the Annual Report for 2020-21.
Studies are now showing this "worryingly slide" even lower following the impact of pandemic.
"We are becoming more inclusive for our LGBT+ colleagues, but I would like us to make a more concerted shift by translating our advocacy efforts into hiring," Godrej added.
Godrej was founded in India's freedom movement by standing for equal rights and an independent India, she noted.
"Over a century after, we must stand for freedom again, this time for equality and inclusion, not just because it is in our DNA and the right thing to do, but also because it continues to make 'excellent business sense'," Godrej explained.
As a global conglomerate serving over a billion consumers, GCPL simply cannot afford 'to not have a team and ecosystem that reflects the diversity of our consumers and communities.
"Companies like ours can make real change possible. We have the resources and reach, and we need to use them," said Godrej, adding that "we continue to build diversity into our 'operations in different ways, through businesses in new geographies, inclusive "stances on gender and LGBT+ rights, and hiring from different backgrounds and skills."
She further said, "While we have made some progress, there is lots more to do."
GCPL has the highest number of women board members of any listed company in India and has improved women representation to 45.25 per cent, but this is not at the equal representation it aims for, she said further.
GCPL, part of over 124-years old Godrej group, is building its presence in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa and Latin America across three categories of home care, personal care and hair care. It ranks among the largest household insecticide and hair care players in the emerging markets.
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