Preeti D’mello is the Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and the LeaD Academy at TCS. She is an Organizational Psychologist, a Leadership Coach, and an expert in Positive Organizational Development and Change.
Preeti has inspired the motto, “Inclusion without Exception” at TCS and is responsible for the ongoing systemic transformation in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion ecosystem at TCS. Her role previous to TCS was as the Head of Pearson Learning Solutions and Edexcel for southeast Asia.
Preeti is the founder of Conscious Development & the Gestalt Institute of Asia, where she now plays an advisory role. She is currently the Chair for Gender Diversity at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) Diversity Taskforce, along with leading the Greater 50 Gender Initiative with the Ministry of Women & Child Development.
Q- TCS has now more than 200,000 women which are 36% of its total workforce, and recently the company has been included in 2022 Bloomberg GEI. How did you do it?
TCS recognizes that a diverse and inclusive workforce is necessary to drive innovation, foster creativity, and guide business strategies. Shifting the gender dial has always been our priority.
This year we reached a significant milestone to become one of the few organisations in the world employing over 200,000 women. Our focus has been to enable better representation of women through sustained interventions at every level. This stems from the fact that requirements of women associates differ at every life stage and we have worked hard to provide for that.
Bespoke offerings are curated in-house to offer support to every woman associate at each juncture of the employee life cycle. This includes maintaining clear and current succession plans, having customized leadership programs that provide global skills and experiences. We also provide women with access to career development programs through Mentoring and Coaching.
We applied for the 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the first time and were included as members. This membership reflects our commitment towards ensuring equal opportunity, diversity in the workplace, and focus on human development. We are very proud of our inclusion in this, as it reinforces our continued commitment to promote Gender Parity, Equity, and Equality.
Q- What are recent initiatives taken by the company to develop convivial culture?
We are a value-driven multi-dimensional organization and believe in creating an equitable work environment for all. The intent is to inspire, retain and engage a workforce of almost half a million employees across 7 geographies and 46 countries.
Organizational culture is an important part of this where we need to not only understand multiple cultures but also know how to interact effectively with associates from different cultures. Our aim for cultural competence includes broadening the multicultural mindset to communicate and collaborate across cultural boundaries. Some of our initiatives to promote a convivial culture include:
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or affinity groups – these are voluntary, employee-led groups that come together based on shared diversity identity characteristics or interest.
TCS has several global ERGs that serve as voluntary platforms for underrepresented communities and their allies serving as cultural change agents that promote an environment of inclusivity.
These also serve as an avenue where members can share concerns, experiences, stories, and strategic solutions. Currently, we have 7 of these-
Project Synthesis, a large-scale initiative was launched in 2020, with a multi-culturistic approach to teams, clients, and strategy. It helped people managers to build a deeper understanding of inner diversity and engage with diversity of the collective community.
The unique design held a comprehensive curriculum, delivered by thought leaders and global faculty over 10 weeks. Project Synthesis 2.0 was launched in November 2021 and is currently ongoing with over 6000 registrations across the globe.
The Champions of Equity campaign was launched towards creating a fair and inclusive culture at the workplace. A Champion of Equity is someone who treats everyone with fairness and transparency and holds a strength-based approach towards every individual, culture, and system.
Employees were encouraged to take virtual pledges with TCS’ CEO & MD taking the first pledge.
Our Education and Sensitization initiatives ensurethat associates gain a deeper understanding of the concepts of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We have a unique program towards understanding specifics of diverse identity segments that includes real-life examples, nomenclature to be used as well as case studies
Q- How do you develop the right ecosystem for LGBT and specially-abled people to learn, grow and lead?
Workplace diversity encompasses distinctive identities and qualities that every individual brings to the team and we believe in creating an open, supportive, and inclusive environment for all our employees. Our diverse identity segments stand on five pillars of thought.
Representation that focuses on hiring persons from under-represented diversity identity segments; Enablement that focuses on Policy and Infrastructure; Eco-system that focuses on building a culture of inclusion through awareness and sensitization initiatives; Engagement that focuses on building employee resource groups for community connects; Development that focuses on skill and capability building for the community.
Q- What is your recruitment policy when it comes to prompting DE&I at the workplace and reducing bias?
We are an equal opportunity employer and increase our outreach to our diverse talent pool including focused campus hires, job fairs and bring your buddy and NGO connects.
Q- How do you see the future of DE&I in phygital work model?
The future of work is here and it is driving unpredictable change for organizations and individuals. There is indeed a convergence of the physical world with the digital world. Technology has become integral to how we as individuals both work and live. Technological platforms will need to be built on intelligent, agile, and on the cloud and that will drive this transition.
This calls for connectedness and collaboration across ecosystems with people at the core of this transformation. The shared thread here is to move towards a more inclusive world- the one that thrives on harnessing diversity and celebrating differences.
The keyword here is ‘and’ – bring diverse, complementary, and often contradictory-looking elements together to make practices sustainable. Businesses should retort effectually to this shift by embracing an agile and dexterous way of working. We will need to embrace alterations at the workplace to bring together all the elements that impact people on the job.
Q- Any concluding remarks?
As an organisation, we believe in creating a resilient and thriving culture by embracing human values. Our focus now is on building capacity for emotional intelligence, embodying self-awareness, compassion, and sensitivity, demonstrating awareness of personal impact and accountability through actions that help leaders navigate the innate tension between relationality and goal orientation.
At TCS, our endeavour is to provide an ecosystem that empowers women across levels and enables them to realize their true potential. Accelerating Gender Intelligence is key to building this ecosystem in an effective and sustainable manner.
Thank You, Preeti!