Pink is not a strategy,” said Rashmi Mohan at WE Rock – Flipkart’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) event held earlier this month. Speaking out against stereotyping in popular culture, Rashmi, who is a well-known advocate for women-oriented reforms in corporate environments across India, was the guest speaker at the gathering, talking about the events that led her to realize the prevailing perception of working women, and widespread stereotyping of the job roles offered to them.
Nandita Sinha, Senior Director – Flipkart Furniture and Home, who took the stage after Rashmi, emphasized the importance of aspiring towards excellence rather than perfection, highlighting that perfection can be demoralizing, but excellence is rewarding.
Diversity is on the agenda at Flipkart
Over two decades (until 2012), the percentage of working women went through a steady decline, from 47% to 37%. While the percentage of unmarried working women increased to 50%, the percentage of married women at the workplace has remained largely stagnant — about 20%.
At Flipkart, the narrative is changing, as India’s e-commerce unicorn is making impressive strides towards a more inclusive workplace, in terms of diversity. Workplace Equality (WE) instituted on International Women’s Day 2018, is Flipkart’s official D&I charter. The Women’s Day event also featured a talk by former Olympian Nisha Millet, Monomita Roy, Director – Fintech at Flipkart, and a stand-up comedy routine performance by Anuradha “Lola Kutty” Menon. The success of the event, however, was captured by the women at Flipkart, who showed up in force to underscore their commitment to the charter.
And the commitment only seems to have strengthened in the months since, as was evident in the massive turnout for the WE event this month. Speaking to the room packed with Flipkart’s women employees, Flipkart Vice President Ravi Garikipati set the tone for the evening with his insights on what companies need to do in order to embrace equality and make their workforce feel included.
“The best place to start talking about equality is home, where I am the minority,” said Ravi, referring to the three women in his life, his wife and his two daughters. He also outlined the various projects under the charter, geared towards bringing in equality at the workplace. These projects cover various focus areas such as policy changes, hiring, and making Flipkart’s already progressive culture more inclusive, among others.
The event ended on a high note, with WE’s chief sponsor Ratna Singh closing the event, opening up the floor for some music and dance, long into the evening.