Huw Thomas, Managing Director of PMC, talks about the WAY initiative.
At PMC we have created an environment where there are equal opportunities for all of our employees and discrimination of any kind is not tolerated. We have established a fabulous business over the past 15 years that has a strong brand, delivers excellent service to our Retail customer and has grown to over 250 staff split across our locations in Abingdon, Oxfordshire - England and Vadodara, Gujarat - India.
We run our Indian facility as an extension of the UK operation on the basis of one business, two locations. The fact that they are 4,700 miles apart and with a 4.5 hour time difference makes the process of managing an integrated business more challenging. However, over the years we have learned to run as a single operation very successfully.
In the UK we have a very healthy mix of female to male employees across the business with females in senior management positions, including at Operating Board level.
In India, we have been operating for 9 years and have grown the business from an initial 5 (male) employees to over 180 today.
Attracting and retaining female employees is part of our focus to ensure our workplace is representative of the community as a whole and supports our drive for equal opportunities for all. Our roles in India include many operational activities that are performed on a seven days a week, twenty four hours a day basis. Creating an environment that is supportive and safe for our female employees brings extra challenges on this basis.
Sadly there are still some elements in India that believe it is still acceptable to discriminate based on social status or sex. We do not accept any discrimination and instances are dealt with swiftly and relentlessly. One of our senior female employees in our Indian operation, Monali Dhavaskar, has been championing the cause to increase and support our female employee population. Monali started an initiative in 2011 called WAY – Women Around You. The initiative is targeted at promoting and supporting women in business. Back in 2011, we had 7 female employees and today that stands at 42, currently 25% of the Indian operation workforce, with a target over time to get closer to parity.
The WAY initiative seeks to provide safeguarding, equal opportunities and equal treatment for our female employees. In the short term we want to provide more inter-department transfer and promotion opportunities.
Indian universities are delivering great graduates and businesses that do not take the full opportunity of the new talent coming to the market are missing out significantly.
Longer term we would like to extend the WAY initiative to other IT employers in the city where we are based to see if we can really make a difference to the wider community.
- Huw Thomas, Managing Director, PMC