New Delhi: Stressing on the importance of harnessing talent of women workers, Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry has batted for the fairer gender taking up more leadership roles in the over USD 100 billion salt-to-software conglomerate.
In his first address to shareholders as the Chairman of Tata Global Beverages Ltd (TGBL), Mistry said women have been and continue to be an integral part of the company across the world.
"I look forward to seeing women in important roles and positions of leadership in the years ahead, as our company grows, prospers and transforms itself. I am also confident that this initiative will be increasingly embraced by other Tata companies in the years to come," he said in the annual report of TGBL for 2012-13.
Mistry, who took over as the Chairman of the group after Ratan Tata retired last year, lamented that when women are insufficiently represented in the workplace, "we lose out on 50 per cent of the talent pool".
"In an environment where human capital makes all the difference between success and failure, this is a massive loss," Mistry said.
Underlining the importance of the role played by women, he said: "Women bring rich and diverse perspectives to the workplace. Often, they bring management styles which are quite complementary to those of men. Workplaces that celebrate women naturally benefit from better decisions."
Mistry also talked about the need to support women workforce and need to retain talents. "It is true that many talented women drop out of the workforce in several countries including India, creating a porous pipeline of talent. Therefore, companies need to do much more to retain, develop and grow their women."
The Tata group already has quite a few women who are at different leadership positions. For instance, Avani Davda, CEO of Tata Starbucks Ltd, is the youngest CEO in the Tata Group under the TGBL umbrella.
Other women at top positions in the group include Kavery Nambisan, Chief Medical Officer of Tata Coffee Ltd; Margaret Campbell, Director of Plant Operations at Landrover Factory in US; Amy Holdsworth, Marketing Director, UK and Ireland Tata Global Beverages and Katy Tubb, Director, Tea Buying and Blending, TGBL.
Mistry said in order to promote gender diversity, the Tata Group had launched initiatives such as the Tata SCIP (Second Career Internship Programme) in 2008. The programme allows women professionals who have taken a long break in their working lives to re-enter the professional space.
"It provides opportunities for such women to undertake flexi-hour assignments, and thus builds a bridge back to the workplace," he said, adding "this is only a small beginning, and there is much more to be done".