Forbes India – Focus On Bringing Women To The Fore: Vedanta’s Madhu Srivastava

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Sunil Duggal, Group CEO and Whole Time Director; (right) Madhu Srivastava, Group CHRO
Image: Amit Verma

● There’s a special jury recognition for Vedanta in the kincentric best employers study for its outstanding DNI efforts

Delhi-headquartered Vedanta Group’s diversity initiatives have earned it a special mention. The mining conglomerate is one of the few companies in the manufacturing sector that has set a target of attaining a gender diversity of 30 percent women in key executive roles by 2030.

Vedanta has been in business for 42 years and employs 74,833 people across its different verticals. At present, the workforce comprises 15 percent women, and about 14 percent are in managerial roles, according to an audit by Kincentric.

In an interaction with Forbes India, the management detailed a three-pronged strategy to improve the scope of participation of a higher number of women in the workforce. First, the company is targeting to hire at least 50 percent women, up from 37 percent in 2021, during campus placements. Second, in case of lateral hiring, the company says higher preference is given to women for similar level of skillsets. Third, the management outlined initiatives undertaken to mentor women for senior roles.

Explaining industry dynamics, Sunil Duggal, CEO, Vedanta rates service quality and operational efficiency as critical factors for sustainable and rapid business growth in face of top challenges like changes in government policy and the global business cycle.

Succession planning is also a focus area for Vedanta. Kincentric notes in its study: The organisation has taken steps to groom employees across its verticals for leadership positions. In fact, ‘Leaders from within’, is a stated management philosophy and the company says it conducts regular workshops to fast-track career growth.
 
Madhu Srivastava, CHRO, Vedanta says these workshops are in line with the long-term priorities of securing top-notch management capabilities, and also enabling women to take on senior leadership roles. “We are targeting 40 percent gender diversity in leadership roles (by 2030),” she says.

Overall, Srivastava says the company plans to be among the best-in-class organisations with 20 percent gender diversity across the company.  

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(This story appears in the 11 March, 2022 issue of Forbes India. To visit our Archives, click here.)

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