Viacom18 is setting new benchmarks in human resource policies with the launch of a brand new women-centric initiative titled WAVE — Women at Viacom18.
WAVE is a women-friendly work-linked benefits programme, which includes an increase in the paid maternity leave to 36 weeks or nine months. It also provides additional benefits for new and expectant mothers in Viacom18 along with various initiatives focussing on the overall safety, wellness and career development of women employees in the company. WAVE aims to cultivate a culture of encouraging women to grow as professionals and take on more leadership roles.
Speaking about the programme and its significance to the organisation, Sudhanshu Vats, group CEO of the organisation said, “Viacom18 prides itself in being a thought leader on several counts. The magic we create across screens is made possible only by the tireless efforts of a team of exemplary professionals. I have always believed that our people are our strongest competitive advantage. With WAVE – Women at Viacom18 – we seek to address the importance of gender diversity in a modern-day organisation.”
“At 38 per cent, the representation of women in our organisation is already above the national average. That said, we have new benchmarks to set as we progress in our journey to becoming India’s most admired media and entertainment company. WAVE is one such step in this direction. The first phase of WAVE is internally focussed and aimed at institutionalising gender diversity, sensitising our workforce and building equity over equality, for our women employees. Once we have achieved these goals, WAVE will transform into a larger platform and even surpass Viacom18’s walls,” he added.
Elaborating upon the initiatives under WAVE, Abhinav Chopra, chief human resource officer, Viacom18 shared that the programme is the result of intense research and a number of extensive conversations with employees, to understand their pressing needs. Based on the response, the company identified focus areas, which often tend to be the biggest concerns for most working women. Addressing each of these concerns, several initiatives were introduced – from providing night transport and a 36-week maternity leave programme to flexible working options for 12 weeks post maternity leave.
The company is also working towards creating a culture of safety by providing them transportation in case they’re working late. Under the pillar of Wellness, the company will be organising healthcare camps for women in the workplace in addition to existing benefits, which include doctor visits at the office, therapists to help with their emotional wellbeing and annual health check-ups. Supporting women indirectly and encouraging male colleagues as well, the company has also announced 30 days of paternity leave, which in most other companies ranges from five days to two weeks.