Established in 2008, Sannam S4 works with the world’s leading corporates, globally ambitious small and medium-sized companies, education institutions, non-profit, trade bodies, and government agencies.
In the last 13 years, the company has served more than 350 international clients to explore, enter, and expand into a range of dynamic markets. The company has seen a rapid growth of more than 20% year on year and so has the workforce strength of the company. Since 2015, the manpower has multiplied by almost 4 times, comprising a blend of national and international professionals, to support key roles in the business. The heartbeat of the business is in India.
Women At Work In India
In India, during the last two decades, the economy has experienced strong growth with rising wages and educational attainment by women as well as men.
Women made up just 23 percent of India’s labor force in 2019, compared with a global average of 48 percent, according to The World Bank data. A large number of women in India drop out of the corporate workforce to raise children, care for elderly family members and other reasons. If they want to return to work after being away for years, they often face rejection from recruiters who look down on their gap years.
At Sannam S4, a majority of the women fall within the marriageable and child bearing age of 25-35 years. This stage in the life of women, being primary caregivers for children and elders in their families, brings in lots of challenges in their personal lives, which tend to have an impact on their professional lives. Many of them decide to either quit working or take a sabbatical for a few years.
Given these societal and situational compulsions, it becomes difficult to retain diversity in the talent pool. At Sannam S4, we continuously work towards overcoming this challenge. In recent years, at Sannam S4 we have been deliberate in taking many progressive steps and initiatives in building and maintaining gender diversity with an aim to attract and retain talented women.
Implementation of many new employee-friendly and progressive policies enabled Sannam S4 to build diversity with demonstrable results. We are proud of the fact that 60% of our workforce comprises women.
Key achievements are:
- Talent Acquisition: Attracting the best talent is one of the key focus areas and we at Sannam S4 are proud to attract the talented women workforce available in the market. We encourage the hiring of women who want to return back to the job post-maternity breaks or sabbaticals. The proportion of women among new Sannam S4 recruits in India has steadily increased from 35% in 2016 to 63% in the financial year 2020-21.
- Retention: The retention rate of women staff at Sannam S4 has crossed 85% in the last three years. We also have 90% of women choosing to return to work post maternity.
- Gender Diversity: At present the female: male ratio is 60:40. Women at senior leadership level have increased in the last four years from 15% to 57%.
- Employee Satisfaction: The results of the recently conducted Employee Engagement Survey (2019) was reflective of 79% of our staff members being highly engaged in the workplace. The employees feel that Sannam S4 provides a very safe and healthy environment.
“Sannam S4 has been committed to hiring and retaining a strong female workforce because we recognize the benefits of doing so which include creating a diversity of ideas within the business, the development of a blend of approaches to problem-solving and project management, to engender a social environment within the business that is balanced and frankly we benefit from recruiting from an exceptionally strong pool of female candidates which other companies in India may not be considering.” , Adrian Mutton, Founder & CEO
Key Initiative toward maintaining better balance
The above-mentioned achievements are a result of the focused effort put by the management team of Sannam S4 in consultation with employees. The management of the Sannam S4 completely believes that people come first and are always open to suggestions of making Sannam S4 an awesome place to work. With this openness and focused approach, many decisions are taken in the interest of people, businesses, and society. To share, few of the initiatives in direction of maintaining better balance, we have categorised them broadly under 3 focus areas: Focus on attracting and retaining Mothers, providing health and safety to all colleagues, and lastly providing equal opportunity to all.
Key HC Initiatives Focussed On Mothers
- In April 2017, a couple of months before the amendment of the Maternity Act 1961 by the government, Sannam S4 had already made an extension to the paid maternity leave benefit from 3 months to 4 months.
- In June 2016, adoption leave of 8 weeks was introduced for all women going for adoption.
- In April 2017, twelve weeks of maternity leave was increased to twenty-six weeks for commissioning mothers.
- In November 2018, adoption leave was increased to 26 weeks.
- In 2019, work from home policy and flexible timing policy was introduced and implemented to largely cater to the needs of expectant and new mothers, so that they are able to balance both their professional and personal commitments, with élan.
- In 2019, the Lactation room/Infirmary room was built to provide a private space for nursing mothers.
Healthy And Safe Environment
- Sannam S4’s Health and Safety Policy and Guidelines for India were rolled out in December 2017 to encourage the active participation of everyone at Sannam S4 in the prevention of accidents and the promotion of health and safety in the workplace.
- Employees are covered under the Group Accidental Insurance Policy to ensure monetary support.
- Facility for booking cabs through registered vendors is provided to ensure the safety of the staff travelling or working during early or late hours of the day.
- Regular awareness sessions on POSH are conducted. During Onboarding, orientation on POSH is conducted to ensure that everyone is aware that Sannam S4 has a ‘Zero Tolerance Approach’ towards sexual harassment.
- The Internal Committee has been formed in accordance with the guidelines of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition, and Redressal) Act, 2013. In the last 5 years, there has been no case of sexual harassment.
Equal Opportunity And Growth
- Sannam S4 believes and is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to creating a diverse working environment by providing equal employment opportunities for all qualified persons.
- The hiring process is clearly defined and selection is purely based on merit rather than any biases based on gender.
- Learning and Development opportunities are provided to all employees and career growth completely depends on the individual’s skillsets, merit, and performance.
“We hire, trust and give equal opportunities to female staff, as we understand that women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. We strongly believe they bring in innovative ideas, problem-solving skills, determination and a collaborative approach fueled by emotional intelligence and intuition.”
By Ravneet Bassi, Head of Human Capital – APAC