This week, we’re talking to Capita employees about their views on International Women’s Day and this year’s theme of #BalanceforBetter.

Interview with Hemal Varma

Hemal, HR Associate Director at Capita India, has worked for Capita for nine years, and in her current role since 2016. Having held many senior roles in her career, we asked her thoughts about International Women’s Day and gender balance in the workplace.

Capita's Hemal Varma

Why is International Women’s Day important to you?

I believe every day is women’s day and should be celebrated. But, having a day set aside for this, creates an opportunity for everybody the world over to come together to acknowledge and recognise the social, economic, and cultural achievements of women. It’s been a long journey to get to where we are, and the special day allows us all to think over the milestones that have been achieved.

In your view, what are the most positive impacts to business of gender balance?

A balanced gender positive organisation culturally promotes diverse views and brings an emotional balance to the workplace. Varying views foster growth, and untapped potential gets unleashed, making an organisation more successful. In fact, there have been studies world-wide which reveal that organisations with gender balance have been able to achieve higher profits, maintaining a competitive edge.

Would we all not want to leverage the inherent strengths of each gender and create a work environment which is performance- and talent-driven?

International Women’s Day was first marked over 100 years ago. Why do you think the day is still relevant?

We might sometimes be wondering that if we are talking of equal opportunities, does it really make sense to have a day especially for women?

The journey to bring women to the forefront and appreciate their contribution has started…but has a long way to go.

Days like this make a difference, it once again reminds us of the role women play in every day life. IWD day globally commemorates the inspiring role of women around the world to secure their rights and build a more equitable society.

It is still relevant today… until all voices of women are heard!

What main change would you like to see for young girls in the next generation?

Young girls of the next generation are more educated, confident and have a mind of their own. Having said that, I would like to see them gain more ‘knowledge’, rather than simply focus on grades, and be defined more by their capabilities rather than their gender.

I would like them to have the freedom to choose who they want to be personally and professionally and hope they achieve a sense of balance in their choices.

My advice to them would be to take pride in making decisions, believe in themselves, make mistakes and stand up for it. Life is all about taking chances – take as many as you can and follow your dream!

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?

I have a few:

  • Don’t follow everything without questioning
  • Educate yourself
  • No expectations
  • Have no limits.

Finally, tell us a bit about your role here at Capita.

A study by Working Mother and AVTAR, named Capita India as one of the ‘Top 100 Best Companies for Women to work in India in 2017’

Capita India has over 8,500 employees spread across 5 sites at 3 locations – Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore. As head of HR, I’m responsible for functions like talent acquisition, learning & development, HR & payroll and internal communications. The team impacts the entire lifecycle of an employee – from onboarding to exit.

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