Gender Diversity Practices
Kashf’s diversity policies work at three levels: the individual, the organization and the environment, in order to create equal opportunities for men and women. By starting with the individual, a salient feature of the Kashf approach includes addressing life-cycle changes for both men and women; Kashf has introduced a initiative called, “not without my mother in law” started in January 2013, where prospective in laws of Kashf female staff members are provided orientation to the institution, while counseling is provided to staff on how to manage new demands that will emerge as they embark on a new phase in their lives. Additionally, Kashf is one of the first institutions in Pakistan to offer paternity leave to allow fathers down time with their newborns.
Paternity Leave Policy
Paternity Leave policy at Kashf Foundation enables male employees to take time off at the birth of a child to provide the deserved support to their spouses. It is a two weeks leave with full pay which shows the organization’s commitment to gender equity. 50 employees this year availed the Paternity Leave and were able to take on an active role in child-care.At the institutional level, to ensure equity in leadership positions, Kashf has a comprehensive gender responsive training program in order to pipeline staff for internal promotions specifically segregated by the leadership gaps of each gender: for females it is mostly about decision-making and negotiation, while for males it is focused on delegation and work-place management. Preventing the glass ceiling for women employees is another importance imperative which is reviewed annually through the compensation and performance management system in order to remove inherent assessment biases.
At the environmental level, one of the key constraints for women in the long run is access to transport. To address mobility constraints, Kashf started a female motor bike/scooty scheme in August 2016, by offering interest free loans to female staff; this is again a first, as it will encourage women to use a cheaper form of transport which is hitherto denied to them as it is not considered culturally appropriate. These are some of the initiatives Kashf is undertaking to create a gender inclusive workforce through the provision of equal opportunity to both women and men.
Women on Wheels
One of its most popular and new initiatives for women employees has been the Women On Wheels (WOW) facility launched this year for all female employees. The initiative entitles employees to an interest free loan facility to purchase a scooty for travelling to and from work. With this initiative Kashf wants to counter the challenges women face regarding mobility. A recent study has shown that 63% women feel unsafe on public transport in Pakistan. Kashf has been conducting motivational sessions with families of staff members as well. The initial response received by the initiative has been quiet encouraging with 15 employees availing scooty loans under the scheme. A clear goal has been established to ensure equal participation at all management positions within the institution.
To ensure this, specific succession planning and staff development plans have been put into place, for example currently Kashf Foundation has 41% of female area managers. As a result all future pipelining for this tier is for women. Furthermore, there are 19 pipelined female Area Managers, who have been selected in consultation with different tiers. There is a complete buy in at all levels to ensure equal participation of women and men across all management tiers.
The success of Kashf’s diversity policies is measured through the following metrics
- Gender ratio (across tiers)
- Retention (segregated by gender)
- Percentage of employees reporting to a female boss
- Promotions by gender
- Overall annual assessment levels
- Climate survey outcomes segregated by gender
- Staff exit data segregated by gender
- Number of staff that have taken paternity leave
- Number of telephone calls made for counseling every month.
Kashf also takes out a 6 monthly socially performance dashboard which has a key section on gender diversity which begins at the board level and transcends downwards.
Kashf Foundation ensures impartiality in every aspect of its operations. Recruitment, promotions, training, concessions, delegation of responsibilities and authority and reward systems are based on principles of equity and fairness. Kashf sets a brilliant example for all and is a pioneer in formulating non-discriminatory policies and practices.
Kashf Day Care Facility
Kashf Day Care facilitates mothers to better manage their work-life balance. The facility aims to reduce attrition and increase employee retention. Day Care centers have been set up in 6 branches in Sahiwal, Sargodha, Kasur, Lahore, Mianwali, and Karachi areas.