New Delhi [India], Sep 2 : India's leading online fashion destination Jabong has announced introduction of 6 months of maternity leave for its women employees.
The initiative comes as a part of the etailer's endeavor to enable a conducive working environment for young expectant mothers at Jabong and also reinforce its brand promise to represent the needs of its women customers.
The move comes ahead of the Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill expected to be tabled in the Lok Sabha in the upcoming winter session.
The Bill will impact an estimated 1.8 million women working in India's organized sector, and is expected to encourage many more to join the corporate sector.
"Women represent 30 percent of Jabong's workforce and 60 percent of our revenue. We believe that making our culture more inclusive is an economic imperative for the success of our organization and the country.
Known for its 'Be You' philosophy, Jabong has always aspired to be an opinion leader, and our leadership team decided that we should proactively adopt a longer maternity leave for our women colleagues, and address a genuine concern for them," said CHRO Jabong, Deepa Chadha.
A recent study undertaken by Jody Heymann, founding director of the World Policy Analysis Center, suggests that women who don't receive paid maternity leave, are more likely to drop out of the workforce, therefore losing income for themselves and their families.
The number of women drops sharply in the corporate hierarchy from 25 percent at entry level positions to 16 percent at middle management and only four percent at senior management level.
Inability to provide an enabling work environment for young mothers is undoubtedly one of the major root causes.
Countries can either work with half of their workforce or compete with their full workforce, which requires paid maternity leave.
"I fully agree with UN Women representative Rebecca Reichmann Tavares that having a more generous maternity leave and flexible timing arrangement will not just be an economic investment but also a measure to ensure social justice.
McKinsey estimates India's women to constitute only 24 percent of the paid labor force compared to the global average of 40 percent.
The corporate world must find innovative means to encourage women to join the workforce and contribute to the nation's progress," added Deepa Chadha.
Jabong already runs several women-friendly programs such as 'SHE', which offers an in-house creche, flexi-timings, work from home and so on.
In line with its philosophy of 'Be You', Jabong provides its women employees the freedom to be what they want to be, and to speak their mind.