By Silky Rohilla

2020 has been full of challenges, learnings, and experiences. It also meant unlearning a lot of things that we have known for years & valuing what we have. One of the biggest learning has been “flexibility” & “adaptability” in all times and situations.

During the lockdown, in the absence of house help men did pitch in to share household chores but in a high number of Indian homes women were still the ones taking care of most of the domestic responsibilities along with managing work, increasing the chances of burn out.

At Hilton Garden Inn, Gurgaon Baani Square, we have always been a strong believer of gender equality and the pandemic only made us take a step further. Our management policies ensured gender equality with practices such as paternity / maternity leaves and flexi reporting time (back of the house departments) for both men and women even during pre-covid times.

Being employer of choice

The women ratio in hotels is still around only 20% of the total workforce but if we can become more flexible with the working hours / days we can definitely emerge as the employer of choice. The first step in ensuring that women continue with their career goals while also taking care of their household is to provide flexi working hours. This is not a new initiative at our hotel but has been made more customized and relaxed during and after pandemic helping women achieve better work-life balance.

The best example is of myself. I was granted work-from-home ever since the lockdown happened and being an expectant mother my General Manager – Mr. Jai Chugh ensured both me and my expected baby were away from any risks. Even post the completion of maternity leaves I have been given extended work from home opportunity.

In areas where female team members are not required to be physically present, work from home options have been made possible.

Another step towards gender equality is to have female team members working in all roles be it at the front desk, bell desk, kitchen and housekeeping without limiting and restricting the duties only to men.

Conducive work environment

Women continue to handle multiple roles at work and home and are definitely an asset to any organization. By making the environment more conducive for them to work and extending support in terms of work from home in roles which do not require daily physical presence and shift timings best suited to an individual has helped us achieve a healthy and happy women workforce.

Women accounted for 54% of overall job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic stagnating the progress of women at workforce and creating a setback of around 5 years as per the Harvard Business Review.

Our focus in 2021 is to help women get back to workforce who have either lost their jobs due to Covid or had to take a break from work to take care of the family.

Silky Rohilla is HR Manager at Hotel Hilton Garden Inn, Gurgaon, Baani Square, India