EEMA's initiative 'We Care' focuses at gender equality at the workplace
Concluded recently in Mumbai, the EEMAX Global Conclave and Awards was graced by industry stalwarts wherein EEMA (Event and Entertainment Management Association) launched a structured and planned initiative that would work towards gender equality at the workplace, We Care.
EEMA is the industry’s apex body and is driving change across various aspects of the sunrise industry which is the fastest growing facet of the media and entertainment business. EEMA drives government engagement and is initiating measures for ease of doing business, single window licensing and industry-development programs.
EEMA’s leadership has envisioned the empowerment of women in the events industry by getting down to basics. The We Care initiative is being driven primarily with the objective to work towards changing the industry’s workplace culture, to make it more conducive for the women who comprise more than 40 per cent of the workforce.
The initiative was tabled during the Annual General Meeting, in the presence of the platinum members, heads of leading event and experiential agencies of the country. It received an overwhelming response and unanimous approval with members signing on a pledge to demonstrate their wholehearted support for it.
Sharing EEMA’s perspective, Sabbas Joseph, President-EEMA said, “The event industry is evolving. It is now a serious career option for new recruits. We need to encourage girls and women to join this industry by giving them a great workplace culture to thrive and grow without worries of their safety. And we need to sensitize agency owners and co employees to take care of them like their own.”
And added, “While the portfolio eventually would include multiple areas of knowledge, skills and leadership development, the focus in the first leg is on empowering women at different levels. With women today becoming an integral pat of the work force and holding key leadership positions across the industry, it becomes imperative that we ensure a safe environment for them to work in. However, in a predominantly male environment, the female employee is often overshadowed by the industry's alpha characteristics”.
Poonam Lal, Vice-president-Gender Equality, EEMA, leading on the initiative said, “The core campaign evolves from the thought of letting women know that issues that affect them, matter to the industry; that they and their well being matters, and that it is our responsibility to give them a safe, conducive environment to work in. We need to make the girls and women working here believe and know that WE CARE."
Sushma Gaikwad, Vice-president-West, EEMA, stated, "We care is about what we do and the responsibility we take as an industry for our human resources as well as for the talent pool of the future. We care is a mindset that stands for safe work enviorments, progressive thinking, gender equality and integrity. As the industry is burgeoning at a rapid pace, we care is certainly an initiative whose time has come."
Mandeep Singh, General Secretary, EEMA, said, "We Care is first of our initiatives where we put our employees first, specially our women colleagues. Their is no thought behind this initiative instead there is a concern and an emotion behind it, which emerges from the message that we care for your well being and we care for your safety and we want to act accordingly."
Under the WE CARE campaign, three key issues that found resonance among the respondents collated from a survey, would be addressed and tackled. These issues include SAFE, Security Arrangements for the Female Employees; SHH, Sexual Harassment Helpline and MOM, Mandatory Off For Moms.
SAFE proposes making it mandatory for agencies to give late night drop and early morning pick up facilities for the female employees. In fact certification of agencies on the safety standards they practice for their employees is also under consideration. Further, having gender specific toilet facilities with attendants at offices, workshops and warehouses is mandatory.
SHH proposes the creation of a committee with a minimum of one woman employee in it, to help resolve complaints of harassment at the workplace. Other steps include webinars and a helpline to educate, create awareness and to open lines of communication and counseling for employees and artistes.
MOM is being suggested to give working mothers the leeway to work from home once or twice in a month.
The logo design of “We Care” is a simple and straight message, using a mix of typo and graphic, to communicate EEMA's effort to reach out in empathy. "WE in the logo stands for women empowerment, it stands for women entrepreneurs and employees, and it also stands for all of us combined", says Poonam Lal.
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