South Asia WePOWER Network

Discussion » WePOWER E-Discussion QUESTION 3 (May 20, 2021)

WePOWER E-Discussion QUESTION 3 (May 20, 2021)

Theme 2: Building Resilience


Institutional and Policy Responses to COVID-19: Please share with us some of your organization’s response and recovery plans and efforts to support women professionals and essential workers.

Please post your comments below.

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    (on behalf of Mr. Taqi)

    It is no doubt that COVID-19 has unprecedented impact on women professionals According to research, many women were forced to leave their jobs due to domestic responsibilities and a lack of child care options. However, due to flexible policies, WAPDA has maintained remarkable workforce retention, with not a single case identified where a female employee had to leave a job during the COVID crisis. Not only that, we have not halted the recruitment process during these difficult times. We are pleased to announce that WAPDA has hired ­­­­­25 female officers and 33 female officials in the year 2020.  

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    Hi everyone, this is Kiran Gupta from Tata Power- India.

    COVID-19 has been a never expected and quite challenging experience for entire humanity and each one of us has taken learnings from this pandemic at both personal as well as professional levels. Since the situation demanded all people to get locked down fpr differnet intervals and the governement was also quite strict on same, it icreased lot of domestic work and additionla responsibilties. In India too, broadly females have to take larger share of domestic work and overall responsibility including education of children from home.

    Yes, there have been concerns and difficulties to cater to office work with home responsibilities for working women but the organisations and family have been flexible and supportive enough and we coudl successfully deliver on all fronts. In our comapny not even a single female employee had to leave the job due to COVID. Several policy changes were adopted for the female employees after detailed discussion with female officers to understand issues due to COVID and enable policy changes as below,

    1. Flexible working hours in discussion with reporting officer.
    2. 1 hour lunch time and avoiding meeitngs during lunch hours, being vigilant on the timings.
    3. start of meditation and yoga programs to provide stress relief to the female employees.
    4. sharing of regular health tips and cOVID related precautionary measures for the family.
    5. medical consultation from Cheif Medical Officer in case of any requirement.
    6. Education and engagement programs for the children and alongwith grandparents to make them understand the importance of female employee's work at office.
    7. Encouraging work sharing amongst teams and groups to ensure continuity of work in case of any urgency with female employee.
    8. Open Connect with senoirs/Heads for female employees to share their issues OR requirements , if any specific to CVOID also.
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    DGPC started off with drawing a contingency plans for our power plants. The contingency plan included the man power ready to be deployed to the affected power plants from head office as well from the other plants, the man power list excluded execting mothers and mothers with kids below 2 year old. Rest of the employee at the head office to work from home and all relevant officials were facilitated with free mobile data from the company to ensure service continuity. Meetings involving people from outside the station were conducted over video conferencing and during the meeting all safety protocols were followed including social distancing arrangements. I myself was an expectant mother during the the start of the pandemic as well during 1st nation-wide lockdown and I had the liberty to work on flexible hours. 
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  • I work in Ceylon Electricity board the only utility to provide Electricity to the whole country, so it is under essential services and all tecnical employees are allowed to move under any closedown situation. actually no serious gender issues in power sector as well as health, Water supplies and most  private sector organizations even no severe issue to women. In CEB pregnant female emplyees are now benefitted to stay home and work from home with online facilities  is allowed.

    Most are provided with transport facilities to report for duty and lesser workig hours and got a relief with full paid salary. 

    Organizations are arranging vaccination programme for all prioritaization for Technical staff.

    So I understand it is a blessing for them to spend more time with family if blackside of pandamic is disregarded. However irradicating the virus from the world is more important and each individual is responsible and contribution from each is required. Stay home may minimize spreading virus to the society.

    all female and male students stay home and not expose to the society so stay safe.

    All heads of the branches are duty on call disregard of male or a female like health sector and defence staff.

    however from tonight upto 31st of May travel restriction is declared all over the country. 

    no solution for jobless  people and who loss their monthly /daily income for the last 14 months. so economy of the country is getting worser and no steps are taken to minimize their tears  and to find possible income paths.

    farmers are helpless due to travel restrictions and close down situation of some parts of the country.

    Lot of country men and women are helpless and tearfull faces coud be seen on Television. Job opprtunities are becoming lesser and lessr all over  the world I understand and all must contribute maximum to overcome the pandemic to live peacefully in this world. how to overcome this crisis is difficult to suggest as its becoming change and rapid new versions.  



  • From the starting of the Pandemic, Graameen Shakti took its employees’ health and safety matters as a priority and took all the necessary available steps has been taken.  In the light of our experience and learning we are tuning our policies to be more flexible to accept the uncertainties arises from ongoing Covid-19 situation. From the beginning of this pandemic, Grameen Shakti prepared SOP’s and provided logistics support to the employees’ to continue Home Office. As we spent more time in this new practices, some new challenges raised. Efficiency of work and productivity was also hampered. But as time went by, individually the employees adjusted in a more effective way and organization also restructured the policies/SOP’s accordingly, which improved the overall productivity significantly. Some of the specific measures are as follows:

    1. Initially Grameen Shakti ensured movement safety measures for the jobs that required physical interactions and as the lockdown was lifted Grameen Shakti introduced partial physical office where employees need to present in the office physically by rotation and continues home office for the remaining days, ensuring required health safety. At the time of rotation period women employees enjoyed the flexibility of swapping their physical office day’s with home office days or with other colleagues.
    2. IT intervention has been increased, from advisory level to direct remote access and intervention to individual’s PC/Laptop to provide the support to get the job done.
    3. Grameen Shakti is also revising its HR policies to make the more conducive and women friendly.

    We feel that with all the above measures, that have been attended and under continuous and on-going development, we have developed a resilient eco system around us to face the adverse situations.