ICICI Bank has launched iWork@home an initiative that allows women employees to work from home for up to one year. Chanda Kochhar, MD & CEO, ICICI Bank explained that this could be extended for more than one year based on the requirements. This initiative allows female employees to have access to their required operating systems in a safe and secure manner, that creates a seamless office-like environment.
The technology platform for this programme has been developed in-house by ICICI Bank in partnership with students from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. Kochhar added that women in a particular lifestage that makes them quit the organisation will now be enabled to still work with the Bank by creating a work atmosphere and ecosystem at their homes as well. To ensure that data security and privacy is upheld, there will be a facial recognition technology used that scans the face to ascertain there is no intruder into the office system.
Women in all roles, except those in direct customer facing roles, would be eligible for this initiative based on their lifestage needs. These would include young mothers, expectant mothers, those suffering from medical conditions among others. Kochhar said that the aim was to give a stronger support system to manage the challenge.
Apart from this, the Bank has launched an initiative which aids women managers who travel on business, by covering the travel and stay of young children and their caregivers. This would ensure that when a young mother of a child up to three years of age travels for an official purpose on an overnight trip, the child is also allowed to travel with her.
Kochhar said that under iWork@home, in the pilot a total of 50 women have been made part of this system and they have received more than 100 requests for this. “Women who would have otherwise quit due to maternity, childcare or other reasons are now requesting for this option so that they can continue to work with the Bank from home and are also progressing at the same pace in the career as other colleagues,” she added.
The Bank, which has about 30 per cent women in its overall workforce, has also seen an increase in productivity where women have been enabled to work from home
This programme, which was launched few weeks back, employees are carrying out mutiple tasks which include checking documents for loan disbursement, image-based verification of cheques for clearance, processing of export-import documents for payments among others.
ICICI Bank has also introduced new benefits under its ‘Advantage Woman Savings Account’. These include unlimited free ATM usage at all banks, cash back subject to a maximum of Rs 750 per month on usage of debit card at departmental stores and also provides 30 per cent discount on first year locker rentals.