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Women-Only Employee Benefits

CASE FLYER, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
ET Cases, 5 pages
AUTHOR(S) : Vandana Jayakumar and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Case Preview

Women-Only Employee Benefits

 

Expected Learning Outcomes

• To examine the prevalence and extent of pay differences based on gender in India
• The new age but questionable HR practices such as egg-freezing and the arguments in favor of and against such practices
• Identifying the women-exclusive HR benefits that can help women break the glass ceiling and rise in their careers instead of making it difficult for them to break the glass ceiling

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I. Pay Differences

1. Do you agree that there are gender-based pay differences in India? If yes, can you rank the following industries (rank 1 for highest differences and rank 15 for the least differences) based on the pay differences (Exhibit I):...................

2. Why do you think pay differences are the highest in some industries and less in others? Justify your opinion with relevant reasons.

3. In the above list of industries, many companies are headed by women [Chanda Kochhar (ICICI), Shikha Sharma (Axis Bank), Renu Sud Karnad (HDFC), Naina Lal Kidwai (HSBC), Chitra Ramakrishnan (NSE), Shobhana Bhartiya (Hindustan Times Group), Arundhati Bhattacharya (State Bank of India), Kiran Majumdar-Shaw (Biocon Ltd.), Mallika Srinivasan (TAFE), Pritha Reddy (Apollo Hospitals), Kalpana Morparia (JP Morgan) Kirthiga Reddy (Facebook India)], yet you find pay differences even in such companies? Elucidate.

4. ..............

II. New Age HR Benefits

1. What do you mean by employee benefits? Would you appreciate it being a part of your pay package or over and above your pay package?

2. Should employee benefits/perks be based on gender, or should they be based on certain other professional criteria?

3. .............

III. Women-Exclusive HR Practices and the Glass Ceiling

1. By doling out perks/benefits exclusively for women, are the women employees made to feel like second-class citizens?

2. The author of the base article comments, “Why is it that companies don’t realise that instead of helping shatter the glass ceiling, these decidedly sexist initiatives are pulling an impenetrable hymen sheath over the corporate endeavours of women?” Do you agree with this? What can be done to redeem and restore the pride of women employees?

3..............


Exhibits

Exhibit I: Ranking of Industries Centred on Gender-based Pay Differences

Teaching Note Preview

Women-Only Employee Benefits

 

Synopsis

This Case Flyer enables an interesting debate on some of the new-age HR benefits that are exclusively meant for women. While some feel that such benefits help women have a level playing field to progress in their careers, several others opine that such practices single them out and impede their attempts of breaking the glass ceiling. This Case Flyer throws light on some of the women-exclusive HR benefits, focusing on one of the latest perks/benefits doled out for women – ‘egg-freezing’. Do such initiatives insult the women rather than enabling them? Suitable for understanding the concept of family-friendly (work-life) benefits in organizations, this Case Flyer questions the suitability of gender-based employee benefits.

Before the Case Flyer Discussion in the Classroom

The participants were asked to read the chapter and the articles given as mandatory readings at the end of the Case Flyer to enable them to participate effectively and to enrich the learning outcomes.

Positioning and Setting

The Case Flyer can be used to teach the concept of ‘Employee Benefits and Services’ in the ‘Compensation’ module of any Human Resource Management course.

Suggested Orchestration

During the Case Flyer Discussion in the Classroom

The discussion on the Case Flyer was conducted under three broad related topics [Exhibit (TN)-I]. The classroom analysis of the Case Flyer was carried out by discussing each of the questions of the Case Flyer. However, for each of the three sections, the discussion hovered around an ‘anchor point of discussion’......

Case Analysis

I. Pay Differences

1. Do you agree that there are gender-based pay differences in India? If yes, can you rank the following industries (rank 1 for highest differences and rank 15 for the least differences) based on the pay differences?

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• Case analysis began with a discussion to facilitate ranking the industries listed in Exhibit I of the Case Flyer. The participants referred to the factors such as the criteria for deciding remuneration in various industries, the prevalent pay rates in these industries, etc., to rank the industries. After the discussion, the class arrived at a ranking for various industries [Exhibit (TN)-II].

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2. Why do you think pay differences are the highest in some industries and less in others? Justify your opinion with relevant reasons.

• The discussion began by referring to some of the statistics related to gender-based pay differences mentioned in one of the articles cited as mandatory reading. The article titled “Microsoft’s Nadella sets off furore on women’s pay” indicates that women computer scientists earn 89% of what men computer scientists earn, women in finance earn 66% of the salary that men in finance earn and women in medicine earn 71% salary of what their male counterparts earn.

• Having discussed the extent of gender-based pay differences [Exhibit (TN)-II], the participants then debated on the various reasons behind disparate gender-based pay differences across industries. Some of the participants opined that the gender-based pay differences varied across industries as compensation was based on the type of job involved and certain industries were not feasible for women employees.

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Exhibits

Exhibit (TN)-I: Discussion Dashboard

Exhibit (TN)-II: Ranking of Industries Centred on Gender-based Pay Differences

Exhibit (TN)-III: Pay-differences vs Entry Criteria

Exhibit (TN)-IV: Relationship between Gender-Based Pay Differences and Cultural Dimension

Exhibit (TN)-V: Continuum of Type of Jobs for Women

Exhibit (TN)-VI: Gender-based Categorization of Jobs

Exhibit (TN)-VII: Benefits vs the Pay Package

Exhibit (TN)-VIII: Choice of HR Benefits

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Product code: HRM-4-0004, HRM-4-0004A

Abstract


This case flyer and the base article1can be used for understanding the concept of designing HR practices exclusively meant for women employees/executives. Do women employees get relegated to being second-class citizens in such instances? One of the recent yet questionable practices has been the 'egg-freezing' perk doled out by two of the silicon valley-based companies - Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc., to their women employees. While many may opine that the only way to break the glass ceiling is to encourage women to pursue sustainable and equal-footed careers and dole out several exclusive perks in the process, several others question whether treating them separately would only accentuate the glass ceiling effect rather than abating it.



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To examine the prevalence and extent of pay differences based on gender in India
  • To discuss and debate on some of the new age ('questionable') HR practices for women executives, especially in the light of the 'egg-freezing' perk offered by a few silicon valley-based companies
  • To discuss on the practice of doling out a few exclusive perks to women employees and debate on whether the same can tantamount to unwarranted differential treatment that might accentuate the proverbial glass ceiling barrier than abating it?

Positioning and Setting

The Case Flyer can be used to teach the concept of 'Employee Benefits and Servicees' in the 'Compensation' module of any Human Resource Management course..




This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Flyer
- Analysis
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