Rakesh is the Board sponsor for RB’s DARE programme, which was launched in 2015 and is focussed on Developing, Attracting, Retaining and Engaging talented women at RB. Their ambition is to double the number of women in senior management positions, a key strategic objective for him and his management team. In 2017, 24% of their senior managers were female, up from 20% in 2016. A series of DARE initiatives are already contributing to this change and include an RB Parental leave policy, a ‘Working From Home’ policy, and also a ‘Stay In Touch’ policy, so that mums can keep in touch with the company during maternity should they wish. 400+ mothers joined RB’s Maternity Webinars in 2017, a support network which was Rakesh’s original idea. He has sponsored a mentoring program, and champions Lean-In circles for women, where they can share and grow together. This year he is launching the ‘HE Dares, SHE Dares’ RB initiative, which encourages RB males to be allies for their female colleagues and champion women’s development.
Rakesh successfully sponsored the launch of Project DARE (Developing, Attracting, Retaining and Engaging talented women @ RB) to implement a more systematic approach to ensure the number of women at middle management and senior levels more closely mirrored the population of women across the business. He has introduced extended parental leave and working from home policies to allow for flexible lifestyles, and a ‘stay in touch’ programme, whereby employees who go on maternity leave can stay in touch with the company. For parents to be, he promoted webinars before and after maternity leave, to help with balancing a family and a job. In addition, he has sponsored a mentoring program, to allow talented women in the organisation to have a mentor to support and sponsor them. He also promoted fair gender representation for external hires, so that there is mandated diversity in candidate lists. As a father of a girl, Rakesh is very committed to tackling unconscious bias and championing women in and outside of the workplace, and has set a company target to double the number of talented women at RB by 2020.