Molecular Connections, a leading global data science company, has recruited over 200 women scientists since the outbreak of COVID-19. The organization continues to break all stereotypes and is headstrong in its mission of empowering women. Testimony to the fact is the award by Working Mother and Avtar–best place for women to work for in 2020. This is the fourth time in a row that the organization won the award.
It is ranked among the top 15 best companies for women to work in India based on women recruitment, highest percentage of women in leadership roles, retention & advancement, safety & security measures, flexible work hours, benefits and work/life program, parental leave, best practices for women career enablement and advancements, company culture, and management accountability. This evaluation was based on a study by Working Mother and Avtar Best Companies for Women in India (BCWI) in 2020.
Women at MC are leading various roles including leadership. MC opened up a plethora of employment opportunities to women scientists who did not prefer to be part of the wet labs but wanted to make their contributions in In-silico research and aid drug discovery. Further, the company has been influencing the curriculum of educational institutions and encouraged the inclusion of life science curation as a subject. The students are then trained at our incubation centers, who finally go to hold various important roles at MC.
Women friendly company – in its DNA
Jignesh Bhate, Founder & CEO of Molecular Connections, has been a firm believer of woman empowerment in both his personal and professional life. When he started MC, he decided to make it a pioneer when it came to gender diversity. He broke all stereotypes 18 years ago when he hired two senior woman employees to be the Business Unit Heads of his startup. He not only continued on this journey and hired many more woman employees across the board from leadership positions to individual contributors, but also constantly coached and mentored them on operations, P&L responsibility, and client management.
He led from the front and continues to believe in an equitable environment bringing better business results. MC’s success story is testimony to this fact as we grew from 20 employees in 2003 to about 2700 employees as of 2021.
Work Life Balance a Way of Life at Molecular Connections
Programs such as sabbatical, unpaid time off to take care of ailing family members, reduced work hours, are institutionalized to enable retention. This enables woman employees to straddle between their career and personal commitments and yet retain their jobs and rise in their career path. Flexible ways of working is one of the commonly followed practices at MC as this is highly effective in retaining our woman employees. Molecular connections’ CSR initiatives are focused primarily on the education sector, with a special emphasis on girls’ education.
Women Who Chose to Challenge
Science is often considered a male-dominated field. But, here is our boundary-breaking woman in science, who has made remarkable contributions to Indian & global Science.
Dr. Jaya Nagaraja, Chief Scientist, MC, holds many hats. She is a Ph.D. holder from the University of Berne, Switzerland; a post-doctoral position at Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, Berne; Research Associate from the University of Rochester, New York, US; Research Scientist- at IGBMC, Strasbourg, France; and Scientist- Astra Zeneca, Project lead – Monsanto; She worked on Arabidopsis Curation & literature mining in Bangalore.
She says, “A few years ago, when I started out, science was a male-dominated area. But today women are breaking barriers and creating their own unique identity and taking charge. For more women to venture into the world of science and technology, it is important we provide them with the right support systems and infrastructure. You need an organization or a leader who has faith in you to deliver good science. It is also important for women to support and nurture each other to grow. I feel proud that I have groomed so many young scientists who have grown into leadership roles and contributed to world science. The pandemic has once again proved that women are capable of much more. They are wearing multiple hats at the same time and at the same place. Today, there is a thin line between your workspace and home. But, they have beautifully accomplished the tasks, met deadlines.”
Ms Krishna K., Director – Sales & Marketing at MC, holds Masters in Business Administration, (International Business) from IIM Indore. She is one of the very few women in this country who holds a leadership role in her early thirties.
She says, “I often find people wearing a flabbergasted look when I tell them that I am in a leadership role in my early thirties. But, when you think deeper, it all has to do with the perceptions. We always imagine a man in such a position and rarely a woman. Hard work, perseverance, coupled with an encouraging and nurturing environment can lead any woman into the leadership team. Every woman can achieve what they aim for, all they need is the focus, passion, and unnerving determination to fight back.”
MC cares for employees’ personal needs as much as it is concerned about their professional growth. The company made a conscious decision to remain in the central (both residential and commercial hub of Bangalore) part of Bangalore to ensure that employees can attend to their personal needs, if needed, during work breaks or use Flexi-working facility – which enables most employees to run personal errands etc. during the workday.