With an eye on empowerment of its women employees, Nestle India today announced new initiatives, including extending maternity leave to six months, while re-looking at its entire recruitment process for better representation of women across levels.On the new steps, Nestle India Chairman and Managing Director Suresh Narayanan said: “The increasing ambition to seek diversity means that Nestle is constantly reviewing workplace facilities, enabling measures and pro-active sensitivities to the needs of our women colleagues as they traverse different stages of their lives.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Higher recruitment of women, nurturing talent and retention programmes as well as the revised maternity policy, all seek to provide “nuance, sensitivity and a favourable work environment to women colleagues who choose to be mothers some day”, he added.Under the new initiative, Nestle India has extended its maternity leave policy to six months effective February 1, 2016, from 18 weeks earlier, while granting adoption leave for six weeks with full pay and benefits for all permanent women employees.Besides, a paternity policy has been introduced with a leave of five working days with full pay and benefits for all permanent male employees, including blue collar, the company said in a statement. Nestle India said since 2014, it has ICC (Internal Complaints Committee) across its all 12 units with the presence of an external member for prevention of sexual harassment.”At Nestle, we have a very strong belief and commitment to increasing diversity in our business operations, factories, R&D centres and offices, which is articulated in ‘Project Harmony’. We seek to strengthen our company through whole-hearted commitment to, and practice of, managing diversity,” Narayanan said.Explaining the rationale, he said: “One of the key socio-economic opportunities of the 21st century is the increasing role, involvement and contribution of women to the fabric of economic progress that is transforming the world.”Indeed the recruitment, nurturing and successful utilisation of women in the workforce is the edifice on which economic success and sustainability of businesses is predicated.”On recruitment, the company said one of the key focus areas has been to increase representation of women in the field force. Nestle India said potential women workforce is given a chance to work with a nutrition/sales officer for a day to understand the challenges in the role, before joining the company. Flexibility has also been provided with regard to travel and stay for women in the field force.”Campus hires and mid-career hiring of women employees have also been an area of emphasis and resulted in significant achievements,” it added.Besides recruitment, nurturing key women talent and strengthening the diversity of talent pipeline through robust career and development plans supported by mentoring have been put in place, Nestle India added.