Women seek flexibility while restarting careers

When a woman takes a break (be it a maternity or any other break), it’s always difficult to make a comeback. Many companies shy away from recruiting those women, thinking the break was too long, and that they could not perform like others.

Often, some women in a desperate need to comeback, accept a pay cut or a lesser role, thereby not realising their own potential.

What can be done to change this and who need to change, and how the whole ecosystem can be changed? Panelists at a discussion on ‘Time to Talk- A journey into what women in India want while restarting their careers’ held on Wednesday said the whole ecosystem needs to change and that women should be more confident and re-skill themselves.

JobsForHer Founder and CEO Neha Bagaria, who moderated the discussion, pointed out many challenges that women face while returning to work.

A JobsForHer report ‘What women are looking for while restarting their careers?’ found that 33% of the women wanted to regain their financial independence, another 30% mentioned that they were seeking self-worth, 28% wanted to re-engage their skills and experience and 8% wanted to be a good role models for their children to emulate.

The survey was done among 2,500 women in the age group of 25-40 years across the country.

After a four-year career break, Nidhi Khatri attended at least 20 interviews in just six-month period before becoming marketing and communications manager at Wakefit Innovations. “Women should have enough confidence and should not be apologetic about the break. Many of my potential employers offered me less package and pointed out that I took a break, but I told them I was reskilling myself and I am like any other capable employees of yours,” she said.

In the survey ‘What can companies do to enable your restart,’ 47% responded that they were looking at flexibility in timing and location, 34% were looking to be reskilled, 12% said that recruiters be sensitised to women returnees and 8% wanted to be paired with buddies.

Also, when asked about the role of mentoring, 57% of the women said mentoring is crucial to their restart.

One of the panelists, Shalini Nataraj, Global HR Head, Maersk Global Service Centre, pointed out the need to change the whole ecosystem, and how Maersk's initiatives help women discover their personal brand, leadership style, build self-belief and identify their network.

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Women seek flexibility while restarting careers

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