by Neeti Puri Lobo – Senior VP, Confluence Consulting India Pvt Ltd
Women take a break from their careers for different reasons like marriage, relocation, maternity, etc.
Returning to work isn’t easy, but the industry mindset is changing.
Especially maternity leave poses a conundrum: the guilt never goes away. While you are happy with your child, you are skeptical and anxious about what the break will do to your career.
“Women go through a series of self-doubts as they contemplate returning to work. ‘Will I get an interview call?’, ‘will my profile get due attention?’, ‘will I be able to balance my work and other household responsibilities’, ‘will I be treated with the same respect after my break?’ are some of the common ones.
”Working women are an integral part of today’s workforce. The number of female entrepreneurs is also rising on a yearly basis. For both moms who own their own businesses and mothers who work for others, finding balance as a working mom is incredibly important.
With more than 20 years of experience, Thejaswini Balaji, a mid-management executive, took a career break due to reorganization, post which she found her assignment wasn’t challenging enough. She then decided to quit. However, getting back isn’t easy. She says, There has been a lot of challenges getting back to work, as most of the companies have a work culture that values youth over age and experience and, of course, there is the gender bias too. The companies that have returnee programs don’t seem to have helped much either, even after reaching out to them in person.
Faced with the ever-increasing challenge of women dropping out of the workforce, companies are putting in place policies to attract and recruit women who are looking to make a comeback to corporate India. From companies such as Tata Group in the traditional industrial sector to RBS in financial services, Genpact in business processing and ecommerce major Amazon have programs to provide a second-career opportunity to women and ensure that their return to work is smooth.
In all, more than 90 women have been hired through the program since its inception in 2015 * research date December 2018.
Facilities given to working mothers in today’s era is huge compared to our past. Few of them can be
- Flexible working hours
- Childcare help
- Paid Maternity leaves which were earlier 3 months extended to 6 months now.
Just because you become a mother, you are not entitled to be stuck up at home. If you possess enough motivation, get back to your career and try your luck. If you think that will divert your attention from the house, look on the brighter side that you are going to be an excellent role model for your kids. They will look up to you as a strong woman who did not give up on her dreams. Although there is nothing wrong with being a homemaker (remember, you are equally awesome), there is a world out there, too, waiting for your return.
I drive this initiative at Confluence to support getting back talent into the corporate world as part of our 2nd Innings initiative. If you are a client or a candidate, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org