Are you thinking of making a comeback to your professional life? We know how hard it would be to get back in the field after a long gap.

At the recently held , SheThePeople.TV initiated a discussion around “Restart: Bring Women Back To Work”.  The tech summit, initiated by Government of Karnataka focuses on bringing women back to the workforce. The aim of this discussion was to provide the best knowledge about restarting career of female employees, the changes and various opportunities, the option of freelancing and why you should go ahead and face off an HR right now.

Manjula Dharmalingam, Founder and Director of Her Second Innings, Neha Bhagaria, founder of Jobs For Her, Sheetal Arora of Women Restart and Vasanthi Hariprakash, Author & Radio Anchor and founder of Pickle Jar were in a chat which was moderated by Kiran Manral, Ideas Editor, SheThePeople.TV.

Also Read: Unusual Careers: Tips from a Professional Emcee

Kiran Manral opened the discussion by stating the fact that there is still a very high level of dropout that we witness post marriage or childbirth as far as women employees are concerned. It has reached to 43% within three years.

Neha Bhagaria states, “Ninety percent of women who leave the workforce want to re-enter but don’t know how to.”

Neha Bhagaria of Jobs For Her hopes that all the women who would want to come back should gain their lost confidence first. And, other things will just fall into place automatically. “When you look at the digital economy, you can work from wherever you are,” says Neha Bagaria of Jobs For Her. “They can find great opportunities to work from home.”

Manjula Dharmalingam on the other hand, feels there is a positive change with companies the government and women themselves are moving towards creating opportunities and making it easier to get back into the workforce.

“It is a golden era for women who want to start their career again.” – Manjula

Neha agreed with Sheetal Arora of Women Restart about the increasing popularity of returnships in companies to attract women who have dropped out of full-time work to get back.

“Can I do it again? The thought brings half of the women down,” says Sheetal of womenrestart.in.

“When women have a kid they move to a baby island and then they return slowly. When they return to tech the terminology does scare you. Confidence becomes the biggest thing stopping us,” Sheetal added.

 Vasanthi Hariprakash who had herself taken a break post pregnancy says, “You want to come back? Network”.

“If taking a break, networking can help you crack the question in your mind ‘what am I?'” – Vasanthi

 Also Read: Assisting women in restarting their careers: Five Organisations

How important is it to have female mentorship?

 “We don’t need technical skills but we need networking and working on the relationship skills – that’s what women tell us about what they need,” says Manjula. She guides women to become financially independent through the coaching and training consultancies. She added, “If somebody feels the need to sympathise with women, we don’t need that kind of support. We all are here to bring empathy, to mean business and to turn the table.”

Given a good network and support system can women achieve a lot?

Vasanthi Hariprakash says, “It is a reinventing of sorts. I just go where life takes me. I started as a print journalist. Marriage and motherhood happened. I thought I would change the world but then I realised I was changing diapers. I went one day to my editor and said I am quitting. I need to go tell stories to my kid.”

Vasanthi in her second innings went on to become Karnataka’s most admired radio jockey. Only with the help of networks she could crack it.

“A complete new journey has opened up and Pickle Jar is that,” she says.

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