Women Getting Back To Work With ‘Returnship’ Programs

BCG Gender Diversity Report

Women around the world have to juggle between a lot of roles on a daily basis. Especially when they have babies. Having a baby is more than a full-time job and the maternity leave policy in India is not nearly enough for working women. So, what else can companies offer women who want to take a sabbatical from work, and return a few years later?

The new concept of returnships allows women to come back to work after taking a break of two years or more. Returnship programs are becoming more and more popular with companies, and are helping women all over the world to come back and join the workforce.

In India, there are a lot of companies like Tata, Microsoft, Capgemini, IBM, GE, Goldman Sachs and more that are helping women return to work. Most of these companies offer a training period for women to catch up with a lot of things they might have missed out on. It is not just skills that these women need, but a confidence boost as well.

D V Subhashri, Director at Transpro Language Services in Bangalore tells us, “When women are at home for so long, their confidence takes a beating. These programs are important for women who want to get back to the workplace. However, I do advice women to choose the career path that they really want to follow this time around, since it is their second time entering the market. They might as well do something they love.”

Latha Kalaih, a woman based in Bangalore who wants to get back to work after a long break due to motherhood told us, “These programs are great because we get a lot of insight and most of our fears and doubts are cleared. The programs not only help with sharpening skills but also by keeping our spirits and confidence high, and as women who have been out of a job for long, we really need it!”

A lot of companies have interesting names for their returnship programs. The Philips’ returnship program is called Back In The Game (B.I.G.) and are applicable for women who have 3-6 years of work experience prior to their break. IBM’s program is called Bring Her Back Program.

India is starting to become more woman-friendly when it comes to workplaces. This is a positive change for India.

Returnships are helpful when women want to sharpen their skills before going back to work full time. Since they take a break in the middle, the workplace environment and other factors may have changed drastically since they last experienced. A massive number of women who are highly skilled want to return to work after their kids grow up.

Sunie Paul, Technical Director at MindTree Limited talks about skills, “Women who are returning to work definitely need to brush up their skills. Once they are experts, anyone will hire them. They can also catch up on their skills with returnship programs. The break doesn’t really matter as long as you are ready to learn and implement your newly learned skills.”

Another woman based in Bangalore, who is looking to get back into the workforce is Plabini Kumari. She tells us, “Going from being a working woman to motherhood, and back to being a working woman is very hard. When you are a mother, you lose touch with the outside world. We can sit and do courses all day online, but it won’t be hands on and we won’t be interacting with someone face-to-face who has been in the field while we have been absent. That is why returnship programs are important.”

India is starting to become more woman-friendly when it comes to workplaces. This is a positive change for India, and we hope to see more progress for women in the workforce in the coming future.

Pic credits: Smallbusiness.co.uk

Also read: With ‘Vaapas’, Kerala to bring back women techies to workplace