There are so many Indian women who end up taking a career break. If “What options, possibilities and opportunities exist?” is your question, you’ll find answers in this post..
She is well educated
She was a career woman
She was financially independent
She loved her work
She loved the professional identity
She really enjoyed having an active work life
As she traversed the journey of life..
The inevitable happens
Marriage or Motherhood or Ill-health (of self, spouse, kids, ailing parents / in-laws / relatives) come knocking at her life
And then it happens..
THE inevitable CAREER BREAK
Sometimes it is by choice
Sometimes it is by lack of choice
Sometimes it is the cause and effect of the circumstances
She has no escape
Whether she likes it or not, she has to take that CAREER BREAK
For some it is 3 weeks, for some it is 3 months, and for some it is 3 years, and for some it is 30 years, and for some it is a lifetime!
Here’s the thing that I learned when I interact with so many women who had been / are going through a career break |
In this blog, I’m listing down the very many resources which can help (m)any women across India – who are on a career break and are looking to re-enter into active workforce.
I personally believe that many kinds of resources help.
One is surely a list of job postings. Anyone can choose from the available listings based on your skill-set, priorities and terms with which you want to work on.
Beyond that, a lot of planning and mental / emotional preparation goes in for many women to re-integrate into the workplace – Whether it is upgrading of knowledge / resources or a trust-worthy community who shares experiences and perspectives or mentorship to answer questions (however basic they may be!) – They all make a difference
For ease of navigation, I’ve logically grouped these into 3 categories:
CATEGORY 1 : COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
P. Inc – Women Power@Work is an initiative supported by The Times of India that aims at bringing women who have taken a break from work, back into the workforce. The initiative, through seminars, training workshops and access to employers will provide career resources and a service support system to mid-career professional women enabling them to overcome challenges and return to working life. P.inc aims at being a one-stop solution in empowering working women with everything they need to regain their jobs.
ReLauncher – An initiative and a professional returner program for women professionals with the aim of helping them with their non-linear career needs. They offer two kinds of value added services. The first is enricHER, which helps women professionals enhance their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and master the art of giving interviews. The second is ‘Freelancer and SelfstartHER’ which helps professionals create online presence and support to establish them as entrepreneurs
Sheroes – SHEROES welcomes women professional across levels, stages and sectors to pro-actively access the largest OpportunityScape for women. There is a diverse and large range of opportunities to pick from — these include opportunities with women friendly employers, flex friendly formats, mompreneur programs, partnership programs and more. The SHEROES Community gets access to career resources, information and community sharing. SHEROES Mentors engage actively to help women attain career success on their own terms
Reboot – Reboot is a Network of and for Women Professionals. It is a platform for Women Professionals and Corporate India, to come together. Reboot, will help you figure that: help re-build your confidence, help you with resumes and interview preparation, in short, be with you through your transition, your journey. Reboot is a network for women professionals, who want to get back into the workforce as well as those who are already there and now want to explore flexible and smart, effective and efficient options of work.
FMC (First Mom’s Club) Rebooted – Stories / Narratives of inspiration for women (mothers) who have re-invented themselves to manage the elusive work-life balance : Managing and Balancing work and motherhood
Womens Web – THE place for the Indian woman who wants to stay engaged with the world, who believes that she has a place in the world outside the home. We focus on women’s self-development and pursuit of happiness, by offering information on career development, entrepreneurship, managing work and family, successful women, women’s health, social issues and personal finances. Our goal is to help women learn and grow! While the site shares a lot of diverse content, many of the posts speak about ‘real issues’ from ‘real women’ on how to navigate your career path in case of a break
CATEGORY 2 :JOB POSTINGS
RelaunchHER Job Board
Work from Home Options for women – Work from home opportunities for women. An ever growing community of well qualified women, who are as dedicated towards our work assignments, as to our families. Women in the group are experienced and are from almost every domain. Currently 6000 + in number and are still growing.
FMC Job Bazaar – Periodically, FMC conducts a “Job Bazaar” which provides a marketplace ecosystem for women to share their profiles and job postings / requirements.
CATEGORY 3 : ORGANIZATION / CORPORATE INITIATIVES
Vapasi from ThoughtWorks – Aimed at IT women who are on a career break and keen to resume active work, this program spread over four weeks will help women sharpen your programming skills
Micorsoft Women in Tech – Initiative aimed at bringing in more women into the Indian IT industry. Through this program, Microsoft will attract and retain women talent in the industry. Along with partners, Microsoft will train and mentor one million girls and women in the next 12 months.
Tata Group Second Career Internship Programme (SCIP) -“A career transition management programme for women professionals who have taken a break of 6 months or more for any reason, and wish to re-enter the professional space. The programme provides opportunities for such women to take on flexi-hour assignments with various TATA group companies. Tata Group companies provide live business projects requiring approximately 500 hours of engagement spread over 6 months on a flexi time basis. There is no placement guarantee at the end of the project. However, SCIP consultants have the option of exploring full-time employment on mutually acceptable terms with the respective Group Company if the same exists.” The programme offers live business projects with flexible schedules and project-based employment to women who have taken a career break of six months to eight years. Women are taken on as consultants in departments such as HR, marketing, finance, legal, manufacturing, communication, engineering and other corporate domains, for six months. After this, those who are ready for full-time jobs are absorbed.
Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) Career By Choice – is based on the insight that there is a need for a gradual transition as women on a career break to step back into the working world. To ease this transition, HLL designed a comprehensive programme that balances a woman’s personal and professional needs. Career By Choice allows women to structure your work around your life and the other way around!
IBM ‘Bring Her Back Program ’ – Meant to attract back women who have taken a mid-career sabbatical. “Any woman professional with the requisite skill-set can apply, and anyone with, at maximum, three years of personal sabbatical qualifies for the programme. Began in 2011
SAP ‘Stay in Touch’ – The company ensures that women employees return to work after a sabbatical or maternity leave.
Mahindra Satyam : Start Over programme – which reaches out to women who have taken a career break.
Axis Bank – India: ‘Re-connect’– offers jobs to former women employees who have left the system in the past 10 years, in select states. The bank now plans to take it national. Began April 2014. To know more, click here.
General Electric, RESTART at GE John F. Welch Technology Center – Hires female technologists and engineers returning from career break at this largest of GE’s global research centers. Send resume or CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Goldman Sachs Returnship – Programme for women returning after a break. To know more, click here
Google India : gCareer – An opportunity to work with Google for qualified women professionals who have taken a break from active working life for a year or longer. Began in Jaunary 2014. See this article for reference.
CapGemini – As part of the exclusive, women-only campaign, CapGemini is inviting resumes from enthusiastic and talented women—currently on a career break—who are looking to get back to their careers. Click here to know more
Women Scientist Programs – for providing opportunities to women scientists and technologists between the age group of 30-50 years who desire to return to mainstream science and work as bench-level scientists.
While it is heart-warming to see so many initiatives for the cause of the Indian women at the workplace, I believe we still have a long long long way to go ..
NOTE: I have not personally used all of these services, nor do I know the exact current state / status. However, I have read / heard/ know of women who have used some of them. Also, the description for this list is mostly from publicly available information
Did you find this useful? Please share it with any woman who many benefit from this
Did I miss any specific initiative in this list? Please leave a comment to let me know
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