Women participation in the workforce is not only important from an organizational perspective but also from a developing economy perspective. As per McKinsey Global Institute report finds that more than $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by advancing women’s equality.
Understanding and working towards attracting more women need a strong commitment from the organizations. Today we share a few such initiatives successfully implemented that will help you gather ideas to attract and retain more females especially after their break.
When a woman takes a break from career whether, for maternity or any family emergency, the decision to return in a full-time corporate career becomes really difficult from various perspectives. Once she enters motherhood the dilemma to leave the family behind is always a tough decision. On top of it, many women do not feel confident as they might have been completely out of touch with new trends and working process.
Does it mean – the industry will lose so much of skill, talent and loyalty which is already available in the desired market just because there is no bridge? Obliviously not, we have compiled few of the initiatives which have been already tried and tested by industry leaders to engage with such talent to encourage organizational and personal growth.
Here we list down the Best 5 practices along with listing few successful campaigns other organizations are doing to inspire you to ATTRACT – ENGAGE – RETAIN more women in your workforce.
Organizations’ like GE and IBM launched hiring campaigns like Career 2.0, Back@jobs campaigns and programs to attract and engage with targeted candidates sitting at home. Under this, they encouraged candidates through social media platforms (Facebook, Insta, LinkedIn) to come and explore various kind of jobs they can try and join back. They also promoted subscription-based newsletters to engage their readers to keep them posted about upcoming skills, open jobs, parenting tips and facilities provided by them (daycare, on-premises nursing & paediatrician etc) to boost both curiosity and motivation to start an interaction. Similarly, Amazon India launched rekindle - an initiative to encourage women on a professional break to resume their corporate career. As part of this initiative, the company provides structured onboarding, focused mentoring, flexible work options and on the job learning to the candidates.
Organizations’ are also starting need-based contractual projects with limited hour engagement where women can join and work through an online platform in hourly set-ups, as a whole boosting her confidence to join and take-up a full-time job back on the floor. Top skills in these areas are – recruitments, content development, software coding, lead generation etc.
Creating a habit is the key and, in such case, it needs to be developed at both the ends – potential employee and employee’s family. Unless we give both the ends time to adjust our mission might lead to failure. Hence these days, offering employees extended legroom is an appreciating change. Companies like Genpact allows candidates to choose shift timings that are comfortable for them, an initiative made by the company to bring women back to the workplace. In many organizations, management is working to create a more welcoming environment giving a returning woman flexible working hours for initial 2-3 months is very much popular. This is often supported by consultation sessions of time management, work management and even emotional counselling to come out of guilt and be more confident and productive in work assigned. These sessions are mostly done by trained HR professionals or hired outside consultants.
The biggest perk to women returning from maternity breaks is to have their babies close and under their watch. Any organization providing a daycare facility in premises becomes the most attractive facility, where mothers within short break can resume back to work and take care and nurse their infants. In such cases working hours never becomes a challenge as both trust and accessibility factor are very high. In various organizations like – Sopra Steria; these facilities are popular among new fathers too and sometimes becomes a core reason to stay with the organization for a longer run.
Apart from all the above perks and facilities, it is extremely important to break the fear factor into such returning joiners. For the same an intensive training under real-time office, environment stimulation proved to be very helpful. In such exercise’s employee can learn and revive all the skills while experiencing accommodating in culture / working timelines under the safe setting. Accordingly, they become mentally prepared and more confident to face their colleagues on the floor, without feeling nervous or left-outs. These training are also normally tailormade as per skills needed or work profile and hosted by SME’s or trained professionals to give maximum impact. A good case is Tata SCIP (Second Career Internship Programme) as it absorbs some of the women on Flexi-hour assignments with various TATA companies at the end of the internship.
While we discuss all the above trends and initiatives it is also important that the fellow team members, managers and other stakeholders understand such cases and be more patient, polite and adjusting towards it. It doesn’t call for adjusting with a wrong hire, yet point is to give ample time before you judge or test someone on their performance. Team members cordial & supportive behaviour can do the magic of turning a mother on break into an award-winning professional.