While economic empowerment is no longer a far fetched goal for the educated middle class woman, maintaining a stable career graph as a woman navigates various phases of her life is a challenge till this day. Marriage and motherhood often make women put their career on the back burner. For those who decide to re-enter workforce, it is often an uphill climb with the negative connotation associated with a career hiatus. However, over the past decade, several progressive organisations in several sectors have been launching returnee internships that can serve as a launch pad for a woman’s second innings. A returnee programme proves to be a win-win formula for the hiring organisation as well as the ‘returning’ employee. Here are some organisations in India that have been successfully running career restart programmes for women:
Accenture – Career Reboot for Women
With an aim to help women strike the perfect work-life balance, Accenture offers a helping hand to returning women employees to find ideal re-entry roles and ensures their smooth transition back into the workforce. Besides, it is a great opportunity to interact with the industry expert and its leadership team.
Google – gCareer
Internet giant Google launched its gCareer programme for qualified women professionals who aspire to join back work after a break of one or more years. gCareer India is designed for women from diverse backgrounds and experiences who are interested in the digital advertising space and willing to step into the dynamic environment of Google’s advertising teams.
GE India – RESTART
GE India has started a pilot initiative for returning women at GE’s John F Welch Technology Centre, Bangalore and has plans to expand it. RESTART is a programme that focuses exclusively on hiring women scientists and engineers who have taken a career break and wish to get back to work.
Capgemini – Career Comeback
Capgemini India actively supports skilled female professionals who want to make a transition back into the workforce. As part of their exclusive, women-only campaign, Career Comeback, they invite women who are currently on a career break and are aspiring to join back work. To be eligible, you need to have a minimum experience of 3 years prior to your career break.
Goldman Sachs – Returnship
A term trademarked in 2008 by Goldman Sachs, ‘returnship’ is a paid, 10-week programme in the company’s various divisions with the objective of providing those with the necessary skills a chance to re-enter the workforce. While the programme is highly selective (only 19 out of 1,000 applicants were chosen in 2013), over 50 percent of the 150 total participants were hired at the end of the scheme.
Axis Bank – Re-Connect
Axis Bank has launched a programme called Re-Connect in a few states, offering jobs to former women employees who have left the system in the past decade. They have plans to launch the programme across India soon.
Godrej – Careers 2.0
Godrej’s Careers 2.0 offers returning women opportunity to work in live business projects – of 3 to 6 months duration – across sectors in various divisions of Godrej and its associated companies. They can also be part time or full time jobs. Training and support is provided through a mentor, who co-owns the project with the returnee. Stipends are offered based on the nature and duration of work, previous work experience and educational qualification.
Hindustan Unilever – Career By Choice
The consumer goods giant runs a programme called Career By Choice, which offers an opportunity to balance home and office. Through a well defined structure and support, the programme provides a smooth transition to the workspace.