By Nivedita Nanjappa, Head of I&D Practice, Zinnov
In the recent past, a significant number of women are dropping out of their corporate careers due to multiple life events such as maternity, caregiving responsibilities, relocation, lack of flexibility, among others. There are only 17% women in junior levels, with only 3% in leadership positions at present. This talent pool of experienced professionals combined with the untapped talent seeking new horizons, is ideal for organizations to tap into to increase women representation in their organizations. This is why more global organizations are investing in Returnship programs to reintegrate more women back into the workforce.
Why are Returnship Programs important?
• They help to reintegrate experienced talent back into the workforce, eventually contributing to a rise in women representation in mid-senior levels.
• Experienced talent who is well educated, has relevant work experience, offers mature professionalism, and does not need to learn basic entry-level skills is of particular interest to companies focused on gender diversity.
• It’s quintessential for the next generations, with 57% of male and 74% of female millennials anticipating to take a career break for childcare, eldercare, or to support a partner in a job—a much higher rate than the previous generations.
• These programs have helped to not only get back women to work but also contribute to upskilling them, finding better job opportunities, and engaging within the business ecosystem.
• With nearly 5.1 Mn women having lost work since the start of the pandemic, there is more scope for setting up such programs, as it reduces the complexity of operations and increases flexibility, especially with remote/hybrid work models in play
• Many women jobseekers’ have changed their career preferences during the pandemic, making Returnships inevitable.
Returnship programs can be a scalable and sustained channel for hiring with a majority of the potential women talent yet to be reintegrated into the workforce. Leaders need to take strategic steps at the earliest to make their workplace more inclusive and diverse, leverage such experienced talent, and generate significant value in the next few years.
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