CHENNAI: When Gayathri left her job in a highly paying engineering firm in 2009, little did she know that getting back on track would be as high a hurdle as it was. But nearly six years and several attempts later, she still hasn’t gotten a job. Her fate, according to HR experts, is not an exception.
It is women like these, both highly and moderately skilled, who flocked to a programme meant exclusively for them held in the city today. Nearly 250 women, who had taken a break from their careers for various reasons, will attend one-on-one meetings with HR representatives from top firms like Ford India, CapGemini, Naturals, etc to try for another chance to kick-start their dormant careers.
“Programmes like this that can give these women a chance to get back on track are what is needed. Because, quite frankly, they do not have the support they require,” said Saundarya Rajesh, founder and president of AVTAR Career Creators which has organised the SEGUE session — the 11th since its inception in 2011.
The sessions saw several lectures and presentations from HR leaders, and from several of India’s top corporates, including David Dubensky, president and Managing Director, Global Business Services, Ford Motor India, C K Kumaravel, Co-Founder of Naturals Divya Kumar, Director, Cap Gemini — all of which companies also conducted preliminary interviews for women.
“Just getting an interview after a break is incredibly difficult. I have tried many times, you get calls from prospective recruiters, but the minute you tell them you haven’t been working for a year or so, you never hear from them again,” pointed out Gayathri.
These interviews though can only be a small part of all that is required. “For women coming back after a break for various reasons and actually starting on their job, support and understanding from the peer group and their managers is vital,” said Rajesh.
How vital is told most effectively by the numbers. From nearly a 50:50 split in men and women who enter entry level jobs, by the time women are 30, nearly 48 per cent of all have dropped off from the workforce. “This is due a large part to the problems women who want to restart their careers face. At any point of time, there are 15 lakh women trying to do so. It is them that we need to support,” concluded Rajesh.