Cognizant Technology Solutions has decided to do its bit to help techies who have taken a break — due to various reasons or family commitments — to restart their careers. It has rolled out a 12-week paid ‘returnship’ programme to allow talented tech professionals, especially women, to experience what restarting their careers would be like.
Realising that women professionals are the ones who mostly end up taking a break, it has included women in its initial phase of the programme, helping them take on “engineering management roles in the digital engineering practice”.
Taking its diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda forward, Cognizant hopes to reach out to women beyond the workplace and help those who have had to set aside their career goals, because of certain personal goals related to their family or children. This programme will help such women professionals on a break to pursue their career dreams and make life more meaningful.
Considering that about 38 per cent of Cognizant’s workforce in India comprises women, of which almost 45 per cent work in tier-2 cities, this is definitely the right step in improving gender diversity. The Company will also try to ensure that a thousand women, from amongst the high performers, are placed in leadership positions this year.
As part of the ‘returnship programme’, Cognizant offers returners support and training. It also provides upskilling, mentorship and other resources to help them in their journey. Participants get to work with the latest technology, along with an opportunity to take up a full-time job at Cognizant.
According to Rajesh Nambiar, chairman and MD, Cognizant, this innovative programme is also “a way to get diverse talent in the door, irrespective of when their last professional role was.”
The Company has set itself a goal of hiring more women and retaining its talented leaders as part of its annual performance rating process.