The career-transition programme for women professionals who have taken a six-month break or more, provides an opportunity to work on live projects at flexible timings.
If social compulsion, family pressure or even a self-made decision forces women professionals to take breaks post motherhood, unfriendly organisational policies and certain perceptions make it tough for them to resume their career. Despite several tall claims on gender diversity policies, the fact is that employers are of the mindset that women are unemployable after the break, as their skills become outdated.
A 3–4 years break often results in snipping some great career paths mid-way. According to the study by CII, over 90 percent of the women respondents said they were trying to get back into the workforce but the employer policies were making this difficult for them to do so.
However, the encouraging trend is that more organisations are realising the potential of re-hiring experienced women professionals. They are open to flexibility in terms of organisational policies.
Maersk Line, the containerised division of the shipping major, Maersk Group, has launched a programme—‘Back2Work’ (B2W)— that allows women to play the second innings.
The programme, lets women join live business projects that require approximately 600 hours of engagement, spread over six months on a flexi time basis.
Currently, the B2W initiative is for women professionals who have worked for a minimum of four continuous years, in any of some particular domain areas, prior to taking a career break of half a year or more.
These short-term assignments are aimed at developing alternative talent pools. Maersk then evaluates the B2W consultants for full-time job opportunities within the Group, though there is no placement guarantee at the end of the project. The selected candidates undergo a short induction programme, and are provided access to mentors and guides on the project along with HR support.
The applicants need to register with B2W and be part of a database, from which the company will find suitable profiles for new projects.
Maersk Line claims to have already received 200 applications since the initiation of the programme. The company plans to keep adding projects to this programme, throughout the year.