Through this initiative, ‘Rekindle’ Amazon endeavours to provide opportunities to support women, who intend to professionally reintegrate and recommence their job.
With Women’s Day approaching, as organisations relook at their women-focussed initiatives, Amazon announced the launch of a new initiative called Rekindle, which aims to encourage women on a professional break, to resume their corporate career.
Through this initiative, Amazon endeavours to provide opportunities to support women, who intend to professionally reintegrate and recommence their jobs. In order to help candidates develop the requisite competencies for the job role, Rekindle will include key elements, such as structured on-boarding, focussed mentoring, flexible work options and on-the-job learning.
Empowering women employees to return to work and smoothly integrate into the workspace, Amazon will provide an environment to address their concerns and close specific skill gaps. The Rekindle programme offers them flexible work options including work from home, and flexible shift options depending on the role.
The company will offer them roles that allow a flexible work arrangement and at the same time provide an opportunity to perform effectively on the job, such as live projects across different functional areas including technology, operations as well as support functions, such as HR, finance and legal. This will enable a gradual ramp up of responsibilities, in stages, giving the candidates the bandwidth to regain confidence and accustom to what is expected from them.
Talking about the programme, Raj Raghavan, director-human resources APAC, Amazon says, “Often when we looked to fill key positions, we chanced upon senior women leaders who had taken a career break and wanted to return to work.” However, several of them were so constrained by lack of being in active practice with their skills and expertise on their subject, that they weren’t as confident as they would have earlier been, Raghavan explains.
Raghavan shares that in addition to their need to have a flexible work schedule, desire to ramp up in a thoughtful pace, were inhibiting the company to engage with great talent focused on solving customer problems. “This caused us to pause a bit and put together a thoughtful approach towards tapping this latent talent. The result was Rekindle,” he says.
“With Rekindle, we aim to provide a launch pad for women who have had an extended absence from work in their career due to any circumstances and encourage them to come to Amazon and pursue their career goals,” he adds.
As per the Gender Diversity Benchmark for Asia 2011 report, women employees represent a very small percentage in the total workforce (29 per cent) and constitute the largest talent pipeline leakage (percentage reduction in women employees while moving from junior to middle management or middle to senior management). It has been observed that Indian women employees are giving up their careers sooner in comparison with other Asian countries.
Aligning with the objective of enabling women recommence their professional journey, the Rekindle programme is open to any candidate who has prior experience that matches the job requirements for the identified positions. Candidates will go through a structured assessment process comprising a telephonic interview and multiple in-person interviews. On the basis of the performance during these interviews, the final hiring decision will be made for the position.
Once the selected candidates are on-boarded, Amazon will also help them get assimilated into the Amazon culture and way of business with the Rekindle Mentorship Programme. The mentoring engagement will include a series of developmental conversations spread over five months, where each of the identified areas is progressively worked upon. “Our Rekindle Mentorship Programme is aimed at grooming women to brush up their skills and to make them ready to take on bigger responsibilities,” shares Raj.