India is examining how to keep women employed in the information technology sector by creating a flexible work atmosphere, the Times of India reported today. Information technology and BPO industry body National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) was in favor of a flexible workplace for women raising families to curtail drop-out rates and increase the number of women in mid-level and senior management positions.
In the article, Harsh Manglik, NASSOM chairman and chairman and geography managing director of Accenture India, noted that the biggest barrier for women in the workplace is that once women take a break and come back to the profession after a few years, the work atmosphere becomes “intimidating” and many women say they feel “outdated” and “disconnected” and have fallen behind in their skills sets.
Interestingly, these same sentiments came up in many of the Conversations held during Vision 2020. In the Business, Law & Finance Conversation, panelist Subha Barry mentioned that as the next generation comes into child-bearing years, one trend that is becoming more common is both men and women stepping up for child-rearing responsibilities. Barry noted that there must be added flexibility about how leave time is taken that is mutually beneficial to both company and employee. She suggested following the model of other countries that divide maternity leave between the parents. She also suggested having parents come into work one or two days a week during maternity leave instead of being out consecutively for several months.
What are some added methods workplaces could be more effective with retaining women after they have had children? Share your thoughts in the comments below.