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Retaining Talent and Helping Women Get Back To Their Careers

Kiran Aidhi, Director-HR, Virtusa Corporation
Monday, December 28, 2015
Kiran Aidhi, Director-HR, Virtusa Corporation
Headquartered in Massachusetts, Virtusa Corporation is a multinational IT services company that caters to the IT Consulting, Business Consulting, Systems Implementation and Application Outsourcing needs of software vendors and large businesses.

It is an interesting age to be a career woman! They are breaking norms and asserting their presence everywhere in a way like never before. Disruptions of hierarchy can be seen in the corporate world as well where women are breaking the glass ceiling of gender biasness and emerging to be niche talent, especially for technology companies. Such times call for an overhauling of corporate policies to help engage and retain such talent. One of the most important policies that garnered maximum attention for change by corporates and businesses is the maternity policy.

Significant changes have been seen by companies desperately trying to revamp their policies centered on women. Not to forget the burgeoning number of start-ups which are further fueling the talent war. Amidst such wars of talent hunt, established companies need to constantly pep up their policies and creatively incentivize their female workforce to retain them in their organization. Currently, about 30 percent of employees in the technology sector are women. However, a catalyst report points out that nearly 50 percent of Indian women drop out of the corporate employment pipeline between junior and mid-levels, compared with 29 percent across Asia. Therefore it pays to retain and secure such talent.

The technology industry, essentially considered to be man's world is now warming up to the idea and understanding the importance of preserving 'to-be mom' employees for the development of both business and society. Top companies are leaping ahead in the race to dole out the fanciest benefits for their employees. According to the Monster Salary Index India IT Sector Report 2014, only 30 percent of the total IT sector workforce in India is women and this fairer sex also faces a huge gender pay gap of 29 percent. It is often found that women don't receive their due at work.

Embracing motherhood when one's career is flourishing can be a daunting task. More so, when one gets back in the game, there are so many challenges one faces; right from the apparent skill gap to juggling both careers and motherhood with a certain degree of success. In addition to this, there is an obvious skill gap, as once they resume they find it difficult to get back completely on a project or there is a lack of flexible timings. Even though reducing the gender gap is much more of a generic issue, increasing parity in boardrooms is completely in the hand of corporates. There is still a lot to be done to empower women in the boardroom. A well-structured, open minded and sustained maternity policy would not only save millions of rupees for companies, but empower the fairer sex to be the best of what they can.
While crafting programmes for women around maternity, the following pointers can be mulled over:

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