Updated: Aug 26, 2020
Almost 45% of women in India take a career break due to motherhood whereas 35% for maternity and 16% for elderly care. However, women face many rejections and detours when they want to return to the professional sphere. The population of India is 1.3 billion of which 48.5% are women and India ranks 112th on World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap Index 2020.
The Indian society expects women to fit perfectly in the 3C model, that is – cooking, caring and cleaning. The gender chore gap is 333 minutes per day, something that is holding women back. A high decline in women participation in workforce does not come as a surprise at all.
· Most women feel that lack of family support is one of the main reasons for their career break.
· Re-entry in the same profession, after a career break, is demotivating rather than encouraging because of low salary and low positions offered.
· Career gap becomes the point of discussion in the interviews and the current skill set of women gets ignored and undermined.
· Gender stereotyping is a straightforward reason for many companies for not preferring a female employee over the male employee.
· During their career break women can work freelance as per their interest. The sites like Naukri. com, TOI job portal, Indeed, Glassdoor, Internshala provide many freelancing jobs. Freelancing will help them in gaining work experience and polishing and learning of skills and also reduces career gap.
· Stay updated by learning new skills even during the break specially in the areas like- Data Science, Artificial Intelligence, Content Writing, Digital Marketing, Graphic Designing to stay relevant to the industry.
· Entrepreneurship is another good option for women, which gives them an opportunity to create their own value and provide employment opportunities to others as well.
· Do not hide your career break on your CV, in fact highlight how well you utilized your break to develop professionally, while fulfilling your duties.
· Develop your professional network.
Opportunities after the career break
There are organisations, business schools, industry stalwarts and NGOs who are supporting women to make an impactful comeback after a career break. Some of these are:
· Godrej careers 2.0
· Jobs for her
· Her Second Innings
There is no doubt that women have to work harder to prove their mettle and have to overcome obstacles like gender stereotypes, less salary, low position, family commitments that make second innings even tougher but it should not deter them from making a robust comeback. In the words of Mehernosh N. Mehta, Vice President and Head Human Resource at Mahindra Logistics, " This a talent pool that was just waiting to be tapped".