By Neha Bagaria
There is a common perception that women who take career breaks take two, sometimes three steps back professionally, or in many cases even go back to square one, when they try to start working again. At JobsForHer, our mission is to reverse female brain drain and bring more women back to work in India. We’ve worked tirelessly for the past 2+ years, partnering with 3000+ companies and reaching 1.5 lakh monthly visitors to our portal.
Through our journey, we’ve met countless inspiring women who put aside their fears and jumped back into work. Many of our own team are restarters themselves, and through these stories we’ve learned that taking a career break is not a negative on a CV.
That’s why we ran #TearItUp – a campaign calling all women to share what they learned on their career breaks. We’re busting the myth that taking a career break is harmful, and want to show companies that women have what it takes (and then some!) to come back stronger and more recharged than ever!
From volunteering with NGOs to taking up new hobbies like crocheting, these women have dabbled in many diverse areas that kept them sharp and in tune with life, as they stepped back from their careers to care for young children or aging parents.
Some of the traits that companies can look for, and recognise in women returnees, are:
- Adaptability: Motherhood is a life lesson in adapting to new situations every day. This stands women in good stead in the fast paced, ever changing work environments that we see today. Employees that can adapt to nimble organisational structures and flat hierarchies, are exactly what companies need.
- Organisational skills: Caring for young children requires an inordinate amount of organisation – something that comes naturally to women and that holds them in good stead in management roles.
- Team building: This is a trait that many companies invest hugely in, to train managers on how to build and maintain teams across the board. Women returnees learn this on the go when they take their career breaks, because looking after young children involves being innovative and thinking laterally, to solve problems and bring the family together!
- Conflict resolution: There’s no better way to learn how to put out fires and resolve conflicts, than by learning hands on from looking after young children! Conflict resolution is often a specialisation that companies outsource in times of need – with women restarters, this trait is inherently in-built from Day One!
- Productivity and multitasking: This is just a no-brainer – moms are by far, the most productive multi-taskers out there!
After all, it isn’t about what women can or cannot do better, it is what they can do differently.
Women have been known to demonstrate higher degrees of loyalty and commitment, particularly when they restart their careers after a break. Soft skills such as punctuality, flexibility, good communication, and cooperativeness come naturally to women, and are much sought-after traits in the modern workplace. The art of negotiation is also a unique trait that women returnees bring to the table, because they bring an element of compassion with them – learned from dealing with young children.
#TearItUp became a meeting ground for women on a career break who were reinventing their stories, before they took the plunge back to work. It gave women the confidence in themselves, to give it their all and not be ashamed of their breaks.
We want companies to meet these fantastic women, and see the potential that’s just waiting to be tapped!
So if you’re a company that could use some help with diversifying your recruitment strategy, then JobsForHer can help you do just that. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org TODAY!