Workforce re-entry for women

Building good workforce re-entry programs for women

A workforce re-entry program is a structured approach that aims to support individuals in re-entering the workforce after an extended absence. This blog highlights the need for good workforce re-entry programs for women, the features of an effective program, and the benefits of having one.

Workforce re-entry programs are designed to help individuals who have taken a break from their careers to re-enter the workforce. Women who have taken time off from their careers due to caregiving responsibilities, personal or family health issues, or other reasons often find it challenging to re-enter the workforce. A workforce re-entry program is a structured approach that aims to support individuals in re-entering the workforce after an extended absence. Building a good workforce re-entry program for women is essential, as it can help them overcome the challenges of re-entering the workforce and ensure they have a smooth transition back to work.

The Need for Good Workforce Re-entry Programs for Women

Women often face unique challenges when returning to work after an extended absence. These challenges can include a lack of confidence, outdated skills, a gap in employment history, and difficulty balancing work and personal responsibilities. A good workforce re-entry program can help women address these challenges and build the skills and confidence they need to succeed and stay strong in the workplace.

Furthermore, building good workforce re-entry programs for women is necessary because it can help address the gender balance. Women who take a break from work often find it difficult to return at the same level of pay and status as before their break. A workforce re-entry program that helps women re-skill, up-skill, and network can provide them with access to better-paying jobs and the opportunity to negotiate fairer salaries.

Features of Good Workforce Re-entry Programs for Women

A good workforce re-entry program for women should include the following features:

  1. Flexible Schedules: Often, many women willing to return to work have caregiving responsibilities, which makes it challenging for them to work traditional hours. A good workforce re-entry program should offer flexible work arrangements, such as part-time or job-sharing options, to help women balance work and personal responsibilities.
  2. Skill Development: Women who have taken a break from work may need to update their skills to stay relevant in their field. A good workforce re-entry program should provide access to training and development opportunities that enable women to up-skill and re-skill.
  3. Networking Opportunities: Women who have been out of the workforce for a while may find it challenging to re-establish professional networks. A good workforce re-entry program should offer networking opportunities, such as mentorship programs and industry events, to help women connect with other professionals in their fields.
  4. Career Counseling: Women who have taken a break from work may need guidance on how to re-enter the workforce successfully. Providing guidance on available opportunities that suit them is vital. A good workforce re-entry program should offer career-counseling services to help women identify their strengths, set career goals, and develop a plan to achieve them.
  5. Equal Pay: Women who take a break from work often find it difficult to return at the same level of pay and status as before their break. The reasons can vary from career gaps to stereotypes. A good workforce re-entry program should ensure that women are paid fairly and given the opportunity to negotiate their salaries based on competency and fitment.

Benefits of Good Workforce Re-entry Programs for Women

Talent Pool: Good workforce re-entry programs address talent shortages. Women who have taken time off their careers are experienced and skilled. Short-duration on-the-job upskilling or reskilling support to these women will ensure that organizations have a ready talent pool to address workforce shortages.

Employability: One of the most significant benefits of good workforce re-entry programs for women is the enhancement of their employability. A good workforce re-entry program can help women update their skills and find suitable job opportunities.

Gender Balance: One of the primary benefits of good workforce re-entry programs for women is that they help to address the gender gap. Women who take time off from their careers to care for family members or for personal reasons often find it difficult to re-enter the workforce at the same level of pay and seniority as their male counterparts. This can have a significant impact on their long-term earning potential and financial stability and will perpetuate stereotypes. By providing women with the tools and resources they need to re-enter the workforce, good re-entry programs can help to close the gender pay gap and ensure that women are able to earn a fair and equitable pay for their work.

Economic Growth and Development: Women make up a significant portion of the workforce, and their contributions are essential to the growth and prosperity of the economy. By providing women with the support they need to re-enter the workforce, good re-entry programs can help to ensure that women are able to fully participate in and contribute to the economy.

In conclusion, good workforce re-entry programs for women provide numerous benefits, both for the individuals participating in the programs and for the organization’s that employ them. By helping to address the gender pay gap, promoting employability, addressing the talent shortage, and promoting economic growth and development, these programs play an important role in ensuring that women are able to fully participate in and contribute to the workforce. As such, they are an essential tool for building a more equitable and thriving future for all.

We did a pilot program in collaboration with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) to train women (35-45 years) on skills that can enable them return to the workforce. The program had placement support, sensitization of family and employers and financial literacy module to enable smooth transition back to workforce. A detailed learning document with placement figures, key takeaways and recommendations can be accessed here.

Author
Kalyani Rao | Head of Human Resources

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