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Work-from-home may help 'her' make a comeback

  • Namrata Harish
  • in
  • Back to Work, JFH in the News
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  • 13 May 2020
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The Remote Working Model Can Help
Women Get Back to Work

The idea of working from home has, in the past, only been associated with women, especially those who could not overcome personal hurdles to be able to come back to work full-time.

In fact, our research shows that working women who’ve taken a break from their careers for reasons of marriage, motherhood or moving to another place used to find it very hard to return to work, with many skilled women professionals opting to work only part-time or seeking work-from-home jobs.

With consistent efforts to educate companies and get them on board to increase their diversity and inclusion percentages through exclusive hiring events for women and returnee programs, we have managed to help many women fulfill their career dreams.

Now, the focus has shifted almost 360-degrees to work-from-home, part-time and freelance jobs to build up a gig economy. This focus on remote working is especially beneficial for working moms who are available to work in gigs, ultimately helping bring more women back to work.

The following is an excerpt from an article in Economic Times that highlights the efforts JobsForHer has taken with our partner companies in bringing all women to the workplace:

Work-from-home, an arrangement that curtailed the career progression of many female professionals in the past, has now presented itself as an opportunity for those desirous to make a comeback.

With work-from-home set to become a norm for a large section of the workforce in the wake of Covid-19, companies are opening new roles targeting women looking for a second shot in the professional world.

Data show that the number of work-from-home jobs posted on JobsForHer, a job search portal for women, has increased about 30% in the last one month compared with the same period a year ago. The number of applications from women job seekers, meanwhile, has risen 50% in March compared with a month earlier.

“An increasing number of companies are opening several roles that were earlier not open for women as lot of those job roles are turning into work from home,” JobsForHer founder and chief executive Neha Bagaria said.

The new roles that are being advertised in the work-from-home category include medical content writer, web developer and designer, art therapist, copyright and patent professional, SAP tech-consultant and UI/UX project manager, ASP.Net developers and Python programme developer. Companies that have posted work-from-home profiles on JobsForHer include Amazon, EY, Anand Rathi, Kimberly-Clark, as well as startups such as Multibhashi, Ufaber Edutech, Crescendo Transcription and Hemogenomics.

CEOs and HR heads said the current work-from-home environment — which saves cost and enhances productivity — could turn into a level playing field for women who have been making career compromises due to child care, elder care, and other familial commitments.

“Flexible options of working from home open new avenues for women who wish to pursue a career, despite personal commitments …The current context has strengthened our conviction and provided us proof that our programs on flexible work options could operate at scale,” Amazon India HR director Vijayalakshmi Swaminathan said.

The eCommerce company has programmes such as Virtual Customer Service and Rekindle aimed at creating employment prospects for qualified candidates including homemakers, stay-at-home parents and new mothers.

“We are looking at certain jobs for women that can be done remotely. But now with WFH set to become a norm in several organisations, it will be easier for women who were not taking up a job due to family commitments,” said Sandeep Kohli, partner and talent leader, EY India.

Said Amit Rathi, managing director of Anand Rathi Financial Services: “Looking forward, we will want to move to a more flexible environment where we can attract talent that wants more balance in work and life — this would include young talent as well as women.”

The company, which has been looking at women for several WFH roles, is planning to also tap talent who has left formal workforce.

“WFH will no longer come in the way of career progression, promotion and pay increases … But women have to be in the driver’s seat and promote themselves aggressively,” Emcure Pharmaceuticals executive director Namita Thapar said. She said people working in digital, legal, communication, brand management, medico marketing, etc, can even manage to function from home.

Technology, being one of the main enablers of WFH, leads in jobs with flexibility. According to JobsForHer data, some of these roles advertised for women include data scientist, data engineers, graphic designer, Android developer, customer service associates, virtual customer service associate and full stack developer.

Saundarya Rajesh, founder-director of diversity and inclusion consulting firm AVTAR Group, said WFH provided a lot more opportunities to engage with women as well as other underrepresented talent pool such as people with disabilities.

This article first appeared in Economic Times. Read it here.