Women often see their career scopes diminish post breaks taken during marriage, elderly care and maternity. On August 11, 2016, the Rajya Sabha passed the Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill 2016. This act regulates the employment of women during the period of child birth and adoption giving them entitlement to maternity benefits. The law is applicable to all employers employing 10 or more people.
Neha Bagaria and her co-founder realized the depth of this issue prevailing among women in their thirties, which was preventing women from taking up challenging careers during their lifetime.
She launched JobsForHer, an online portal to enable women to restart their careers post breaks taken during personal emergencies. Entrepreneur India asked Neha about some of the common challenges faced by women while getting back to work and how her startup caters into their needs.
What are the major challenges for women who look out for jobs in their mid 30s?
Women in their 30’s think that companies are only looking for candidates who are under 30 years old. However, the truth is that most companies now realize the value of qualified, experienced women candidates who took a break in their careers, which they know has augmented their workplace skills because of the work they were accomplishing on the home-front during that time.
"Our portal lists only companies who KNOW about the gap in a woman’s resume and DON’T CARE about the gap; they only care about their qualifications & experience as they relate to their job roles on offer."
What are the most challenging domains for job hunting in India for women?
We have found that the field of technology is hardest for women to return to because of how fast their skill-sets grow obsolete in a warp-speed advancing workplace. However, we have hacked that problem by roping in partners who are experts in the field of aptitude-assessment and reskilling & retraining – Talentbridge and Simplilearn – to offer both to our candidates who want to return to tech. We recently powered a diversity drive with a 100 year old global IT giant who offered both these enablers free to the first 500 applicants for their jobs on our portal. It’s been a winner.
Should women in India opt for govt jobs over private jobs or vice versa?
As long as the job role is understanding of a woman’s role both in the workplace and at home, and offers her the flexibility to excel at both, which is the need of the hour in India, it doesn’t matter where she gets a job after her career break. Both the government and private sector seem to be stepping up to the plate in this regard, which is heartening.
Is maternity period still a major concern for working women?
With the government extending maternity leave to 24 weeks from the existing 12 weeks, it should come as a welcome change for most working women. In addition, JobsForHer lists many companies that specifically focus on providing an environment and facilities that are conducive for women returning after a maternity break. Many Indian companies are realizing the value of their female workforce and implementing long-term policies to retain them instead of losing them to the holy trinity of attrition – marriage, motherhood and/or elderly care.