Getting Back to Work Post Maternity Break Remains a Social Phenomena in India

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There has always been a lot of conjecture about women returning to work post breaks and also corporates struggling to maintain a stable women workforce. Recently, in an interview to Entrepreneur, Nestle India MD Suresh Narayanan said that maintaining diversity should not be treated as an HR initiative, but should rather become a top management priority.

Speaking on similar lines, Subramanyam S, Founder President and CEO of Ascent HR, said that women workforce comprise between 25 percent to 40 percent of the total employee strength at Indian companies today, depending on the industry.

Talking about the highly debated Maternity Benefit's Program in India, Subramanyam said that women coming back to work post a maternity break is a "social phenomena' and not exactly related to HR policies. "It's unfortunate that our society does not appreciate women working in the same breath as the man. The ability of a man to stand up and take on household responsibilities is not as prevalent even though we talk about it," he said.

The maternity benefit policies can be designed to give women the right amount of break to get back to work. Having said that, Subramanyam also said that six months is a really long break in life and it cannot be facilitated easily when you get back to work.

He also stressed on the need for companies to facilitate policies to enable women to get back to work by providing amenities that help them navigate through that phase easily.

Best jobs for women today

Subramanyam has had close to two decades of experience in finance, legal, tax and business management, having worked in these areas in various corporate domains as a passionate professional before venturing to be an entrepreneur by setting up Ascent in the year 2002.

According to him the following sectors are best suited for women to work in –

  • IT/ITES – this has been their golden story all along
  • Education
  • Healthcare

Pharmaceutical R&D has been a success story as well for women, with leaders like Kiran Mazumdar of Biocon. Research and academics have been a top picks for women throughout, he adds.

Within a span of 15 years, Ascent has established its presence in 25 countries around the world by conducting operations with partners in these countries.