In spite of women being heralded the world over for their cradling but competent power and their natural ability to multi task, it is a sad reality that the fairer sex do face a lot of discrimination when it comes tot the workplace. The lady might be the boss of the house but seldom is she accorded the same status as a working professional. Women are seldom expected to make their careers a priority, concentrating instead on home and hearth perhaps even against their wishes.
Even when the status quo of today’s times are more liberating, women still have to struggle specially when they choose to venture back into the workforce after some hiatus. From citing lack of relevance owing to missing out of action for some time to speculating whether women still have that will to give back to the domain they once chose to do away with, the second chance for the fairer sex isn’t a fair gamble. However, dispelling such norms of the times are quite some organizations that are helping women make their mark the second time around. Here are some such names that are backing women in India in their quest for another chance at career and identity-
Even when this whole consciousness of women wanting to take on their career for a second time sounds like a proposition of recent times, the country has had an organisation that was motivated by this very end in the not so recent past. Avatar Women, or Avtar I-Win as it was known when it came to the fore in 2005 is perhaps the pioneer in helping women take a second shot at their profession.
Founded by Dr. Saundarya Rajesh who has in fact been accredited as the originator of the concept of Second Career opportunities for women in Corporate India, Avtar Women came into being as a testimony of Rajesh’s personal experience. Particularly in India where women need to remain within the confines of home and family, the second innings of a female’s career remains only an obscure dream. Specifically when Rajesh visited the UK in 2005 on a scholarship, she was delighted to discover people who worked at their own will. This strengthened her vision which led to the set up of Avtar I-Win in India.
Avtar I-Win came into being exclusively to help women in India re-enter the workforce after a break. A now 3.5 lakh strong community that started out with some 200 women, Avtar Women provides career guidance and service to women professionals. A path breaking initiative when it first broke ground in 2005, Avtar Women has sustained its dedicated work towards helping women to emerge as probably India’s largest creator of career re-entries for women.
Recognised as a “#100Women Achiever” by India’s Ministry of Women and Child Development and also listed in the United Nation’s “Women Transforming India”, Rajan also has been the first Indian to be conferred with the Prestigious “Winds of Change” award for her ground breaking initiative.
A women only social platform, Noida based SHEROES is another prominent name when it comes to catering to Indian women on the threshold of a career relaunch. Co founded by technology entrepreneur Sairee Chahal, SHEROES has been changing the game for Indian women and their aspirations since 2014. A career centric platform for women in essence, SHEROES however does not restrict itself to being an exclusively professional community. But in curating jobs for women as well as helping them with flexible career options, SHEROES sure is one of the leaders in this whole relaunching thing.
With empowering women as the one only mantra behind the origin of SHEROES, Chahal’s women exclusive vision also had found expression through another of her startups called Fleximom. Set up sometime around 2006, Fleximoms works with women who are making work-life choices and help them prepare for and connect with professional opportunities. By connecting women seeking to enter or re-enter the workplace with job opportunities, information, and mentoring, Fleximoms operates on the same principles as SHEROES. In helping women take substantial and conscious career decisions, Chahal and her network of women are redefining work for the female force.
Another venture striving to place women on a more equitable position as far as careers are concerned is JobsForHer. Also the brainchild of a woman who put in perspective her won experience to come up with this Bengaluru based platform in 2015, JobsForHer was founded by Neha Bagaria. Like the monopolistic norm, it was motherhood that forced Bagaria to halt her march with career for a brief while. While Bagaria indeed did return to work without much fuss, it perhaps was her position in her husband’s company that made the move smooth for her. Struck by the realisation that work for women could be a privilege rather than a choice, Bagaria set about starting her online platform for women.
As a portal for women willing to make career a priority for the second time, JobsForHer came into existence in 2015 on International Women’s Day. For helping women re-starters be in the reckoning once again, JobsForHer organises two annual career events- AccelHERate, held on International Women’s Day and RestartHer in September. It is Bagaria’s foresightedness as an entrepreneur that by coming up with such essential programs she has helped accelerate the careers of many women like her by reintroducing the latent talent pool into the job market.
A community for professionals that focusses on supporting women on a career break to get back to work, KoffeePlace came into being in 2016 with Anisha Parikh and Ashni Dwarkadas as founders. Specifically concentrating on the dilemma of women who break away from their careers with motherhood as priority, KoffeePlace also started with the personal experience of Ashni at play. Thus stemmed an entrepreneurial journey that seeks to help career-break women get employment-ready and connect them with potential employers. A Mumbai based startup, KoffeePlace also helps women scale further up the career ladder by focusing on three very essential elements of success- confidence, skills and opportunities.
Her Second Innings
Another platform that was launched in 2014 with the objective of helping women return to their careers is Her Second Innings. Founded by Manjula Dharmalingam and Madhuri Kale as a platform to make women financially independent, emotionally strong and socially empowered, Her Second Innings helps women not just in securing a desirable career position their second time around but also helps desiring women make the switch from their current employment to a more preferred one. From helping women secure permanent jobs to allowing them flexibility with work from home options and temporary assignments and projects, this aptly named platform even has programs that help women retouch their skill sets for greater employability.
Designated as the largest career and community platform for women that was set up in 2014, GharSeNaukri is an exclusive work from home approach based social enterprise. Distinctive in being a realm for the womenfolk but conceived by a man Ajat Shatru, the She Workz tagline of GharSeNaukri amply sums up the vision behind this initiative. In fact, Ajat Shatru dwelt on the idea of providing women with a chance at career because he felt that a look down upon women within families impact not just their social status, it also impacts relationships. As the name suggests, GharSeNaukri aims at providing women with feasible and flexible work from home options. From such job options based on skill as well on location on display, GharSeNaukri is a prominent marker in the realm of helping women reenter the workforce as per their convenience.