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Women in the Workplace

Women in the Workplace: Empowering the Underrepresented Talent Pool

The pandemic has undone the progress made in bringing more women back into the workforce to a certain extent.

The present-day workplace for women is laden with challenges — both professionally and personally. Although the tech industry has evolved rapidly, it still has a long way to achieve equity and equality in the workplace. Case in point, five of the largest tech companies (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft) featured only 34.4% women.

As the pandemic continues to disrupt the workforce, companies are taking steps to support their female employees by offering reskilling and upskilling programs. We share a few steps essential for today’s organizations to fully use this valuable talent pool.

Fostering professional development

Empowering the underutilized talent pool must be the top priority. Reskilling can be much trickier in these pressing times; however, key tech players are cashing in on the opportunity to reskill their female workforce.

Establishing a better support system can help female employees work their way through unprecedented challenges. Mentoring and sponsoring are two of the many programs organizations assist female employees in developing their skills. While the former stresses on improving fresh talent, the latter focuses on reskilling the current workforce.

Airbus addresses equality through upskilling and reskilling programs, mentoring, and a buddy support system, ultimately connecting them to internal communities and easing their transition.

Given the influx of new technologies that have transformed the way we work, female employees can build their skills and become relevant to current market needs. Emphasizing on reskilling and corporate development programs can help them climb the career ladder at a much brisk pace.

Making them a part of key decisions

A research report found that women are 60% more likely than men to never feel comfortable expressing themselves at work. Despite the hesitancy in speaking up, the percentage of women in senior IT leadership positions rose from 21% to 24% between 2018 and 2019. While there is progress, women account for only 16% of senior-level tech jobs and 10% executive positions.

Companies need to encourage more female employees to take up leadership roles and boardrooms. Providing them with opportunities to raise their voices and reflect upon their opinions plays an instrumental role in getting women back into the workforce.

Undoubtedly, the pandemic has uprooted the confidence of many, making it harder for women to communicate their message in a male-dominated workplace.

As talent managers, investing in reskilling programs on enhancing leadership skills will help female employees manage the situation better and assert authority in the decision-making process.

Introducing return-to-work initiatives

COVID-19 brought the workforce to a halt. Employees find it daunting to return to the workplace after a year-long break, especially the female workforce.

The much-talked-about ‘returnship’ or return-to-work programs have garnered the attention of talent management teams to lure individuals into re-entering the workforce. Simply put, these programs help gain the relevant experience again after taking time away from the workforce.

Currently, the stand-out returnship program is VMware’s VMinclusion Taara initiative for women in India. The California-based firm’s one-of-a-kind upskill program offers free technical education and certification courses on cloud computing and virtualization, among others. Since the program’s inception, thousands of women have relaunched their careers after completing the program.

Another excellent example of encouraging women to return to the workspace is the Re-Ignite by Johnson & Johnson. This return-to-work initiative is designed for employees involved in science, technology, engineering, maths, manufacturing, and design roles. The program supports those returning to the workplace by offering paid on-the-job learning opportunities, support from experts working at J&J, also pushing them for a full-time role post the program’s completion.

As per the Centre for Talent Innovation report, 91% of women want to return to work, but about 40 – 45% fail to find opportunities in suitable job roles. These reskilling and upskilling initiatives by the companies are a relief to those women carrying outdated skills in this heavily tech-reliant society.

Given the competitiveness of today’s job market, women might feel overwhelmed to relaunch their careers. However, they have found innumerable benefits of kick-starting or restarting their careers, courtesy of the reskilling initiatives introduced by organizations worldwide.

Re-entering the workforce can be challenging, but companies can ensure they have a plain-sailing path to progress by incorporating reskilling/upskilling programs.

Draup helps talent management teams in addressing skill gaps and prepare the underutilized talent pool for the future of work. In addition, the platform also identifies learning pathways optimized for time & resources to bridge skill gaps efficiently.

Draup for Talent is the most sought-after platform for talent managers to help female employees get back to the workforce. Draup’s Diversity Navigator coupled with Reskilling Navigator tool enables talent management to utilize this talented pool by creating invaluable learning modules.