Flexibility is the key to keep women in workforce, say experts at SheSparks 2023
Men and women want different kinds of ‘flexibility’ when it comes to work. Organisations should explore the gender nuances of flexibility in terms of attracting and retaining women talent, said Neha Jain of Akamai Technologies at SheSparks 2023.
Friday March 03, 2023,
2 min Read
India's female work participation rate was just 25% for 2021, according to federal government data, among the lowest for emerging economies.
“There are a lot of reasons for women not coming back to work, and one of them is the lack of flexibility," said Neha Jain, Director Operations and Innovation, Akamai Technologies, at SheSparks 2023.
"A lot of organisations are claiming they will give flexibility, but just on paper. I think developing a culture where we do not mean what we say is a big hindrance to why women are not coming to work,” she said.
Men and women want different kinds of ‘flexibility’ when it comes to work, and organisations should explore the gender nuances of flexibility in terms of attracting and retaining women talent, she added.
“Organisations should provide facilities like child care systems or day care systems to make it easy for women to maintain the work-life balance,” she added.
Last year, in August, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also asked states to use systems like flexible working hours to retain women in the labour force, saying the country could achieve its economic goals faster if it made use of "women power".
Neha further added that even after a career break, a woman is not much confident that she will be able to do the same job again, because, during the time, she was not upskilling herself. Organisations should come up with initiatives like a back to work programme that can help women or give them the confidence to restart their career and re-enter the workforce, whether they've been away for months or years.
“Also, organisations should build equal worlds for both men and women. An ‘Us vs Them’ narrative creates reverse discrimination. Men need to be a part of the diversity dialogue at work,” said Charusmita Rao, Senior Global Learning and Talent Development Manager, India and APJ, Akamai Technologies.
Akamai Technologies is a cloud company that powers and protects life online. It recently launched Akamai Connected Cloud, a massively distributed edge and cloud platform for computing, security, and content delivery that keeps applications and experiences closer and threats farther away.
Edited by Megha Reddy