New-age ways of mentoring and upskilling women employees after maternity


By Rachna Mukherjee 

From managing family alone to an ambitious career woman with family responsibilities, the role of Indian women has undergone a significant transformation. Juggling between several responsibilities, women today are not just making it to the top across sectors but also making a splash in hitherto unchartered territories. However, post-motherhood, serious disruptions may emerge in their work-life balance. 

A large segment of new mothers today are found struggling between responsibilities of motherhood and that of a workplace. They have to deal with the guilt of leaving their children behind in order to sustain their careers and have a stable support system at home. This sometimes forces them to drop out from regular work. 

While most of women are trying to find their way to deal with it, it is extremely encouraging to see that organisations have realised the importance of this talent pool and hence of supporting the working mothers. Companies today have specific policies crafted to make the workplace conducive for new mothers. It is imperative to have flexible work arrangement policy, maternity as well as paternity policy; training programs etc. to enable working mothers in attaining the right work-life balance. 

More and more organisations today have policies in place that support women employees, especially mothers, to ensure not only continuity of their career but also nurture high career ambitions and facilitate their goals. This approach can go a long way in retaining this valued talent pool. 

As a responsible player, Schneider Electric focuses on empowering women and providing the right environment for their inclusive growth. Work-life balance as a well-being priority is supported by our policies such as enhanced maternity leave Policy, sabbatical policy and family leave policy. Starting from hiring to creating a strong women base in the leadership team, we strive to support women 

Organisation should focus on making exclusive polices for the working mothers like enhanced maternity leave, crèche facility day care facility, global family leave policy, her second innings to hire women from career break especially after maternity. Companies should run special programmeto impart learning and give emotional and psychological assistance to all the employees including working mothers. 

To combat the challenges of maternity discrimination and loss of women in workforce, the government came up with the new Maternity Act, a.k.a the Maternity Benefits (Amendment) Bill, 2016. It mandates an expansion in the paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks, a leave of up to 12 weeks for a woman adopting a child below the age of three months, and provision of crèche facilities by employers with more than 50 employees. These women-friendly policies will allow the new mothers to take care of their infants further reducing the drop-out rates of organisations. 

The author is the CHRO, Schneider Electric India 

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