Innovative Back-to-Work Initiative for Women | SPJIMR

Innovative Back-to-Work Initiative for Women

Saturday, October 1, 2016

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), “Since 2005, the percentage of working-age Indian women who participate in the labour force has dropped by 10 per cent, the largest drop of any country in the world during the same time period. This exodus from the work force undermines the popular narrative of a modernising India”. The reasons are many and familiar too…maternity, childcare, unfair load of domestic chores, gender discrimination at work, work conditions, security.

Sylvia Hewlitt, founder of the Centre for Talent Innovation (CTI) and one of the world’s top 50 thinkers, has conducted extensive research on the subject. According to CTI, 36 per cent of Indian women will take a break from work and almost 91 percent of women who take a break want to come back to work, but only 58 per cent are able to rejoin full time work. Undoubtedly the career interruptions impact not just the earnings but ambitions and aspirations too.

Back-to-Work initiative

With this objective, the S P Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), a top ranked school of management, recently launched a pioneering new programme targeted specifically at qualified women who wish to return to work after a career break.

The programme is called the Management Programme for Women (MPW), an 11-month, full time, post graduate programme designed to meet the knowledge gaps and skills development needs of women who are returning to a corporate career after a break of more than two years. The launch of MPW at the SP Jain Institute of Management & Research took place on 1st September 2016. 

MPW stands out in the academic space as the only programme of its kind from a leading management school for returning women, and marks an important step in developing a pipeline of women leaders for tomorrow.

Research indicates that almost half of Indian women drop out of the pipeline before reaching mid-career. Many of them are willing to return to work but are often unable to find the support they need to take up important roles.

MPW is designed to meet the needs of this specific target group. It goes beyond traditional management programmes and will cover in its curriculum a range of subjects that will prepare women leaders to take up the challenges of a career in today’s competitive environment and inspire women leaders to be ready for bigger roles.

The programme was launched in Mumbai by Deepak Parekh (chairperson, HDFC, and SPJIMR governing council). Speaking on the occasion, Parekh said, “The programme opens up new opportunities for a large section of women who wish to pursue their dreams and in the process also open a rich pipeline of talent for corporate India. This will help businesses fill up senior positions and help drive towards a more gender balanced leadership mix.”

SPJIMR Dean Dr. Ranjan Banerjee said “We believe that a large pool of talented women with underutilised and significant leadership potential exists today. SPJIMR would like to be at the forefront of nurturing and building this leadership potential.”

Programme head, Dr.Sumita Datta, emphasized that the programme is a learning journey through which participants will be able to enhance their knowledge, skills and confidence, adding that the pre-partnership arrangement with large corporate would open up exciting opportunities for mentoring, internships and placements for the participants. This would contribute to creating a diverse and inclusive work culture in the long term.

Ms. Rajkamal Vempati, (head HR, Axis Bank), which is a leading corporate partner for the programme, said: “Axis Bank has always been a strong supporter of women returning to the workplace after taking a break. Our ‘Reconnect’ programme focuses on bringing back the bank’s women alumni, who are on a break and looking for avenues to re-start their career. Women are dropping out of the work force during various life stage events and as corporates it’s our responsibility to support their smooth transition back into the corporate world.”

Among those present at the conference were corporate partners who will guide, support, mentor and open up opportunities for participants of SPJIMR’s MPW to help build on the vision of a more gender balanced workforce.

The launch news conference also saw an insightful discussion on the role of women leaders to help power India’s growth story, to have more gender balanced teams across functions and to bring a different kind of analysis and insight to the board room.

Originally published at

Media Source: 
Women's Era

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