Women at work can find it daunting to come back to their technical careers after a break. In fact, 43% of women leave the workforce after deciding to have families because they struggle to get back; no matter how smart or productive they might be.
Here’s Asha Vade, who left a job at Goldman Sachs in Bangalore to care for her young son, then wanted to pick up where she left off four years later. “It was hard for me to keep up the pace at home and work as both were equally demanding,” Vade says, “I chose to make my son and family my priority.”
Vade is not alone. Just run a mental list of the people you know who might have made this choice and you would know this is no exaggeration!
Women lose time, skills – but more importantly, their confidence. One of the most common reasons that a woman hesitates to go back into the workforce is because they are afraid of not fitting in anymore.
Several corporates are working around this problem of helping women get back on their feet. Some have gone the extra mile to help ease women into the roles that they are capable of.
Intuit is a company that is clearly leading the way in this space.
Intuit Again is a program developed to inspire and provide an opportunity for women technologists who have taken a break in their career and aspire to come back to work. The concept of Intuit Again was built on key fundamentals such as enabling and supporting women to re-ignite their careers in technology, bringing in more thought diversity which will help us solve customer problems, and gaining rich insights from a previously untapped women talent pool.
Intuit’s mission is to dispel the myth that women who choose to put their careers on hold for personal reasons or to raise a family have a difficult time finding employment.
Intuit Again, introduced in 2015, is a platform that not only gives candidates a chance to be on-boarded, but also provides a six-month training program to help train and sharpen their professional skills. During this six month period, there will be a fixed stipend paid every month to all women participating in the program. The Intuit Again team took an ecosystem approach when first developing the program with support from leadership, human resources, and marketing. The initial integrated internal and external campaign resulted in 125 resumes to the microsite, specially designed for the program. Nearly half of the resumes were through employee referrals and the campaign received 50,000-plus impressions through social media.Through the Intuit Again program started last year, in 2015, we recruited 10 candidates, out of which five were hired at Intuit. This year, 2016, 10 Interns have been
Through the Intuit Again program started last year, in 2015, Intuit recruited 10 candidates, out of which five were hired at Intuit. This year, 2016, 10 Interns have been on-boarded already and have completed five months of the program. Five candidates have already been hired as FTEs and the number is likely to go up.
Women working at Intuit can rest assured that their needs are being considered and addressed. These women-centric initiatives at Intuit have been a humbling experience for us as we have witnessed hundreds of women endeavor greater goals and transform their lives.
To qualify for the program, candidates are required to have any bachelor’s or master’s degree with a minimum of three years previous work experience and a minimum of a one-year break from the workplace. After successful completion of the program, the organization will do full rounds of standard interviews after the program, and depending on the requirements within the organization, the candidate’s match for the role, and her performance during the previous six-month period, she could be offered a job opportunity.
Intuit’s general mindset around experimentation and the great support received from the Intuit leadership has resulted in making this a successful program.
“I was a new mother, so took a 15-month break to enjoy the time with my baby and give her 100% love and support. However, I enjoyed my professional life very much and never thought of taking a permanent break from work. It was a tough decision to resume work, but I made it to the Intuit Again program.
Here, I worked with a cooperative and helpful team, who helped me understand the processes and workflows, and supported me with any issues I faced. This was truly the experience I had hoped for.” – Parimala Modupalli, Software Engineer II
“After a three-and-a-half year break, it was my working friends who encouraged me to come back to work. With my family’s full support, I joined the Intuit Again program, where I was part of a highly motivated and dedicated team. I was afraid my skills were out of date, but with the help of friendly coworkers, my buddy, Soumya and mentor, Vanaja, I settled in quickly and with ease and I am now on a great career path!” – Vinu Warrier, Software Engineer II
Devishobha is the founder of Kidskintha- a global parenting and education collective, and the host of the global virtual conferences hosted on the platform. You can also find her voice on the Huffington Post, Mother.ly, Entrepreneur, Lifehack, TinyBuddha, Thought Catalog and many other publications.