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Retaining Women In The Workforce: How To Nurture Female Talent


This article highlights one of the topics that will be discussed at the 2nd Annual Women in Leadership (WIL) Forum India.

Today, in most organizations, women form a large chunk of the talent pool. Yet, they remain underrepresented because most drop out midway, mostly compelled to familial and parenting responsibilities or a sheer lack of support from their organization.

Research has shown that women employees are an asset to any organization and companies that make active efforts to recruit and retain their female workforce, tend to thrive and grow at a higher rate.

Women In The WorkforceWhile some organizations in India are moving with changing times, many are yet to wake up to this fact. The expectations and priorities of a female employee are largely different from a male one.

According to a recent survey carried out at Tata Consultancy Services by People Matters, women placed “lack of flexiwork options”, “male-dominated office environment” and “inadequate work-life balance” as the primary deterrents to their professional growth.

Here’s what organizations can do to attract and retain female talent:

  • Provide Equal Opportunities Employment Policies

By encouraging a more inclusive work culture, organizations can reduce attrition of female employees and ensure a better gender balance at the senior management level.

It would help to train and sensitize the senior management towards the need to eliminate gender stereotyping and nurturing a diverse talent pool. This also calls for a greater emphasis on fair and neutral appraisals that are solely performance-driven.

  • Opportunities For Personal And Professional Development

Mentoring programs, networking and leadership training are major driving factors for career-oriented women as they help avoid stagnation and promote growth. Such initiatives will allow large, medium and small-scale organizations to groom and train talented women for leadership positions.

Incurring additional expenses to retain women in the workforce may not seem like an economical idea at first, but in the long term, organizations are sure to benefit from the multi-fold benefits.

  • Provide Flexiwork Options

Even though many organizations provide for telecommuting, work-from-home and flexi-hours, employees availing these options are generally looked upon as less competitive and lax in their professional attitudes.

By placing telecommuters at par with on-location workers and offering them growth opportunities on the basis on performance and productivity rather than visibility in the office, organizations will be able to retain more women employees.

Moreover, women will feel less hesitant about taking advantage of such provisions, which in turn will keep them from quitting their jobs in the event of marriage, motherhood or other familial responsibilities.

  • Return-To-Work Policies

An astounding number of women take longer breaks to take care of a new baby. However, when it is time to join the work force, most women find themselves disconnected and “out of the race”.

Appropriate reintegration policies and women forums can help women find their place in the organization and at the same time, cater to the changing needs of their families.

Having daycare facilities within the office premises would be an added bonus as it would give working mothers a chance to care for their children without having to take frequent days off.

 © is a media partner for the 2nd Annual Women in Leadership (WIL) Forum India

Women in Leadership (WIL) Series Topics:

The 2nd Annual Women in Leadership (WIL) Forum India will be held at the JW Marriott in Mumbai on October 13th – 14th 2011. WIL is a cutting-edge platform for businesswomen from all backgrounds, industry sectors and countries around the world. Amongst the delegates in attendance will be top Indian and global businesswomen, industry visionaries, leading politicians, knowledge thought leaders and entrepreneurs.

Event Details:

Venue: JW Marriott, Mumbai, India
Date: October 13th – 14th
Log on to to register

Career Guidance for Women:

  • Free MAPP Assessment – Are you happy with your job? Know what truly motivates you and what career is best for you. The MAPP Assessment reveals the real you – your natural motivations, interests and talents for work. By taking the test you identify your ideal careers and discover your strengths, your styles for communications, learning and leadership.
  • How to Become a Rising Star in Your Career in 60 Days or Less – Discover the career performance system that gets you where you want to go and learn the critical things that top performers know and do that average performers do not. Regardless whether you’re just starting out in your career or you’re aiming for a new, top-level position, learning these strategies and techniques will give you an edge over your competition. These proven strategies can help you earn more, gain respect and recognition, and put your career on the fast track.
  • The Strategic Career Plan – Covers areas important to your preparedness and marketability whether you are a business owner, gainfully employed or in a career transition. Define yourself, know your core competencies, SWOT, what is unique about you, why that matters and how to market yourself. Formulate a strategy with a game plan and goals including your communication strategy – verbal/paper/online – effective networking and how to be sought after as an expert in your field.



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