In the corporate sector, it is not rare to come across ambitious women struggling to return to their “once flourishing careers”.
You will agree that there is some disconnect when it comes to women willing to resume their career after a sabbatical and the jobs available at a particular time in various companies. A fundamental reason to which can attribute this issue is the presence of many myths and misconceptions built over time.
These misconceptions lead to the undermining of this experienced, talented and hard-working pool of well deserving female candidates.
Here are some of the misconceptions related to the women who return to work after a considerable career break:
There is a Huge Difference between Work Flexibility & Part-Time Job
The University of Edinburgh Business School researched in 2015, showing that more than 70% of the participants looked for a job with a certain degree of work flexibility. Flexibility, however, is not the same as a part-time job.
‘Part-time’ is now considered as a supposedly derogatory word, taken in the same breath with the jobs less organized in their strategy, have low status, and are taken up by people not ready to commit to a particular position fully.
It is high time that we ensure to keep more focus on the value they bring and deliver, rather than looking at the clocks repeatedly to find out the amount of time they are present in the office.
It can be quickly sorted out to think about the actual output and offer flexibility as to when and where the allotted work gets completed.
As a firm, it is essential that the people at the upper management show a healthy amount of trust in women and consider offering them a considerable degree of flexibility. If women employees can meet their work deadlines and commitments with managing their home and family as well, there is no harm to make things a little eased out for them.
Women Returning to Work after a Break, lack Confidence (Really?)
Many times it is felt that once a woman returns to work after a considerable gap, the previous level of confidence goes amiss. Hilariously, the exact opposite of it is true. Through their role, these women have accumulated a life experience like no other.
These women have managed all kinds of big and small events, and have also taken a lot of varying emotions head-on- illness, grief, relocation to other cities and countries, and raising children as well. It all makes them durable, ensuring that they will be remaining unfazed in critical situations.
The moment you throw a challenge at them, be sure that they will chalk up an effective plan pretty quickly. Quite a good number of women mentioned confidence as an issue to their triumphant return after a long break.
Rather than the lack of confidence, when there is a career break of a few years, there is quite a lot of catching up to do in terms of trends. For instance, if a woman took a break of about five or seven years, she might have to cover up a lot in the area of digital marketing. It is an area that has witnessed an increase in the last few years.
Women can then get back to the present by taking up relevant courses to get up to speed. This will only boost the confidence, showing how it can be a pleasant prospect not to undermine women, but let them work at their full potential.
Women taking a Career Break are Not Ambitious!
Any individual gives a lot of thought before taking a final call on returning to work after a considerably long gap. Returning to work requires a vast amount of effort on their part. Trying to take care of the gap created at home, looking after the financial calculations once again, and not to mention getting another excellent job of course.
Women returning from a long break do not lack ambitions in any aspect. On the contrary, women prefer self- actualization in such a situation. Women continuously look out for challenging tasks, where they can test their intellect and stay surrounded by like-minded people.
A majority of women aspire to be role models for their children, more importantly, their daughters. These women also want to make a difference with the long years they have to contribute to their professional careers.
Some women find it better not to take up any job if they think that the tasks will not be challenging enough for them. It is where they feel that their impact will be more pronounced, is the job they will always take up, making their return to work life more visible and active.
Only Maternity Break qualifies for an unavoidable Career Break
Not every woman is returning to work after a maternity break. There are plenty of other reasons like family relocation, redundancy, care of elderly relatives, and even starting up a new business for stepping away from their corporate life.
It is important not to ditch the image of women as mothers who leave their established jobs to look after their babies. In real life, things are never as regular and predictable as they seem to be.
Women Returnee have Diminished Skill Sets as compared to the ones with No CareerBreak
A lot of people tend to assume that the working skills of women become irrelevant after they have been away taking care of other things in their life. What is missed here is that the wisdom, knowledge, and experience they gain from being apart from their usual workplace only makes them come back to the corporate table with a lot more value. Breaks can recharge, refresh and bring about a new focus for the company business.
It also becomes easier to develop new skills and apply them to increase the growth and productivity of the organization. Sticking to the old stereotypes will only block an excellent company asset in women contribute to the sustenance of the company.
There is no substitute for the right talent and skills. And, as an organization compromising on those skills while hiring leads to self-destruction. However, judging a candidate based on their Valid career breaks instead of evaluating them on their skill sets & past work experience, will only hinder your growth as a brand, as a company, and as managers too.
At GoodWorkLabs we promote Diversity at Work, in the form of gender equality, age, religion, past work experience & much more. For us, a candidate’s skill sets, attitude, energy & confidence comes before anything else. We believe in providing equal opportunity to each deserving candidate irrespective of the stereotypical factors, be it for in-house hiring or for Staff Augmentation.
If you think you have promising capabilities to be a part of such open non-judgemental work culture, Join Us today!