There has been a new trend about working women taking career break and re-entry of these women. For women, taking a career break generally means taking time off for maternity leave or stepping back from the workplace to look after children. The high levels of anxiety around this are unsurprising. Career breaks are a fantastic tool to allow workers to take time out of the office for family, children, study, travel or a whole host of other reasons, but it sometimes leads to something adverse for many women. These talented returners, after re-entry, cannot find meaningful and challenging full-time work.
The employers generally form the view that women returners are not a homogeneous group and the length of their career break appears to play a key role in the re-entry process; the longer the break the greater the impact. Women who interrupt their careers experience downward mobility in salary and status. Also, such career breaks counteract career development due to the lack of support mechanisms, such as flexi-time schemes, part-time work, and insufficient training.
An article from the journal ‘Metamorphosis’ explicates that once a woman has invested many years in a career, figuring out how to take time out and then return to a role that’s comparable to the one she left (or as comparable as you want it to be) requires more than confidence and enthusiasm.
A career break creates a knowledge gap, a deficit in confidence, and other opportunities. Greater the break, the greater will be the impact. In today’s globally competitive market, knowledge constantly makes itself obsolete with the result that today’s advanced knowledge is tomorrow’s ignorance. Thus employers tend to believe that the skills of such women have become obsolete and are required to be re-trained.
The article also talks about some recent global studies which show that women continue to increase their share of managerial positions, but the rate of progress is slow, uneven, and sometimes discouraging as they face barriers created by attitudinal prejudices in the workplace. The article further concludes on the note that Women, who are currently on a career break and are thinking about their re-entry, need to be motivated to be courageous enough to break the barriers that prevent them from returning. Also, the corporate sensitivity is to be enhanced for such an issue and people should become more understanding and receptive towards this trend.
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