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‘Work Flexibility Key to Women’s Job Retention’

Arundhati Bhattacharya emphasized the significance of comprehending why women exit the workforce and offering them flexible work schedules and locations to retain them…reports Asian Lite News

Former SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya on Friday raised concern over the fact that a very small percentage of women make it to the senior management in different organisations.

She made the comments while delivering her special address during CII’s Rajasthan Women Leadership Summit in Jaipur.

“The reason for this is that women often exit the workforce at various stages, such as during childbearing, when their children are between classes 10 to 12, or when they need to care for the elderly at home. The women workforce should be provided with flexible work schedules and locations,” she said and added that women should make up to 40 to 50 per cent of an organisation’s workforce.

To retain women in the workforce, it is important to understand why they leave and provide them with flexible work schedules and locations, said Bhattacharya.

Bhattacharya, who was the first woman chairperson of SBI, further cited the example of how introducing the concept of a sabbatical for up to two years for women in SBI helped more than 650 women retain their jobs.

Talking about skilling, she said that with the leap in technology, there is a need to keep learning, relearning, and unlearning.

“Skilling is a matter of initiative, as plenty of online courses are now available.”

Sanjay Agarwal, Founder, Managing Director and CEO of AU Small Finance Bank, emphasised the importance of enhancing the visibility of women in the workforce.

He acknowledged that while women are indeed working, their contributions and the time they dedicate to their jobs often go unnoticed or undervalued.

Agarwal stressed that it is crucial for organisations to recognise and appreciate the efforts of female employees, ensuring that their hard work is acknowledged and rewarded.

He also highlighted the need for creating a supportive and secure work environment for women, he said.

Nitin Gupta, Senior Director and Head of CII Rajasthan, said that the primary aim of the summit is to create a platform where women leaders would share their experiences, how they surmounted challenges on their leadership journey and what were the pivotal moments or the events that transformed them as individuals and leaders.

During her welcome remarks, Indian Women Network Chairwoman, Rajasthan, Tanuja Agarwal, said that the objective of the session is to discuss the role of women in nurturing organisational growth.

The Vote of Thanks on the occasion was proposed by Co-Vice Chairwoman, IWN Rajasthan, Nivedita Sarda.

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