Having a child is one of the greatest boons, especially for a mother in any part of the world. Women put their careers and lives on hold in order to give their children the time and attention they rightly require. However, “Where do I leave my Child?” is the biggest conundrum a woman faces when she decides to go back to work. To avoid this problem, several women often end up taking breaks that extend up to several years. Therefore, when they decide to come back to work, sadly they neither have the skill set or value required to fit into the current job scenario.
To overcome this problem and ensure gender equality, several IT and Pharma companies have adopted various policies and steps to ensure friendlier and stress free atmosphere for working mothers. Most mothers find it extremely difficult to leave their tiny tots back at home. To overcome this problem, IT companies like Accenture and IBM have either in-house daycare facilities or tied up with daycares to help working mothers in their company.
A blog post by Divya Gour, Software Engineering Team Lead at Accenture, Bengaluru mentions that it is never easy to maintain a balance between personal and professional lives. “The daycare facilities where I work at Accenture, a global professional services company, are a true blessing. They offer full-day support for my children, while engaging them with activities that focus on age-appropriate educational milestones,” says Divya, about the day care where she leaves her two young daughters. She also mentions that she is able to focus more on her work since she knows her daughters are taken care of at daycare. Accenture also has paid maternity leaves and other benefits for women.
IBM has tied up with Your Kids ‘R’ Our Kids to help their employees and make their policies more women friendly. The technology giant has contracted with YKROK Child care centers for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children as essential services for working parents at IBM. IBM employees can enroll their children in IBM priority spaces at the Pune Centers, but for Bangalore and Chennai centers, IBM employees can enroll in EGL, Bannerghatta, HSR Layout, Outer Ring Road/Marthahalli, Hebbal at Manyata Tech Park and Electronic City centers with discounted rates provided by YKROK.
Most day cares these days provide live CCTV feeds so mothers can watch their kids and the activities they are up to on a real time basis from their mobile phones. The DLF Cyber City in Gurgaon, which houses some of the top IT and Fortune 500 companies, has an in house day care called Little Pearls wherein working mothers in the DLF Cyber City can enroll their children. The day care has a CCTV installed in every room to monitor children at all times.
IT companies, however, can pick a leaf from Pharmacological companies like GSK and Novartis to make their environment friendlier for working women. GlaxoSmithkline grants 26 weeks of paid maternity leave to women and 21 days of paid paternity leave for fathers. GSK too has partnered with a preschool and daycare facility to help mothers working at their facility. Novartis has similar facilities as well. Although Indian IT companies have updated their policies on paid maternity and paternity leaves, further steps are required to retain women and their talent. Addition of in-house day care facilities will definitely reduce the number of women taking long breaks in their career to become care givers.