For many working women, choosing to take a hiatus can often prove to be the hardest decision of their professional career. Although the reasons for this move can vary widely – illness, choosing to start a family, having to care for a relative, or simply need a break – the response to an attempt to re-enter the workforce is generally met with uncertainty.
This inbuilt reluctance to hire an individual who opted for a sabbatical is often compounded by a range of other issues. A slowing economy, a preference for younger candidates, and even an element of sexism can all color a hiring board’s view and leave a candidate scrambling for options. Thankfully, recent years have seen a select group of platforms and apps arise to take up the fight on behalf of women rejoining the workforce. Through their unique services, they prepare women for the challenges they will face and help them reacclimatize to life in the corporate world.
Here are four platforms supporting working women on a break with their journey back into the workplace
Her Second Innings
Her Second Innings is an employment platform dedicated to help women seeking to reenter the workforce. Founded in 2014 by Manjula Dharmalingam, the platform curates job opportunities, hosts development seminars, and organizes e-coaching sessions for women in a wide range of professions. The platform also works closely with several major businesses across industries, providing guidance on diversity hiring initiatives and campaigning for the cause of female reentrants.
Based out of Bengaluru and with a presence in Mumbai, Her Second Innings strives to help women from every socio-economic background. As such, it offers work from home options, temporary and permanent job assignments, and a wide variety of consultancy projects and tasks. Her Second Innings has close to 8,000 members in its community and has helped over 200 women secure full-time positions.
JobsForHer is an online job portal dedicated to helping working women achieve their full potential. Describing itself as India’s largest online portal for women, JobsForHer helps women enter the workforce, re-enter it after a gap, and reach new heights of professional success through various features such as reskilling training, advanced job searches, and networking opportunities. JobsForHer is also renowned for its MentorHer programme, which sees experienced female industry leaders pass on their knowledge to applicants hoping to accelerate their careers.
Based out of Bengaluru, JobsForHer was founded in 2015 by a group of professional women seeking to reenter the job market. In the years since, the portal’s connections with over 7,000 companies has seen 1.85 million job aspirants register for their services.
Cambly is an app for on-demand access to English tutors over video chat. Cambly provides a two-sided platform through which individuals interested in learning English can interact directly with native language tutors through a conversational video chat. A thorough understanding of English is vital for success in an Indian workplace, given its unofficial status as the language of business. Cambly is an important tool for women hoping to re-enter a working environment. This holds especially true for women who haven’t had an opportunity to brush up on their English since leaving the workforce.
The app allows them to learn or practice the language from the comfort of their homes, in their own time, and in a safe environment. Also, since all the tutors on Cambly are native English speakers there’s no judgement and learning happens in a bias and prejudice-free environment. Founded in 2012 by Kevin Law and Sameer Shariff, Cambly entered the Indian market a year ago. In the time since, Cambly has seen a surge in interest from working professionals, with a significant proportion of subscribers coming from the IT sector.
Sheroes is a social networking app dedicated exclusively to women. Through its app and website, it aims to build a community of working women dedicated to supporting the cause of women in the workplace. It helps both newcomers and returnees to the job market with resources and mentorship, and curates corporate jobs, temporary assignments, and flexible and work-from-home opportunities. Through these measures, Sheroes helps women advance in their careers without sacrificing their personal lives.
Sheroes also supports the wider community of women in India, and grants women a safe space where they can discuss their health, relationships, and ambitions, and share life stories and achievements. Sheroes offers corporate enterprises access to a unique range of products and seminars, including sexual harassment and diversity hiring programs.