Flexibility is needed to keep women in work

Flexibility is needed to keep women in work


Former SBI chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya on Friday expressed concern over the fact that a very small percentage of women are making it to the senior management of various organizations.

She made the remarks during her special address at CII’s Rajasthan Women Leadership Summit in Jaipur.

“The reason for this is that women often leave the workforce at different points, such as during pregnancy, when their children are between 10th and 12th grade, or when they have to care for the elderly at home. The female workforce should be given flexible work schedules and locations,” she said, adding that women should make up 40 to 50 percent of an organization’s workforce.

To keep women in work, it’s important to understand why they leave and provide them with flexible work schedules and locations, Bhattacharya says.

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

Speaking about skills, she said that with the technological leap forward, there is a need to keep learning, relearning and unlearning.

“Skill is a matter of initiative as there are many online courses available now.”

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

He recognized that while women do indeed work, their contributions and the time they devote to their work often go unnoticed or undervalued.

Agarwal emphasized that it is crucial for organizations to recognize and appreciate the efforts of women employees and ensure that their hard work is recognized and rewarded.

He also stressed the need to create a supportive and safe working environment for women.

Nitin Gupta, senior director and head of CII Rajasthan, said the primary objective of the summit is to create a platform where women leaders can share their experiences, how they overcame challenges in their leadership journey and what were the pivotal moments or events that transformed them as individuals and leaders.

In her welcome address, Indian Women Network, Rajasthan Chairperson Tanuja Agarwal said the aim of the session is to discuss the role of women in driving the growth of the organisation.

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The vote of thanks on this occasion was proposed by Co-Vice Chairman, IWN Rajasthan, Nivedita Sarda.