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Learn & lead: Companies offer for women

More than 59% of over 300 companies said they run women-specific L&D programmes.

, TNN|
Jul 17, 2019, 11.21 AM IST
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The women in a leadership programme helped emerging female leaders to fast-track their development.
(This story originally appeared in on Jul 17, 2019)
Women-specific learning and development (L&D) programmes - which enable them to ascend the corporate ladder - are gaining momentum. Organisations have realised L&D modules designed for women managers is the way to block leaky talent pipelines and encourage more women to take up leadership roles. An overwhelming majority of companies - 96% - agreed in a JobsFor-Her survey that such L&D programmes enabled women to grow within the organisation, while 84% said these had contributed significantly to growing their female leadership talent pool. Such programmes also helped curb attrition levels among female employees.

More than 59% of over 300 companies said they run women-specific L&D programmes. A majority (79%) of large enterprises said they are leading the way in implementing L&D programmes, especially for women employees, followed by 38% SMEs and 46% startups. Neha Bagaria, founder & CEO of JobsForHer, a platform that enables women to get back to work, said, “These programmes are different from general L&D programmes in that they are developed specifically keeping women’s requirements in mind. Topics such as time management, guilt management, fear management, etc, are covered through these programmes. They also include leadership training programmes for women because, even though they are natural-born leaders, women remain dramatically under-represented in most leadership areas.”

Bagaria said organisations need the best leaders possible to succeed and grow, which cannot happen when women are constantly overlooked or self-opt out of leadership positions. Women-specific L&D programmes provide opportunities for female employees to seek out assignments, such as taking on high-visibility projects and volunteering for new opportunities when they become available.

At JDA, a leading supply chain provider, the women in a leadership programme helped emerging female leaders to fast-track their development and organisational awareness to larger opportunities across the company.

Sindhu Aravindakshan, senior director (HR) at JDA Software, said, “Out of the 20 women who underwent a year long journey that comprised professional connect, coaching, networking and learning, 70% qualified for senior roles such as directors and senior directors as positions opened up. The recent cohort of 20 women went through an enhanced version of the programme, which had academic and industry connect as part of the overall curriculum. In all, the programme has helped them build confidence, focus on their career in a more planned and structured manner, and connect with each other and take support when needed.” Women-specific L&D programmes are developed to identify high-performing leaders and provide them with an accelerated development for key opportunities. Given that they are under-represented in the manufacturing sector, JSW Group has adopted a differentiated approach to recruiting, retaining and advancing women in the organisation.

The organisation has initiated 'JSW Springboard' — exclusively curated to help women employees develop their leadership skills through learning various concepts and understanding self-potential to enhance business acumen. JSW has identified 90 high-potential women employees under this initiative to groom them for leadership development.

Gautam Chainani, group president (HR) at JSW Group, said, “We believe the lack of women in senior positions strengthens our view that the manufacturing sector should increase the fair share of female talent. The intention is to build our leadership pipeline with exceptional women talent and to address the challenges they face along this journey.”
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