Global IT services company Cognizant, on Tuesday, announced a returnship programme for technology professionals looking to restart their careers after a break. The company said it is extending its D&I (diversity & inclusion) philosophy beyond the workplace and into lives and careers, to support those whose personal goals such as taking care of the family, raising a child or pursuing a life calling have resulted in a professional break.
“The decision to re-enter the workforce can be both exciting and intimidating. The programme is focused on providing returners with a supportive environment and access to training, upskilling, mentorship and other resources. These professionals will work with cutting-edge technology through the programme and will subsequently be considered for full-time positions at Cognizant. The programme is an innovative way to get diverse talent in the door, irrespective of when their last professional role was,” said Rajesh Nambiar, Chairman and MD, Cognizant India.
Nambiar said that a break in a professional’s career can give an opportunity to reflect, find areas of focus, and return stronger to the next phase of a professional journey with a renewed sense of purpose. "Many such talented professionals looking to return to the workforce are women, and Cognizant’s inaugural cohort includes women taking on engineering management roles in the digital engineering practice,” he added.
Women professionals form around 38% of Cognizant’s overall workforce in India and nearly 45% of its workforce in tier-2 cities. Cognizant has established female hiring and retention goals for company leaders, which are part of the formal annual performance rating process.
With a focus on gender diversity, Cognizant has pledged to put 1,000 high-performing women in leadership levels through Propel — its signature women’s global leadership development initiative — by the end of 2021. Propel is focused on enabling women at the mid-management level to accelerate their careers through coaching and mentoring in partnership with external certified executive coaches.
Cognizant’s Maternity Transition and Integration (MATRI) programme, provides support to women employees during the three distinct phases of maternity lifecycle ― pre-maternity, maternity, and post-maternity.
Women Wizards Rule Tech [W2RT] programme provides an opportunity for the company’s women employees to enrol for an external one-year programme hosted by Nasscom to help them adapt to the fast-changing world of technology.
“Inclusion and diversity are critical to having a more equitable workplace while developing more robust solutions for our clients, challenging the status quo, and fuelling innovation and productivity. Our aim is to be a leader in closing the gender diversity gap in the technology industry,” said Nambiar.