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.
â€śThe 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,â€ť said Rajesh Nambiar, Chairman and MD, Cognizant India.
Nambiar said that a break in a professionalâ€™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 Cognizantâ€™s inaugural cohort includes women taking on engineering management roles in the digital engineering practice,â€ť he added.
Women professionals form around 38% of Cognizantâ€™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 â€” its signature womenâ€™s global leadership development initiative â€” 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.
Cognizantâ€™s Maternity Transition and Integration (MATRI) programme, provides support to women employees during the three distinct phases of maternity lifecycle â€• pre-maternity, maternity, and post-maternity.
Women Wizards Rule Tech [W2RT] programme provides an opportunity for the companyâ€™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.
â€śInclusion 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,â€ť said Nambiar.