In India women attrition rate from the workplace is very high. 1 out of every 5 women quits after some time due to various reasons which include family commitments or other factors. “Corporate are also changing now and are welcoming second inning women in their midst,” says Ms. Saundarya, “And we are trying to make their transition to workplace smooth and easy.”The session ended with a vote of thanks from Sangeetha Rao, Ascent, Times of India. The SEGUE SESSIONS provided an excellent opportunity for women to network with the speakers, corporate representatives and other participants to explore potential opportunities.
“A very self-introspecting energetic and useful session. The event has definitely helped me in thinking in the direction of how I can equip and develop my skill sets with the expectation of the industry while looking for the opportunities” said Alka Agrawal, one of the participants at the SEGUE SESSIONS. “A great thank you to Ms. Saundarya Rajesh & her team for taking this up and putting up so much of time and effort in organizing this event for women. The Segue Sessions is itself a great concept and then actually making it happen for women is an even greater thing. I definitely benefited from it” voiced Sneha Jain.
To sum up in the words of Divya, “It’s a very good initiative taken by AVTAR I-WIN, who gave me a good platform to re-discover myself ie., my strength & weakness and a way/path that I can go from here.”The SEGUE SESSIONS are India’s first large format skill-building event for women professionals in transition. It has been conceptualized by FLEXI Careers India, the social enterprise arm of AVTAR. The word Segue (Sey-gwey) is a musical term which means to make a transition from one thing to another smoothly. The objective of the SEGUE SESSIONS is to provide opportunities for women to learn from senior women leaders and subject matter experts on career development and career transition.
The fact that most of these organisations participated in all the 4 editions showed their commitment to bringing back women into the workplace and increasing the workforce participation rate of women in India. Platinum Sponsor – Genpact, Gold Sponsor – DBOI Global Services, Ideology Partners – Cadbury Kraft Foods and Naturals had their senior leaders speaking and participating in the event.Inaugurating the Jaipur session, Diwakar Singhal, Senior Vice President, Genpact spoke on the unique skills that women bring to the workplace.
“Organizations need to apply different norms, provide flexibility and security to attract talented women returnees and forums such as SEGUE SESSIONS will surely do the needful”, Mr. Singhal stressing on the need for organisations to create an inclusive work environment for women.Delivering the keynote address, Sandhya Vasudevan, Managing Director of DBOI Global Services highlighted the need for more women in the workplace and how it is important that the workplace mirrors the market place where women are making choices. She urged women to make choices for their careers as well.
“Today’s women are decision makers and influencers for major spend. Therefore organisations need to understand how they think if businesses are to be successful. These are also attributes for running an operation thus women need to play a significant role in the work-place. The traditional societal roles of women are mother, spouse, daughter, professional working etc. today women need to make choices & priorities between these various roles. As carriers of change you need to make the choices which might be different at various points in life. It’s all about choices” After a short networking tea break, women gathered again with excitement for the panel discussion on India Inc’s need for women managers to hold sustainable long-term careers in order to bridge the skill gap. Mr.Rohit Johar, HR Site Leader, Genpact moderated the discussion.
The panel members Ms.Chitra Shringare, Managing Director and Location Head – DBOI Global Services, Deutsche Bank Group, Ms.Ranu Singh, Operating Leader, Genpact, Mr.C.K Kumaravel, CEO & Co-Founder, Naturals and Ms.Meera Inanje, Centre Head for BPO Operations, Infosys discussed about the initiatives organisations are taking for welcoming more women into the workplace They also shared some interesting inputs with the participants. Ranu Singh, Operating Leader, Genpact sharing her own experience spoke on the myth of the glass ceiling.
“Numbers, stats or data doesn’t make any sense, only feeling of being a strong person matters. If you think the glass ceiling exists then it does, if you think it doesn’t then it doesn’t.” Mr. Kumaravel stressed on the need for entrepreneurial roles for women in today’s times . “It is time that the women moved from being a housewife to being a good manager. Ours is a business for women and even if it is part time work we are willing to give women a chance to come out and try their hand at business”. Naturals have a franchisee program for women looking for entrepreneurial opportunities.
The event moved on to the heroines of the event – the workshops. Sugandh Rastogi, Operations Manager at Genpact, the workshop anchor for the workshop on Networking for a Segue drove home the importance of being heard and visible.
Presenting on the skill of Networking, she said “It is imperative to create time for you despite the ongoing tug of personal and professional life demands”. Uma Krishnan, Vice President, DBOI Global Services moderated the workshop and in no uncertain terms gave a strong message for developing networking skills for building careers.The event moved on to the heroines of the event – the workshops. Sugandh Rastogi, Operations Manager at Genpact, the workshop anchor for the workshop on Networking for a Segue drove home the importance of being heard and visible. Presenting on the skill of Networking, she said “It is imperative to create time for you despite the ongoing tug of personal and professional life demands”. Uma Krishnan, Vice President, DBOI Global Services moderated the workshop and in no uncertain terms gave a strong message for developing networking skills for building careers.Ms. Kamini Saberwal, Diversity Lead, Cadbury Kraft Foods moderator for the work shop Managing the internal stakeholders via new ways of working extolled the importance of finding inspiration, making choices and work towards protecting dreams for coming back to career.
The workshop anchor Ms. Nikhila Rangaswamy, Vice-President – Talent, Kraft Foods, presented a beautiful sketch of her life showing how she returned back to her career after a break. On an encouraging note to the participants, she said “Be clear about what style of working will suit you, there are multiple options available today” Mr. Daniel Shawe, anchor for the workshop on Negotiating for a win-win recollected his experience of settling down in India after relocating from UK. Sharing an anecdote about his encounter with a monkey, Daniel noted “Do not even try to negotiate in an angry monkey stage. Comeback to negotiate when everyone is in a level headed position”. He added that the family – health – work has to be viewed holistically for a sustainable career. Daniel and his 2 colleagues demonstrated the importance of negotiating for a win-win through a role play.
Moderating the workshop, Ms. Richa Sharma, HR Leader, Genpact, said “During negotiation, be prepared to give and take, always put forth your unique quality for a win-win” The final session of the day was the freewheeling chat “Where do we go from here”. Ms.Saundarya Rajesh along with Mr. Vikramjeet Singh of DBOI and Ms.Richa Sharma of Genpact answered questions from the participants on the opportunities available for second career women. Responding to one of the participants questions, Ms. Rajesh related comeback to bicycle riding, “when you leave riding a bicycle for a long time and after a hiatus try to ride again, initially you would wobble but after few tries you will be able to ride smoothly.”
Expressing her joy at the end of the session, Sreeja, one of the participants said “This Session has given me a lot of confidence”. Another participant Nalini quickly summarised her take aways from the event and delightfully said” I am delighted to attend this event. It’s a wonderful session. Thanks AVTAR I-WIN for this”. SEGUE SESSIONS is now heading towards the “Millennium City” Gurgaon on October 11th. They are also planned for Hyderabad and Pune .
For sponsorship and speaking opportunities, please contact Karthik Ekambaram at firstname.lastname@example.org or on at 9840725333.