Breakthrough is a GCWL initiative that aims to address the mid-career attrition of women due to maternity by being a one-stop service provider for trainings, resources, and job opportunities.

Maternity and childcare are two of the prominent exit gates for working women in India. Data indicates that 48% of women leave jobs within the first four months of returning from maternity leave. To retain women in their careers, the Indian government and corporates have designed a targeted initiatives and policy measures. Though there has been a progressive shift in the overall ecosystem, there are still a range of challenges that women face post maternity

breaks. Moreover, the scope of these initiatives is largely confined to corporate circles, with other industries and sectors lacking customised interventions for returning mothers.

In response to these limitations, our Breakthrough programme offers ongoing support for women looking to rejoin the workforce post maternity. The support also extends to women who resume work but continue to face hurdles in career progression and those who have dropped out of the workforce. The platform offers support to women from corporate and development sector, across levels, both offline and online.

Breakthrough aims to gradually address the re-entry barriers for returning mothers across sectors. The intervention aims to strengthen the existing ecosystem and accelerate the integration of returning mothers in the workforce while also ensuring that maternity and childcare are not deterrents to a women’s career growth.

Before deploying this intervention, GCWL conducted a training needs analysis for women who dropped out of the workforce and returned to the workfroce post maternity. Based on this research, Predicament of Returning Mothers, we have designed and implement our training programme that is currently training returning and working mothers.

Our key impact areas through the programme are:
1. Re-skilling and capacity building for women to succeed at work post maternity break.
2. Acting as a platform for employers to connect and hire returning mothers.
3. Creating knowledge and resources for women and organisations to address post maternity attrition.

Employers (across sectors) are struggling with post maternity attrition numbers. It is resource draining for organisations to lose trained employees mid-career. We not only support women to rejoin the workforce but also work with organisations to create policies and initiatives which make workplaces more conducive for women to return and continue working.

Interested in the programme? Write to isha.sharma@ashoka.edu.in

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