How women, who return to a second career, deal with technology-led disruption


When I went on a break to take care of my children, I was in marketing. When I decided to come back, the work itself had changed to digital marketing," says Franky Aggarwal, a 40-year-old working mother in Pune. Aggarwal, after doing a one-year digital marketing certification course, is now working for a US-based personal care brand through FlexiBees, a platform that reemploys female professionals part-time or on a work-fromhome arrangement. Women are leaving work as young mothers or caregivers, resulting in a leaky talent pipeline across sectors. Even as the pool of second-career women -- those returning to work after a break -- is growing, the tech and digital disruption that is changing the way India Inc works is making it increasingly difficult for them to come back. In fact, technology-led disruption is the newest gender-diversity challenge in corporate India. Companies such as IBM, Microsoft and Ingersoll Rand are rolling out programmes to deal with this. In December 2018, the World Economic Forum's "The Global Gender Gap Report" noted that the increasing expansion of artificial intelligence was creating demand for a range of new skills, among them neural networks, deep learning, machine learning and tools. It said: "Only 22% AI professionals globally are female, compared to 78% who are male.

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