IT services giant Cognizant launched a 12-week paid returnship program for technology professionals wanting to restart their careers after a break on Tuesday, March 30.
After the launch of the programme, the company said it was extending its diversity and inclusion (D&I) philosophy beyond the workplace and impact the lives and careers of 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.
Rajesh Nambiar, chairman and MD at Cognizant India, said, "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."
The programme is focused on providing returners to work after a break 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, reported Business Standard.
The programme is an innovative way to get diverse talent irrespective of their last professional role or employment gap.
Apart from this, Cognizant is also implementing a new process to ensure interviews represent a more diverse composition of candidates and that interview panels are diverse as well.
Cognizant has established female hiring and retention goals for company leaders, which are a part of the formal annual performance rating process.
Nambiar also said that Cognizant has pledged to put 1,000 high-performing women in leadership roles by 2021 to focus on accelerating gender diversity.