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, it said.
US-based IT services company Cognizant, which has significant presence in India, launched a returnship programme for technology professionals looking to restart careers. This will be a 12-week paid experience for talented technology professionals looking to resume their careers, after a break.
Cognizant believes that 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 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, it said.
Rajesh Nambiar, chairman and MD, Cognizant India, said: “At Cognizant, we view diversity as a source of innovation and creativity that are key to our ability to execute successfully and consistently. For us, unlocking the potential of diversity of thought is not just about having people with different backgrounds and experiences on our team, but also about respecting and providing a fillip to each individual’s inherent potential through an environment that mentors talent without biases. Notably, diversity and inclusion (D&I) saw the second-highest score improvement across categories in our 2020 engagement survey.”
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.
The company said it has formed several affinity groups, led by talented employees across the business. Each of these groups engages internally with employees and externally with clients, and works with a focus on three pillars such as attract, hire and engage. All of Cognizant’s affinity groups are open to all employees.
In addition to utilising their personal external networks to attract candidates, Cognizant’s affinity groups also help diverse talent, once on board, become engaged in the company’s communities, which help create a sense of belonging.
“We are implementing a new process to ensure interviews represent a more diverse composition of candidates, and that interview panels are diverse as well. Women professionals form around 38% of our overall workforce in India and nearly 45%t of our workforce in Tier-II cities. We have established female hiring and retention goals for company leaders, which are part of the formal annual performance ratings process,” it said.