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AVTAR Group initiative Segue Sessions Hyderabad edition of AVTAR IWIN & FLEXI Careers India article

October 11, 2012 Article in Times of India about Segue Gurgaon

EVENT REPORT 
- Yasmin Taj  
EVENT:
SEGUE SESSIONS,GURGAON EDITION 2012
WHERE:
GURGAON
WHEN:
October 11,2012
Ascent in association with AVTAR I-WIN and FLEXI Careers India,organised the "Segue Sessions Gurgaon Edition 2012"that focused on assisting women professionals who are keen on making a comeback to the corporate world.
The Segue Sessions are Indias first large-format skill-building initiative for women seeking a transition in their careers.It has been conceptualised by FLEXI Careers India,the social enterprise arm of AVTAR.These sessions give women an opportunity to learn from top-ranked experts,senior women leaders and subject matter experts on subjects pertaining to career comeback,career development and transition.The sessions are aptly titled 'Segue Sessions 2012'(sey.gwey: means to make a transition from one thing to the other smoothly).
This forum also provided opportunities for organisations to engage with this talent pool and also provide women of India with the important skills needed to segue back into the workforce.
In her opening remarks,Saundarya Rajesh,founderpresident,AVTAR Career Creators and FLEXI Careers India expressed,When we started the AVTAR I-WIN network in late 2005,at that point in time,India had about 58 lakh women in the workforce.Out of these,18 per cent of them were dropping out of the workforce because careers continued to be unsustainable.Close to 48 per cent of women under the age of 30 in India choose to take a break from their careers.If such a large number of women leave the workforce so early,how do we build women leaders This is what brought us to create Indias first career service,which seeks to re-channel women professionals.
In his inaugural address,Sanjeev Jain,CEO,GE SBI shared his views on ways to utilise the huge talent pool of returning women.Women come with a lot of natural traits;they are more balanced and are equipped with exceptional multi-tasking competencies.In fact,most companies who survived the economic downturn actually had women leaders, he said.The session included a corporate panel discussion on India Incs need for women managers to hold sustainable long-term careers in order to bridge the skill gap.The panelists included noted corporate experts like Anurag Maini,executive VP HR and training,DLF Pramerica Life Insurance Company;Janak Lalan,operations director,HCL;Satyavrat Pendharkar,sr.director and MU - GM Beverages (North & East),PepsiCo India Region;and Mukta Nakra,GM talent management and diversity,Walmart India.
The session also had a few workshops created by experts from some of the top organisations of the country.The first workshop was on Networking for a segue by Nisha Verma,head talent management,Vodafone India Limited and Sangeeta Vaid,head HR,Siemens Power Engineering Pvt Ltd.The second workshop on Managing internal stakeholders via new ways of working was conducted by Vivek Pandey,deputy GM HR,HCL and Poornima Pandey,diversity lead,South Asia,Hindustan Unilever Limited.The third workshop on Negotiating for a win-win was conducted by Bhavna Bhaskar,VP HR,PepsiCo India and Anuradha Challu,senior HR director,Beverages Business,PepsiCo India.
The event provided a platform for women keen on returning to the workplace.And India Inc certainly is ready to welcome this talent pool with open arms.
> (L-R ) Mukta Nakra,GM talent management and diversity,Walmart India;Satyavrat Pendharkar,sr.director and MU - GM Beverages (North & East),PepsiCo India Region;Janak Lalan,operations director,HCL;Anuraag Maini,executive VP HR and training,DLF Pramerica Life Insurance Company during the panel discussion,(right) An enthusiastic lot of 'returning women' at the event

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BACK WITH A B A N G !   ( Article about AVTAR & FLEXI in Times of India )

AVTAR I-WIN and FLEXI Careers India in association with Ascent is organising SEGUE SESSIONS 2012 - Jaipur edition,in a quest to assist women professionals who yearn to come back after a career break

They say everyone deserves a second chance.All it requires is openness to experiment and a strong will.So what does it take to play a second innings or make a comeback after a career break Why is this concept more so relevant for women who might have opted out of their work lives for family responsibilities
In the light of the above,SEGUE SESSIONS is the right place for women who are keen on a career comeback,This is a platform to air career concerns and seek answers.AVTAR I-WIN and FLEXI Careers India in association with Ascent is organising an informative and first-of-its kind forum to give a 'second chance'to women to reclaim their careers.SEGUE SESSIONS 2012 is coming to Jaipur after successful rounds in other parts of the country like Chennai,Mumbai and Bangalore.Genpact is the platinum sponsor,DBOI Global Services,Deutsche Bank Group is the Gold sponsor and Naturals the ideology partner.
The objective of 'SEGUE SESSIONS 2012'(sey.gwey: meaning to make a smooth transition from one thing to the other) is to provide a platform for women who have taken a break from their careers and are keen on reclaiming their careers and learn from top-ranked experts skills essential for a transition or re-entry.The event includes panel discussions and career workshops by industry stalwarts and senior women leaders.This forum will also provide opportunities for corporate organisations to engage with the talent pool.
According to Saundarya Rajesh,Founder - President,AVTAR Career Creators & FLEXI Careers India,organisations are very keen on providing opportunities for women who have taken a break."There are 1.5 million 'second career women'in the country who are ready to join the workforce.Our talent starved organisations cannot afford to ignore this talent pool,"adds Saundarya.Speaking about Segue Sessions,Saundarya opines "Through our sessions,we are creating a platform for organisations and second career women to come together and share their perspectives.Most women,who have taken a break,are adequately equipped with technology skill-sets or domain knowledge.They need help in enhancing their confidence level,networking and negotiating skills.We provide an opportunity to achieve just that,".
On these lines,the SEGUE SESSIONS 2012 is designed as a skill-building and networking programme for women looking to re-enter the workplace after a career break."A woman who is taking a career break,either for raising a kid or due to family responsibilities or other commitments is not spending more than 25 per cent of her productive working years pursuing these.So why should she be penalised for taking a break,"asks Saundarya.
How can corporates hand hold women into making a comeback Support from company management can clearly ease the situation for such women and many companies are proactively pursuing it too.
"Driving gender diversity at every level in the organization,including at key mid and senior roles is a big focus area at Genpact.We have a number of very specific programs including flexible work arrangements and skill building to help women who have had successful careers but have taken a break,to come back and grow with us",says Diwakar Singhal,Senior Vice President,Genpact
"As India marches forward trying to build an inclusive society,the advancement of women at home and the workplace is a critical measure of success.Events such as the SEGUE SESSIONS attempt to bridge the organisational need for diversity and inclusion with very practical steps needed by women who want to be in the workplace while trying to balance their role as a mother,spouse and member of the community.These sessions also seek to provide support to women who are looking to restart professional careers,thus filling an immensely practical need for the parties involved".Says Sandhya Vasudevan,Managing Director,DBOI Global Services,Deutsche Bank Group
Saundarya and her team are closely working with several organisations that have realised the importance of bringing back women who have taken a break.Industry experts feel that sessions like Segue are the need of the hour as organisations look at handholding women professionals to grow in their careers.As women try to balance their personal priorities and professional aspirations,it is important for organisations to put in place enabling policies such as favourable maternity leaves and flexible work arrangements to ensure these women succeed.
Segue sessions are a great learning and networking platform for the participants too.Alka Agarwal,a participant at Segue Sessions Bangalore says,"The event has helped me in thinking in the direction of how I should equip and develop my skill-sets in line with the expectation of the industry while looking for opportunities."
Getting back into your groove could be challenging but a positive attitude,an open mindset and a helping hand could make the transition hassle-free.Such sessions inspire and encourage more women to join back work and make a difference to their own lives as well as the organisation they join

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Attn : Diversity Champions - We are conducting India's first large-format skill building initiative for women called SEGUE SESSIONS, 7th edition in Pune in August. If your organisation is interested in participating, write to us at us@avtarcc.com for more details.
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