|SEGUE Sessions Chennai 2015-11th Edition, A Report|
In his captivating Inaugural address, Mr. David Dubensky, President & Managing Director, Global Business Services, Ford Motor Company said “Now that you have planned to make a comeback, we want to open the doors for you”. He traced the history of Ford’s Diversity focus and its commitment for an inclusive workplace.
Ms. Bharathy Bhaskar, Senior Vice President- Citibank, Television Personality, Motivational Speaker and Writer, delivering the keynote address urged the women not to regret their decision of a career break.
The next session was the Corporate Panel discussion. The topic was “India Incorporation’s need for women managers to hold sustainable long-term careers in order to bridge the skill gap”
Mr. Vairamani Pandiyan, Vice President – Human Resources – India, Ford Motor Company, moderated this exciting Panel discussion. The Panel comprised of:
During the discussion, Mr. Senthilkumar said that “Career breaks are like serial episodes. Even if you miss a few years, it doesn’t matter much. Performance and delivery of results are what eventually matters at work.”
Divya Kumar urged women not to be apologetic about their decision of taking a career break. She mentioned about how women are categorized as BC & AC i.e., Before Child & After Child. She encouraged women to take a look at work as an important part of their lives and advised them on the need to be equipped with the 3 Cs: i.e, Confidence, Comfort and Care.
In his remarks, Mr. Kumaravel made a beautiful comparison of our society to a bird. He said that, “Society is like a bird and women and men are the wings”. Mr. Suresh Kumar said that woman add value to the organizations in every possible way.
There were several questions from the participants on how to answer questions regarding their career breaks during interviews, how to negotiate the pay package, how to make a career transition, etc. The panellists answered the questions with practical tips and suggestions which included pointers like looking for opportunities with start-up companies, acquiring new skills, networking, taking up projects with NGOs, etc.
Corporate Showcase was the next session, in which all participating organizations delivered a 15 minute presentation on their D&I journey. They shared their best practices and also how they have been able to successfully pursue a focused gender diversity agenda. Speakers for this session were:
The last session was a Workshop on “Essentials of a successful comeback”
The workshop focused on the various aspects to be borne in mind while orchestrating an effective and sustainable comeback. The senior women leaders discussed how to effectively manage home and work, and most importantly not feeling guilty about doing this. They emphasized the importance of gathering support and building relationship with key internal stakeholders like family members, maids, cooks and drivers.
In his closing remarks, Mr. Karthik Ekambaram, Vice President, FLEXI Careers India, AVTAR Group asked participants for the key Takeaways. The answers from enlightened participants included the following: importance of financial independence; not making assumptions about obstacles in the career, need for a good support system and being intentional about making a career comeback.
All the I-Winners were awarded with participation certificates.
The next in line was the Meet and Greet Session with participants. Participants got an opportunity meet with representatives of sponsor companies and make an elevator pitch.