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India flexes time for women

One of the interesting features of telework is the way it keeps popping up even when “management” tries to suppress it. Often this is because all the tried-and-true options have been exhausted. For example, in the 27 May 2011 edition of the Financial Times Amy Kazmin writes about the Tata conglomerate’s program (called Second Career) to retain the talents of young mothers. The problem in India, as in many countries, is a growing shortage of skilled workers (as contrasted to a surplus of unskilled workers). In one sense, India’s efforts in global off-shoring have been too successful. Many companies have used up the supply of local skilled talent and are scratching their collective heads in search of new talent supplies.

Where the needed skills are information/knowledge-related, telework may be part of the answer. As the FT states:

The Tata Group’s “breakthrough”, says Mr. Pradhan, was to realize that taking time out to raise children did not have to exile women from the job market permanently. “It is part of a normal social process for women — because of their unique space in humanity and bio-uniqueness — to take time to raise a family,” he says. “We said, ‘let’s focus on what is preventing women from coming back into the workforce’.”

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