AVTAR Group hosts its 14th SEGUE Session in Bengaluru on the theme Maternity Phase back

Bangalore, 24th March 2018: India’s leading Diversity and Inclusion Talent Consulting firm, AVTAR Group today hosted it’s 14th SEGUE Session in a brand new, mini-conference format. With the theme Maternity Phaseback, the conference was set amongst D&I leaders and HR leaders from prominent corporate companies. Through a series of discussions, the conference opened gateways for critical conversations on why maternity is an important phase for women employees and the organization alike.

Speaking onthe need for companies to look beyond maternity policies and programs duringphase back, Ms. Nivruti Rai, Vice President Data Centre Group, CountryHead, Intel India said, “Women are a significant factor towards doublingthe world GDP rate and are the torch bearers of the country. If women in Indiacome to the workforce with the right representation, right skill and rightcompensation the growth in India will be doubled. Intentionality, inclusion,and action are the need for the hour. Companies should look beyond mandates andtake actions swiftly to reach their D&I goals for the greater good.”

Commentingon the occasion, Dr. Saundarya Rajesh, Founder – President, AVTAR Group,said “We are very delighted to continue our journey of supporting returningwomen to the workplace with our flagship SEGUE Session. Today, in our 14th editionwe are happy to present a new format with an aim to enlighten organizationsabout the myths of maternity thereby ensuring a seamless phase back process foryoung mothers.”

Theinaugural panel discussion on the topic Antenatal Care – how corporate worldgears up for support, highlighted the need for sensitizing the variousstakeholders involved in an organization about maternity and ensuring aseamless transition for returning mothers.  

Ms. ArtiShrish, Head – Employee Relations, Standard Chartered Global Business Services, highlighted the importance ofcompanies offering a support system and policies for both the parents. Shefurther emphasized on the growing gap between policy making and practicalimplementation, which continues to be a persisting problem for returning womenat India Inc.

Ms.Avantika Susan Nigam, Associate Director - Compensation & Benefits forAMENA, PepsiCo said“Infrastructure around maternity should be designed well for everyorganization. Be sensitive to women employees during maternity. Organizationsand HRs must ask themselves How do I create an environment that’sfriendly and healthy for an expecting employee?

Sharing hisviews on changing facets of D&I at the workplace, Mr. PremVelayudan, HR Director, Cisco India, said “Every gender brings a newperspective to the workplace. Companies should actively focus on developingpolicies and programs focusing on LGBT community. It is also pivotal thatcompanies use maternity policies as a tool for empowerment. The industryrequires an impactful shift in mindset towards maternity.”

“Thisedition of SEGUE Session aims to look at the entire phase back process as itforms the crux of D&I policies in any organization. Phase Back includes setof policies, programs, and practices that organizations have started adoptingin the recent years. We discovered that organizations which have a structuredapproached for maternity are able to retain women to a larger extent.Organizations that implement phase back programs from year one is able to showan increase in retention from 68% to 92%” added Dr. Saundarya Rajesh.

Followingthe inaugural panel discussion, a series of talks, discussions and workshopwere held on various maternity enablers by industry leaders like Ms. AnushaSayee, Inclusion & Diversity Head, Mondelez India, Ms. Tina Vinod,Diversity & Inclusion Lead, ThoughtWorks, India, Mr. Rajeev Tupsakri,Chief People Officer, People Combine, Ms. Namita Kutty, Head Human Resources,Odessa Technologies, Ms. Shashikala Giriyan, Director – Content Management,Molecular Connections and Prof. Vasanthi Srinivasan, Indian InstituteManagement, Bangalore

AboutAVTAR Group: AVTARis one of the most successful recruitment and diversity consulting brands inIndia. It was started in the year 2000, since then rapidly gaining industryattention recognition for its unconventional work in talent strategyconsulting, D&I advocacy & proactive CSR. AVTAR has been at theforefront of creating industry-best profiling, networking & consultingproducts for the human resources and human development sectors. Two of its mostsuccessful and ongoing projects are AVTAR I-WIN (a 30,000 strongmembership-based internet property aimed at creating and fulfilling work-lifeintegrated careers for women) & Segue Sessions (India’s first large formatnetworking and career creation program for women seeking employmentopportunities after a career break). 

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