Saturday 29 February 2020

Amazon launches Rekindle to get more women into the workplace

Amazon India has launched a new program to bring more women back in to the workplace. Rekindle 2.0 as this initiative has been called, will be rolled out at its Bengaluru office, followed by other cities in India.

The company has over 62,000 employees in India, and diversity is an important thrust area for Amazon, said Deepti Varma, Director, HR – India and EMEA, Amazon. “Rekindle is aimed at women who have taken a break and need help coming back to work.

This will have a lot more flexibility and coaching for them,” she said. Prospective employees will start with working on projects or assignments which can be managed part-time to ease them into working in a full-time role. The company has selected specific jobs or roles across different functions to launch this program, said Varma. This would be across both tech, and non-tech roles. Women hired through this program would receive more structured on-boarding and focused mentoring to help them ease into the workplace.

Globally, about 40% of Amazon’s workforce comprises women and Varma said that the numbers are similar for India. “The feedback we got was that a lot of women needed help to get back to the workplace – they needed something to help them start," she said. The company is using its internal employee networks and social media platforms to spread the word on the program initially. Beyond this, Amazon has also been engaging with 2nd and 3rd year engineering students and mentoring them for a long term career in technology over the last three year. Last year, over 100 people were hired through this initiative.

The company has also been working at increasing the overall diversity of its workforce and ensuring that HR policies keep pace with this. For instance, the company offers 12 weeks of paternity leave, as well as adoption leave to its LGBTQ employees.

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