Madhura Modi, an architect, was doing well at her job of three years before she took a maternity break. But when she sought to rejoin after her two-year break, she wasn't given the option of working at flexible hours and hence had to quit.
Flexible working hours is one of the critical factors cited in a global survey on working women that highlights the importance of encouraging women to come back to work post maternity.
"I could not go back to working 10 hours a day, as I had to spend time with my daughter," said Modi, a Dahisar resident, whose daughter is six years old now. "However, the company's adamance turned to be a positive thing for me because I started my own architecture firm and now work at flexible hours."
"The survey reveals that greater flexibility in terms of working hours and location help to get women back on board after maternity," said Madhusudan Thakur, regional vice-president (south Asia), Regus, which conducted the survey.
One of the important findings of the survey was that a majority of the respondents felt that hiring returning mothers improved productivity. Around 56% of businesses globally said they valued such women because they offered skill and experience.
"If provided with the best facilities, women who return from maternity are more committed to their work. They become a stable workforce," said Anil Salvi, head (human resources) at a leading financial firm.