19 Aug 2019 06:40:46 PM

THE SHE RETURNS INITIATIVE: A Career Comeback Workshop by Standard Chartered Global Business Services (GBS)

Ms Meena Anand, Standard Chartered GBS’ Head of Human Resources together with the attendees.

On 18 July 2019, 28 ladies attended the Standard Chartered Global Business Services (GBS) Career Comeback Programme, named as “The She Returns Initiative: Women in GBS”. The programme is part of Standard Chartered GBS Malaysia’s efforts in achieving gender balance, as they believe that a balanced workforce unleashes synergistic strength, which will positively impact the industry and the community.

Women take career breaks for various reasons, most commonly due to caring for children and ailing parents. These professional women represent an untapped talent pool for the Malaysian economy. For many women, re-joining the workforce after a career break is not an easy feat, despite having job experiences. There are many different challenges that these women experience when returning to work after a long absence. 

In order to ease the transition for these women, Standard Chartered GBS in collaboration with TalentCorp organised a Career Comeback Workshop, with the objective of providing a path for women to re-enter the workforce, armed with practical knowledge and tools. 

The full-day event involved 28 ladies from TalentCorp’s Career Comeback pool, who were introduced to the nature of Standard Chartered’s business through sharing sessions by department heads. 

The ladies from TalentCorp’s Career Comeback pool during the sharing session.
One of the standout sessions that resonated with the audience was the GBS Female Leadership Team sharing session. During this heart-to-heart talk, Standard Chartered’s women leaders shared their experiences on building a career while balancing family and work, a common situation faced by many working women, especially mothers. 

During lunch, participants had the opportunity to network with senior leaders of Standard Chartered GBS, and mingled and shared stories among their peers. 

For Norbaida Abu Bakar, who has been on a career break for four years, the main reason for her to join this programme was to get connected to Standard Chartered GBS and to expand her networking circle with fellow women returnees. “My social circle is mainly women who don’t plan to work. Thus, these sessions are quite eye-opening,” she said. 

For 37-year-old Sebina John, she looks to return to the banking industry after a career break of five years. “I am a very career-minded person; I am not able to sit at home. With this programme, I get to explore first hand, potential job opportunities with the company after failing to secure a job through other platforms,” she said. Sebina went on to say that the sharing sessions provided the participants with useful insights and knowledge of current trends in the industry. 

For Chew Lay Peng, by joining the career comeback programme, she hopes to find relevant job opportunities after returning from Dubai. “I hope to speak to Human Resources to better understand the current salary expectations in this industry, here in Malaysia”, she said. 
“I am a very career-minded person; I am not able to sit at home. With this programme, I get to explore first hand, potential job opportunities with the company after failing to secure a job through other platforms,” 
At the final session, Ms Meena Anand, Standard Chartered GBS’ Head of Human Resources, shared the following advice with the women returnees:

1. Always be willing to put yourself out there. Be confident and celebrate small victories. 
2. Do not be afraid to change and discover new industries and opportunities. 
3. Education is free. Make use of it. There are many free reskilling tools available on  various platforms that you can take advantage of. 
4. Most importantly, update your LinkedIn profiles. If you do not have one, create a  profile immediately.

At the event, Standard Chartered GBS launched the “Standard Chartered GBS - Lean in Circles”, aimed at promoting the growth of peer groups across their global business hubs to help empower women employees. This initiative was launched by YB Hannah Yeoh, Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Women, Community, and Family Development with the support of Abir Abdul Rahim, co-founder of LeanIn Malaysia and Mahuran Saro Sariki, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of TalentCorp.  

In her keynote address, YB Hannah Yeoh stressed on the importance of ensuring that women, especially mothers have access to on-site childcare facilities, as one of several ways to support women at work. “It is crucial for corporations and private sectors to look into setting up childcare services in their respective organisations, so that women can come back to work and children are in safer environments. This is the kind of targeted corporate social responsibility that we need right now,” she concluded. 
YB Hannah Yeoh during her keynote address.

If you are looking for opportunities to return to work, do register with our Career Comeback Programme for updates on workshops and job openings: www.talentcorp.com.my/careercomeback 

For employers who are looking to attract, nurture and retain their talent, come speak to us about how to implement Work-Life Practices and Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) at your workplace. Drop us an e-mail at flexworklife@talentcorp.com.my