Article: How internships are helping women restart their career


How internships are helping women restart their career

How can women enter into the workforce after a hiatus of several years? Where can they find flexible options? Do they want such options? This report throws light on these questions.
How internships are helping women restart their career

In India, ~65-70% Indian women who take a career break fail to return to work and a large number of women who are well educated and have potential to become a valuable part of the workforce do not even get a chance to begin their career.  In fact, A 2017 BBC article mentions that between 2004-05 and 2011-12, 20 million women quit their jobs and only a small percentage of them were able to return to the workforce. 

Internships provide flexible working options for women. They can either opt for work from home or part-time in-office internships enabling them to manage both - their career and household responsibilities. Further, if women want to go back to the workplace, they can opt for in-office internships and make a gradual switch to professional life. 

For the last couple of years, we have been regularly receiving queries from women asking if they could also apply for internships and led us to start a new segment in 2017 viz., 'Internships for Women'. Since then we have seen a steady rise in the number of women (in the age group 26-50) applying for internships.

So, why are women applying for internships?

We conducted a study with 150+ women to understand answers to the exact same question. We found that most of the women could either never start their careers in the first place due to family commitments etc. or had to leave their career at some point to attend to family and children. As time passes by and children grow up, the urge to create an independent identity for self and become a valuable member of the society gets stronger. 

However, these women are not sure if they have the necessary skills and confidence needed for today's workplace, or whether they would be able to do justice to both the work and family together after a gap of so many years. This is where an internship, with its short-term/experimental and flexible nature, becomes an ideal solution for such women to either make a gradual transition to full-time work or keep themselves engaged in work with help of internships throughout. 

“One trend which stands out is that out of a pool of 32,000+ women (in the age group 26-50) on Internshala, 64% of them have no prior work experience. Despite no work experience, women have started pushing the boundaries and experimenting with their career.” 

Work from home vs in-office internships - what are women opting for?

Unlike the past, organizations have slowly adopted the culture of 'work from home' and are more open to hiring virtual interns. At the same time, women are keener on working virtually. 55% of the women applied for work-from-home internships in comparison to 45% who applied to in-office internships. Virtual internships give more flexibility for women in terms of time and come with a stipend too thus opening doors to new opportunities.

Which are the most popular internship profiles among women?

With 21% of women applying for Content Writing internships, it has emerged as the most popular profile among women. A close second and third most in-demand profiles are Digital Marketing and Human Resources. The other popular profiles among women are Web Development, Graphic Designing, and Operations. This also gives us insight into the diverse fields women are open to exploring for internships. 

Which are the best cities for women to find internships?

With 34% of total internships, Delhi NCR is the best location for women to find internships. With startups, brands, industry experts, and parliamentarians hiring interns, women have a plethora of opportunities to choose from. Majority of internship opportunities are available for women in Tier 1 cities across India. With 15% of internships each, Mumbai and Bangalore are the second-best locations. Women can also find in-office internships in cities like Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Kolkata.

“A welcome news for women is that 61% of total employers are open to hiring women as interns. Every day, we come across inspirational stories of women like Vidya Amar, who restarted her career after a decade with an Android App development internship with VR4Learnings and Ahuti Mishra, who started her career at the age of 41 with a content writing internship and has become a freelancer.” 

Women can today choose from ~4,000 internships with organizations like Royal Enfield, BOSCH, CRY, FirstCry, WWF India, Teach for India and it is just a beginning for them.

Here are the key findings from Internshala:


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Topics: Diversity, #Career, #Jobs

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