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Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. has launched a 12-week paid programme for technology professionals looking to restart careers after a break.

“A break in a professional’s career can give an opportunity to reflect, find areas of focus, and return stronger to the next phase with a renewed sense of purpose," said Rajesh Nambiar, chairman and MD, Cognizant India. “Many talented professionals looking to return to the workforce are women, and Cognizant’s inaugural cohort includes women taking on engineering management roles in the digital engineering practice," he added.

The ‘returnship programme’ is focused on providing returners with a supportive environment and access to training, upskilling, mentorship and other resources. They will work with cutting-edge technology through, with the chance of an offer of a full-time position at Cognizant. “The programme is an innovative way to get diverse talent in the door, irrespective of when their last professional role was," Nambiar said.

Cognizant has also established a women-focused hiring and retention goal for company leaders, making it part of the formal annual performance rating process. Women professionals form around 38% of the company’s total workforce in India and nearly 45% of the workforce in tier-2 cities.

With a focus on accelerating gender diversity, Cognizant has pledged to put 1,000 high-performing women in leadership roles by 2021, Nambiar said.

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