Knowledge society transformed business world into an environment where intangible assets are considered the main value of the organizations. There was a radical change from traditional business environment to contemporary social environment where the focus is not only on consumers and organizational needs but also on environmental, social and ethical issues. Moreover, intense penetration of the technology use and social media requires developing new skills and abilities for a successful career. The complexity of such an environment demands a more integrated approach across different dimensions of contemporary business, and, in turn, discourages people to return to work force.
Gender-related differences in employment rates and conditions have been discussed over the decades by the researchers and governments. Women, as a disadvantaged group, have suffered from less stable employment due to various factors. Some of the reasons for less stability in the workplace can be listed as marriage, childbirth, gender roles in the society and cultural issues.
Gender Inequality in the Life Cycle: The Effect of Parenthood on the Division of Unpaid Work (2014) report of the Minnesota Population Center shows that one of the most important factors creating gender employment gap is the birth of children and it reinforces gender roles and a more traditional time distribution. This factor enlarges the gender gap in favor of women in unpaid work (housework and caregiving) and men in paid work. Furthermore, it is emphasized in Labour market participation of women (2015) report of the European Commission that lack of a sufficient period of paid maternity/parental leave force women to leave the labour market. Leaves beyond 2 years cause the “risk having counterproductive effects on female employment due to long gaps in their CVs and skill deterioration”. Thus, creating flexible working arrangements such as working from home, flexitime and job-sharing will help women to reconcile work and family responsibilities and retain them in the labour market. Similarly, Back to Work: Re-employment, Earnings and Skill Use after Job Displacement (2013) report of the OECD asserts that men have higher re-employment rates than women in most countries. Besides, women are more likely than men to be out of the labour force among those who have not re-entered work within one year of displacement according to the report.
Considering the aforementioned issues, the target group of this project is women who had a career break and need adaptation to contemporary business life. The project aims to;
- increase the awareness of contemporary business needs in the target group,
- encourage them to return to the workforce with the help of a special training having a dedicated curriculum , and
- provide them with necessary tools to facilitate reemployment and/or entrepreneurship.