Ahuti Mishra, after becoming a mother, spent a majority of her time taking care of her child and doing household chores. However, she soon developed an interest in writing and started writing in a diary – everything from random thoughts to life experiences. It went on for 18 years and finally, she mustered the strength and started applying for internships online. Today, she has transformed her role from being a homemaker to a successful freelance writer at the age of 40.
Ahuti’s story is inspiring and this is what she has to say to all the women out there – “Don’t look at your age as a barrier. You are never too old to follow your dreams and start a career.”
In India, women comprise 48.5% of the total population, a numbering close to 600 million. That is more than the combined populations of USA, UK, France, and Germany. In fact, this number is just shy of the total population of all of Europe. The collective economic potential and impact of this workforce is significant.
About 20 million women quit their jobs between 2004-05 to 2011-12, and only a small percentage of them were able to return to the workforce. A large proportion of well-educated women are either not able to start their careers or they soon quit due to marriage or maternity. Restricted by always putting forth the needs of their families, they spend the majority of their time aspiring and not being able to take time for themselves. Eventually, once they do think about joining the workforce, lack of skills cripples their career. This is where internships can play a vital role in reviving the careers of women who take long breaks from their careers to look after their social and familial responsibilities.
An internship is a powerful tool which can help women overcome these difficulties and help them (re)start their career. Some of the advantages of internships are:
Internships provide a variety of work options such as work from home, part-time, and full-time in-office work. Accordingly, you can choose work opportunities depending on how much time you can devote to work and how feasible it is for you to leave your home.
Technology keeps on evolving and due to a career break, you would need to brush your skills while learning new tools. It is essential for you to brush your skills to land new opportunities.
Internships are generally for short-term, 2-3 months. You can easily manage your work and home responsibilities simultaneously. Also, you can then take an informed decision whether to pursue a job or not post an internship.
While doing internships, you will get the necessary exposure towards work which will boost your professional life. This will help you in (re)gaining confidence.
Through an internship experience, you will become upskill yourself and gain confidence. It will also help you in becoming job-ready. After having a look at the internship experience(s), employers will not any apprehension while hiring you or any other women who have taken a career break.
Internships come with a monthly stipend and it will be a source of income for you and your family.
India is one of the world’s fastest growing economy, but we are struggling to create a gender-balanced workforce. Think of a country where the gender-ratio in the workplace is balanced and millions of women like Ahuti can (re)start their career. It’s not just a distant dream and if you or someone in your family is in a similar situation, then internships are a solution.
Internshala has started an initiative titled ‘Internships for Women’ to help women start or restart their career through internships.
Through this initiative, women can apply to relevant opportunities and join the workforce. Details about this campaign can be found here.