Luring women back into work

2008

A Swiss bank has come up with a pretty clever way of getting women back to the workforce.

Even though the temptation of unequal pay, harassment, inflexible hours may be already too hard for some to resist, the scheme adopted by the Vaud Cantonal Bank (BCV) seems to be working.

For the past three years, the BCV has been offering a program that brings in new recruits and trains them to be customer advisers, which eventually lead to managerial positions within the bank.

Successful candidates - those who pass the training courses - are rewarded with a job. This seems to work out well for both parties; the bank can analyze the performance of a potential employee and the potential employee can truly get ahead on their merits.

What's even more impressive is that the BCV sought out women in the 35 to 50 year age group. In case those numbers aren't clear, it's cleverly designed for women with younger children who have likely been out of the work force for some time and women who sacrificed their careers for their husband – both groups that are likely to wish to return to professional life.

It's hard to find anything to criticize with this program; by all accounts it seems to be a success. It does lead one, however, to wonder why such programs cannot exist elsewhere? It's still quite a difference from my previous article about companies being miffed that they have to pay equal for equal work.

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