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THE 'RETURNER' REVOLUTION COMPANIES ARE WAKING UP TO THE UNTAPPED POTENTIAL OF WOMEN WHO WANT TO RETURN TO WORK: AND IT'S ABOUT TIME
“Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world,” Hillary Clinton once said. In 2017, her words still ring true – it’s depressing to see a gender gap at a senior level of many large companies, especially since so many talented women want to return to work after career breaks.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – Dominie Moss, founder of The Return Hub, is on a mission to turn the tide. After spotting that many big companies want to plug the gender gap at mid and senior levels, she decided to do something about it. “Most of the time they don’t know where to look for female employees with talent, experience, and a desire to return to work,” she explains. With 15 years of headhunting experience, Moss knows those women are out there, and the numbers back her up: PWC found that 427,000 female professionals currently on a career break are likely to return to work in the future. Addressing this situation could increase female earnings by £1.1bn, and the increased spending power could mean gains of £1.7bn for the UK economy.
That’s why she launched The Return Hub, a search firm connecting companies with women in financial services who want to return to work.
“There is a huge, untapped resource of skilled women who have left their careers, often to raise families, and now want to return to the workforce,” says Moss. “These ‘returners’ bring the benefit of fresh skills and perspective. Businesses would reap the rewards if they spent more time looking into this talent pool.”
Julianne Miles, co-founder of Women Returners, who enable women to get back into work with a team of coaches and a ‘returner’ network, agrees. “The UK is leading the way when it comes to helping women re-enter the workplace,” she says. “There were three programmes in 2014, nine in 2015, and 23 in 2016.” But, Miles also stresses that women “don’t have to join a scheme; the more women that put themselves out there, the more organisations will be receptive to returners”.
So how can women join the returner revolution? “Your network of former colleagues will be invaluable,” Miles points out. And Moss recommends updating your CV (“Charity work, informal consulting for friends’ businesses, organising school events all show you’re a go-getter”) and getting up to speed on your industry (“Read blogs and relevant publications, so you can talk confidently about your sector”). And finally? “Don’t apologise for taking time out. You’ve acquired skills and maturity outside the office. They are gold dust for employers.”