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Women Returners is a consulting, coaching and network organisation working with employers across sectors to access, support and retain returning professionals, a largely untapped pool of highly-qualified, experienced and motivated talent. We are experts in enabling talented professionals to restart their careers after an extended career break.
We pioneered the introduction of returnships, created the ‘supported hiring’ concept and have led the rapid growth of the returner programme market in the UK and Ireland. We co-authored the Returner Programmes: Best Practice Guidelines for Employers and the Returner Toolkit on behalf of the UK Government Equalities Office.
We have partnered with over 80 leading organisations to provide end-to-end support in designing and delivering tailored returner programmes: returnships, supported hiring initiatives into permanent roles and returner events. Our clients include Accenture, AECOM, Allianz, Amazon Web Services, Aviva, Balfour Beatty, Bank of England, BBC, Bloomberg, Camden Council, Enfield Council, EY, Fidelity International, Heathrow, Home Office, Man Group, Macquarie Group, M&G Investments, Ofcom, Oliver Wyman, O2, Skanska, Sky and Tideway.
We have specialised expertise in returner coaching, together with an in-depth psychological and commercial understanding. Through our bespoke four-stage Career Returners Coaching Programme, we have supported many individuals and cohorts of returner programme participants to effectively make the transition back to work. We have a unique understanding of the world of the career break professional and are able to support an effective reintegration back into corporate life.
Through our ever-expanding Women Returners Professional Network, a network community of over 5,500 returning professionals, mainly in the UK and Ireland, we link employers with the hard-to-reach group of high-calibre women on career break. We are the main recruitment source for UK returner programmes with leading employers.
We also connect employers with returners through our returner events, both our annual Women Returners Conference in London and regular co-hosted corporate insight events.
What our clients say about us:
“The Bank has found partnering with Women Returners totally invaluable! They really are experts in the field and have shared their wealth of knowledge helping us get our programme set up, the first of which was a huge success. Not only has their advice and guidance on this set up helped enormously, but the coaching they provide to our returners is hugely supportive and positive. Suffice to say we are partnering with them yet again for the second of our programmes”.
Lead Recruiter, Bank of England
“At O2 we are always looking for new ways to attract talent and specifically female talent in STEM. Women Returners provided us with a one stop shop of well qualified candidates and professional support to launch the first of our programmes. The team at Women Returners supported us every step of the way, from supporting with the design of our recruitment process, helping to identify the candidates to shaping the programme and training. With a focussed and consultancy approach Women Returners were willing to tailor to suit the company and the requirements of the O2 programme. Following the success of the programme we sponsored the Women Returners Conference which was a massive success and again showed the amazing talent looking to return to the workplace.”
Diversity and Inclusion Manager, O2
“The resources provided for attraction, coaching and general support by Women Returners have been instrumental to the success of our return to work programme. Our partnership has meant that we have seen such a high quality and diverse range of candidates. The coaching and on- boarding they provide for our returners has enabled them to build confidence and thrive in their roles with us. This has led to many permanent placements following the programme. We have used Women Returners for three years in a row now and will continue to use their invaluable service.”
Social Programme Manager, Skanska
“I believe that working with Women Returners is the most effective and efficient way to run a returner programme. They have the expertise, the networks and the knowledge and provide a specialised and independent source of support to HR and to the participant group. After 30 years in HR, I have extensive experience but not of supporting people back to work after long career breaks. Women Returners made this process easy for us and were a major factor in the success of the returnship.”
Head of HR, Tideway