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Women Returners is a social business. We developed Women Returners because of the difficulties we and our peers encountered when returning to work after a multi-year career break. Our broad social purpose is to provide a voice and be an advocate and a source of support for professional women returning to the paid workforce after an extended (2-15+ year) hiatus.
In the corporate sphere, our overriding aim is to increase the career path choices available for women and men. We want to enable people to take a break from their careers, for whatever reason, and to feel confident that there is a clear route back into a satisfying role in the workforce. We value the work of at-home parents and carers and do not feel that the choice to pause a working life at any stage should be detrimental to a career spanning 40-50 years. We are frustrated by the waste of training, talent, skill and experience that is represented by the large pool of high-calibre women who are overlooked by employers and so feel unable to contribute economically. These women have the potential to immediately boost the number of senior female leaders in organisations, supporting the aspirations of Government, the 30% club and others for better-balanced boards.
We see the development of ‘returnships’ and other returner programmes as a primary vehicle for achieving this change, as they provide a bridge back to high-calibre work for skilled professionals. Our vision is that returner programmes will become standard practice within UK organisations.
We are working towards our aims in 3 main ways, combining non-profit and commercial activities: