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‘Returnships’ modern day solution to an age old problem?

Have you heard the term ‘returnship’?

A growing number of companies are offering these schemes, which are designed for women re-entering the workforce. It’s a paid internship, usually after maternity leave, that may lead to full time employment.

Could these be a tangible alternative?

I often find myself discussing the issue of women and work with friends and colleagues. In London, and across the world, juggling a family with the demands of your job is a hot topic. I’m a mother of one with another on the way – so I often wonder if we women can really excel in both areas? Can we not only manage, but flourish?

After my first child, I went back to my recruitment role at Zebra People, unsure of how it would really work. I was fortunate as I was able to work flexible hours; something that is still pretty uncommon in recruitment firms. I did manage to successfully juggle my work with my family  – and I got promoted!

Obviously, it’s not without its challenges, but it is clearly an area that companies are investing in. Tech and financial firms seem to be leading the way. In the States, big players like Paypal, Air BnB, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and McKinsey & Co have already had some good successes with similar schemes to the ‘returnship’.

This side of the pond, more companies are embracing the idea and seeing the benefit of women returning to the workplace. Most of these schemes do have closing dates but a few take applications throughout the year.

If you’re interested in this kind of opportunity, I’d suggest you check out the following companies:

  • Credit Aussie – Real Returns
  • RBS – Comeback Programme
  • Mastercard – Relaunch your career
  • Vodafone – Reconnect
  • Deloitte – Return to Work Programme
  • PwC –Back to Business Returnee Programme

In my opinion ‘returnships’ are positive initiatives as they get women working at a high level again.  Even after a year out from the professional marketplace women can deskill themselves quite quickly and then getting back to work can seem like a very daunting task. These schemes provide the opportunity for women to reconnect – not just with businesses, but with like-minded individuals. It also underlines the fact that women do have a vital role to play in the workforce and companies want them back!

Get in touch and let me know what you think?

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