Mums@Work return to work career fair 2019
Last week we hosted one of our favourite events in the Women@Work calendar – the return to work career fair 2019. Our returnship program has been going strong since 2017, and we have seen over 50 women take up Returnship roles since our launch. For those of you that aren’t familiar with the Returnship concept, it’s a 12-week project within a business, which provides flexibility and creates a perfect step back into the working world for women that have taken a career break. We have also had 70% of our returnees been successful in being taken on permanently after the 12 weeks.
Women@Work brought the Returnship concept to the region, as we were frustrated with super talented women not being considered for roles because they had a career gap. We recognised we had to create an opportunity to get these women back in the workplace and the Returnships program does just that! Our Returnship program works with forwarding thinking and progressive businesses, who not only champion women in the workplace, but fully support diversity and inclusion and have great programs in place allowing everyone to thrive. For this event, we partnered with VISA, Munich RE, DWF Middles East and Aramex and had a great range of Returnship roles on offer from, HR, Finance, Legal, Business Development and Marketing.
The event was held in Zabeel House in the Greens who organised and catered amazingly on the day. We started the day networking and enjoying breakfast with the candidates and clients, with over 60 ladies in the room there were some very interesting conversations. We then began the panel sessions with our amazing Women@Work coaches; Zeta Yarwood, Lubna Forzley, Melissa Schlimm, Simone Lawrence and Su Bridgeman. The coaches panel discussed questions from our candidates ranging from how to get back after a break, to making the most out of networking and building your personal brand – as always with our coaches it was a very informative, uplifting and a fun session.
We then heard from our client partners to understand more about their businesses, including; how they support women in the workplace, their drive to create an environment where women can get back to the workforce and be supported on that journey.
After hearing from our coaches and clients we had a coffee break and start networking followed by speed interviews, where the attendees got to chat with our clients and showcase their background and drive for returning to the workplace.
Following the event we have had great feedback from clients as to the calibre of the candidates they interviewed with lots of excitement to take people forward for the 12-week Returnships.
Aramex – HR Lead
Many thanks to you and your team for giving us the pleasure of being part of this initiative. We have been impressed by the candidates, great calibres that would have been missed without Women@Work’s support.
Munich RE – HR Lead
We very much enjoyed partnering with Women@Work for the Returnship Career Fair. It was an absolute pleasure to meet so many talented individuals and connecting with other like-minded organisations who are empowering mothers to return to the workplace. We look forward to continuing to support this initiative.
A big thanks to you and your great team. The event was amazing and now I have my confidence back in myself after meeting all coaches and going through my first interview after a long time
Zeta Yarwood – Career Coach
How many years out of the workforce would you consider “a risk hire” when recruiting? What if that person had consistently attended courses to update their skills, knowledge, certificates over that time? Would that be enough to convince you, or would the recent hands-on experience be a deal-breaker? This is just one of the challenges mums face re-entering the workplace after a career break. Personally – the lack of work experience wouldn’t worry me. Because I know – as a mum – chances are she would be: – Efficient – Driven – Focused – Independent – Emotionally intelligent (The list could go on!) And that to me is priceless. Amazing to discuss such an important topic at the “Return to Work Fair”.
Watch this space for updates of the Returnees journeys back to the workplace.