Mums@Work Return to Work Program
This week has been a big one for the Mums@Work team with the launch of our Return to Work Program. Since our launch, in early 2016, we have been inundated with unbelievably talented women who have taken a break from their career and now feel that the time is right to reignite their career and are looking for an opportunity which will also fit with their family commitments.
After seeing CV after CV with outstanding talent and experience it literally kept me awake at night (along with my 2 year old), trying to find a way we could help these women back into the workplace, especially in a market which is so candidate heavy… this is when I looked further into the Return to Work concept.
The ‘returnship’ idea was created by Goldman Sachs in the US back in 2008 and since its inception has proven very successful particularly with multinational-organisations in countries like the US and UK, and whilst there are a few programs here in the UAE, it hasn’t reached our sandy shores with any gravitas as yet. I wanted to create a program which is open to all, no matter what area you previously worked in, what company you worked for or even region your experience was in.
Welcome the Mums@Work Return to Work program…
I piloted the concept over the past 3 months internally with our very own ‘returnee’. Arzu had worked in marketing for 10 years and then took an 8 year career break to focus on bringing up her children. Arzu worked hard to get our attention, coming along to every event, networking with the team, updating her skills through a digital marketing program and eventually offering to come and do an internship with Mums@Work. As a start-up we didn’t have bags on cash to spend on salaries and we have limited resources so I welcomed the offer of support from Arzu, also myself with a solid background of 15 years in marketing, I knew I could offer Arzu the support she needed to get back up to speed with marketing and today’s technology-driven landscape. It didn’t take long until I saw the potential she had to offer and now at the end of the 3 months I have offered Arzu a permanent role with the flexibility she needs to support her family.
Now to bring the program to the community…
I began speaking with some of the leading businesses in the region about diversity and women in the workplace and had a fantastically warm response. We had so many businesses keen to work with us on the launch of the program and chose to launch with 4 businesses as a pilot. With Visa, IBM, Virgin and APCO I knew we would have a great range of roles to launch the program and be placing candidates in a fully supported program.
The program will provide a 12-week opportunity to work with leaders in their fields, delivering exciting projects, which will not only allow the candidates to get back up to speed with the workplace, but pivot them into the spotlight within the businesses and allow them to practically demonstrate the experience they have to offer.
After launching only 3 days ago we have already had hundreds of applications and we know with the quality of our candidates we could fill these roles 10 times over, but this is only the beginning. We will be championing this program with businesses throughout the region, both large and small to make the concept of a ‘returnship’ a common phrase and a go-to option for businesses looking to bring back great talent back to the workforce.
If you’re looking to get back to the workplace and want to work within a leading global business, do take a look at our roles and if you have the experience, passion and drive – what’s stopping you?
Remember this is only the start…