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A new initiative is being launched today which aims to help professional women who have taken career breaks get back to work through internships at UK organisations.
The coaching and consulting organisation Women Returners is partnering with Opportunity Now to develop “returnships” – short-term paid positions, project-based, typically with training and mentoring support.
Returnships were pioneered by Goldman Sachs in the US and the company has hired around 50% of its 120 programme participants since 2008.
Since late 2013, five new similar return-to-work programmes have been launched by major US companies including JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and MetLife. The first UK programme, Credit Suisse Real Returns, is beginning later this month.
Julianne Miles, co-founder of Women Returners, says: “A returnship offers the opportunity for employers to access a largely untapped pool of high-calibre experienced and motivated women and gets over the concerns of some hiring managers about their lack of recent experience.”
Katerina Gould, also a co-founder of Women Returners, adds: “Returnship programmes are a win-win: businesses are able to refill the leaky talent pipeline and bring forward more senior female leaders; returners benefit from a supported pathway back to work, gaining valuable work experience and rebuilding their professional confidence.”