Women in Business

If you’ve ever hit pause on your career, you’re not alone.

In fact, according to a 2022 LinkedIn survey, nearly two-thirds of employees have taken a break at some point in their careers. And it may come as no surprise that women dominate this statistic.

Whether it’s taking time to grow a family, look after elderly parents, or pursue a passion, there are plenty of reasons women choose to step off the traditional career path. But, when or if they decide to get back on, the transition is not always smooth.

A bumpy pathway

Every year, scores of skilled, talented and experienced women consider returning to work after a long hiatus.

These returners have a wealth of career experience, impressive credentials and an abundance of value to offer prospective employers – but they’re often overlooked in a biased environment that favours young talent with continuous work history.

This, paired with challenges such as unconscious hiring bias, gender inequality, and the gender pay gap, can create additional barriers and a bumpy pathway for women returners.

Shifting the perspective

While it will take time to snuff out career break stigma completely, we’re starting to see significant strides in the right direction.

From fresh perspectives and transferable skills to a renewed sense of energy, employers are beginning to acknowledge the value & benefits a returner can bring to their business and are now actively tapping into this talent pool to create a stronger, more diverse workforce.

The days of hiding a gap on a CV are also ending. Earlier this year, recruitment platform LinkedIn introduced a “career break” function on user profiles to make it easier for candidates and recruiters to have open conversations about the skills and experiences amassed during a career break.

Reframing the break

For decades, a career break was considered a career breaker.

Today, however, with the introduction of supportive programmes designed to support & empower returners paired with an increased awareness of the value they can bring to a business, we are seeing a much-needed shift in perspective. We are finally entering an era where a career break is seen as a valuable stepping stone rather than a setback.

Back to Work Connect | Bio

Our mission is to empower and support women ready to renter the workforce. Through training, resources & our online career portal, we aim to empower Returners with a supported route back to their careers and inspire employers to create a returner-friendly work environment. Learn more about our work at backtoworkconnect.ie