Supporting Women Return to Work


women return to workRenovo have supported many women return to work, whether after raising a family, a period of unemployment, or as part of a career transition resulting from redundancy or other workforce change. As experts in career transition, we know that breaks from work can offer the opportunity to pursue a career that gives flexibility desired whilst meeting current priorities. It can also offer the ability to re-train, become self-employed business or return to a new role within the same field. Here we offer some advice to help kick start your return to work.

Researching roles and required qualifications

When you are unclear about what your options are, start by evaluating your current priorities and undertake some research. There are a number of ways you can conduct research and explore what qualifications, training and experience may be required in today’s job market.

  • The National Careers Service website offers advice around what training you will need to do in order to begin a new career, the salary to expect and what the job role is likely to include.
  • Visit job boards to research jobs, have a look at job descriptions and the specifications that employers require for the types of roles you are interested in. is a great resource for women returning to work.

Networking is one of the most successful ways to find opportunities. As well as your current network, think about building a new network:

  • Ask contacts, family, friends, and other parents. It is easy to forget that the people you meet with on a day to day basis may be useful to talk to about your future aims and goals.
  • If you are returning to work after having children, consider other parents you meet through the school or whilst doing activities.
  • Ask questions, find out a bit more about your new contacts and their wider network. Gather information and ideas to assist you in your own search.
Return to work schemes/Returnships

Some industries and sectors have a return to work programme. A returner programme offers the opportunity for employers to access a largely untapped pool of senior and experienced professionals who have taken an extended career break and are keen to get back to their profession.

  • The programmes offer returners a re-introduction to the workplace and addresses issues such as confidence as well as updating industry-specific knowledge.
  • Natwest, O2, Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley were some of the 23 companies who offered returnships in the UK last year
  • Around 90 per cent of those on placements were women.

To access the full list of organisations, visit


Another popular option is exploring self-employment. Establishing your own business may allow you to fit work around your family or any other responsibilities.

  • Could you use your existing experience and skillset and operate as a freelancer or contractor?
  • Is there a gap in the market that you could explore? Do you have a hobby or an interest that you could make money from?
  • Remote working can be a good option if you have children or to provide additional flexibility

Talk to people who have already chosen this option and ask for advice; they will be able to give you tips and tell you how they pursued their interests or if they had to retrain.  You can read more of Renovo’s advice on turning your hobby into employment here.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you, please call 0800 612 2011 or email

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