Empowering Women research


Attracting and Engaging Women Returning to the Workforce

Women who have taken a break from their career (often to raise children but also for other reasons) represent a group that has the potential to make a huge contribution to individual businesses and fill skills gaps faced by employers.

For our latest research piece, we surveyed over 1,000 women working in professional disciplines on their attitudes towards career breaks, the support employers offer professionals returning to work and what they value in terms of career development. 48% of those surveyed had taken a career break and 52% had not, providing us with an understanding of both women's expectations and experiences.

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  • Eight in ten women rank flexible work options for parents as important - but only half of employers offer flexible work options for parent
  • 44% of women surveyed would change jobs to find an employer with a better maternity policy
  • Key findings

    • 74% of women plan to return to the same employer following a career break, but only 24% do
    • 84% of professionals want the option to work from home, but less than half of employers offer it
    • 79% of women would consider a mentor helpful when returning to work, but only 8% are offered one
    • 89% of women want structured training on legal or regulatory changes on their return to work, but only 22% of employers offer this
    • 53% of women who took a career break felt they were disadvantaged when they returned

    To find out more and access the research in full, download the PDF here.

    Future Talent Strategies: Gender Diversity & Leadership

    The first research piece as part of the Empowering Women in the Workplace programme investigates the issues of why women are leaving the workforce, and why women continue to be underrepresented in business at the senior level.

    The question is no longer why are women exiting the workforce, but rather, what can employers do to attract and retain talented women in their business.

    This research, based on a survey of almost 500 women working in professional disciplines, explores the effectiveness of current strategies to empower and advance women in the workplace, looking at areas such as flexible working, mentoring, leadership and even asking women what constitutes a successful career.

    Download the PDF now