A PwC report shows that addressing the career break penalty could boost female earnings by £1.1 billion annually.
Key findings include:
- Around 427,000 female professionals, including directors, engineers, scientists, researchers, doctors, lawyers and accountants, who are currently on career break want to return to the workforce in the future.
- Three in five professional women (or around 249,000) returning to the workforce are likely to move into lower-skilled or lower-paid roles, experiencing an immediate earnings reduction of up to a third.
- 29,000 women who return to the workforce on a part-time basis will be underemployed, meaning that they would prefer to work more hours if flexible working opportunities were made more widely available.
- Taken together, two-thirds of (or around 278,000) professional women could be working below their potential when they return to the workforce.
- Addressing the career break penalty could boost female earnings by £1.1 billion annually, equivalent to £4,000 per woman.
- The multiplier effect from the higher earnings and spending power of these women generates additional gains to the UK economy of £1.7 billion.
- Business action, including combating the negative bias towards CV gaps, increasing the availability of part-time and flexible opportunities and helping women transition back to work, can help address the career break penalty.
The Women Returners Professional Network has helpfully pulled together upcoming returnship deadlines:
Amazon Web Services Returners Program, UK-wide. Permanent supported hiring opportunities. Apply asap.
Citi Private Bank Career Relaunch Event 2018, London. One day event on 19 July 2018 followed by 6 month returnship, starting September 2018. Apply asap, latest by 6 July 2018.
Returners to Business Services Scotland Programme Edinburgh & Glasgow, 16 week returnship, starting November 2018. Launching September 2018 – register interest now.
Network Rail Property Returners, Bristol, Glasgow, London Euston, Milton Keynes, York. Returnship, up to 24 weeks, starting September 2018. Apply asap
O2 Career Returners, Slough, London, Leeds, Preston Brook. 14 week returnship, starting October 2018. Apply by 12 July 2018. Plus supported hiring programme into permanent roles, on a rolling basis. Apply asap
Willmott Dixon Welcome Back, UK-wide, including London, the South East, North West, Midlands and Wales and the West. Supported hiring programme into permanent roles, on a rolling basis. Apply asap
UBS Career Comeback, London. Supported hiring programme into permanent roles. Start 24 September 2018. Apply asap
FDM Getting Back to Business Programme, London, Glasgow and Leeds. Fully funded training followed by onsite client work. Upcoming 2018 start dates: London – 28 August (apply by 31 July); Glasgow 3 September (apply by 17 August)
Civil Service Returner Programme, UK-wide, variable length and start date returnships. Check website for deadlines
M&G Career Returners, London. Supported hiring returner programme, multiple roles. Ongoing application and recruitment
Return @ Capgemini, UK. 6 month returnship, various start dates. Currently closed for applications, register your interest for future opportunities
Despite the gains the UK has made in improving female labour market outcomes, there's still significant underutilised potential: one such group is professional women returning from career breaks. Our new research shows that addressing the career break penalty could deliver gains of £1.7 billion to the UK economy.