“There has been an increased focus on women returners in the last year with several organisations having launched their own returner programmes to help support women who have taken a career break back to work,” said Gillan Nissim, founder of WorkingMums.
“They argue that many women have years of experience and represent a huge and often overlooked talent pool,” she continued. “Far from the stereotype, they are also often highly motivated.”
Nissim’s comments come on the back of a recent survey which found that nearly half (48%) of mothers found it impossible to find a job in their field when they tried to return to work – 21% of those who did manage to find a job in their chosen sector had to take a position at a lower level.
“I only took three months off after my maternity leave ended and have had to accept a less senior position,” revealed one of the 2,300 women surveyed.
"I was unable to find a job at the same level due to employers believing my 'other commitments' would impact my ability to be flexible and perform my role effectively,” she added. "I eventually got a job only by saying that I had taken a career break, rather than returning from maternity leave."
Results from the recent survey also support Nissim’s suggestions that working mums are highly motivated – 61% of the participants said they would continue to work even if money was not an issue.
“[It] shows that sense of commitment as well as the fact that they derive a lot of enjoyment from their work,” says Nissim.
Returning to work can be a difficult transition for many mothers with evidence to suggest they’re often side-lined and taken less seriously but – according to one expert – companies may finally be paying attention.