the biggest problems facing corporations both in the United States and
worldwide is closing the gender gap. One
of the ways that companies are addressing the trouble of gender diversity in
the work place is through programs called returnships. Research has found that
nearly 9 out of 10 highly qualified women who left their jobs voluntarily for
an average of 2.7 years wanted to return, but only 40% were able to find full
time, mainstream work (Zillman, 2017). There are not many companies that are
offering these programs at this point, but the number is increasing every
years of being a stay-at-home mother, women are finding it difficult to reenter
the industry that they left. Returnships offer talented women, returning to the
workforce after a professional sabbatical, a position with a company that will
help them add recent work experience to their résumé and freshen up on skills
that have changed and developed since they left the industry. These programs
are open to both men and women, but due to the fact that most caregivers are
women, the companies that have instituted them are finding that it gives them a
direct line to the female applicants in an era when many corporations are
prioritizing gender diversity.” (Zillman, 2017) By instituting these programs
companies find their talent pool of women to hire into full time jobs has increased.
are few companies that are offering these returnship programs as part of their
push to close the gender gap at this point, but the number is growing every
year. Through initiatives from advocates such as the nonprofit Path Forward,
women and companies are being matched based on the skills they have and the
skills they are looking for. Companies such as Apple, Goldman Sachs, IBM, and PayPal
all have a returnship program in place.
Employers that have begun using returnship programs are finding that the
programs are very successful at attracting skilled women at the mid-career
level, and many of them decide to expand the programs to include more people,
in more of the company’s locations.
has shown that hiring and promoting more women and minorities help companies to
not only have a more diversified workforce, but also more capable, talented
employees. By opening up programs like
returnships in order to attract that talent pool, companies are sending out a
good message to not only women, but other companies in general.