There has been much debate in the media about the challenges women encounter on re-entering the workplace after a career break – often after caring for older family members or having children. Over the past year, these challenges have been further highlighted for women. It’s been shown that women more than men have borne the brunt of childcare responsibilities during lockdowns and school closures – and many have partially or completely left the workforce. The good news for women who are returning to the workforce is that the global pandemic has paved the way for greater flexibility at work, which means the job market is becoming more accommodating to all kinds of people who want more flexible work lives.
Our guest on this episode of the Digital Dish podcast is social entrepreneur, Lynn Houmdi, who is leading a program in the UK called “Making Work Work,” which supports women returning to the workplace after a career break. The program provides a combination of leadership training, mentoring and post-program support to build the two things that Houmdi claims women feel they lack when re-entering the world of work after a career break: confidence and networks. Her own struggle to find a way of working that suited her after becoming a mother inspired her to develop the program. She explains that, after having left a high-flying career in the British civil service to pursue her social enterprise passions, she realized there was very little support for women who chose a nonlinear career path.
Listen in to learn how women returners can capitalize on the changes to the world of work, ushered in by the global pandemic, to find more fulfilling and flexible employment. Houmdi’s own career story also provides an inspirational reference point for young women starting their professional journeys.
About the authorsLois Coatney
Lois is a recognized expert in the field of Service Management and Governance. As Partner and President, ISG GovernX®, she drives innovation and industry leading practices in the area of service integration, operational effectiveness and operating model transformation. She brings more than 25 years of experience in IT operations transformation to her work with such ISG clients as Abbott, CNA, Exelon, Loblaw, Monsanto, Pitney Bowes and United Technologies.
With more than 25 years of industry and consulting experience, Julie is an invaluable advisor for enterprises needing to evaluate and assess alternatives for multi-process HR service delivery, including workforce administration, payroll, benefits, compensation, recruiting, technology, learning, and talent management. Julie leads complex global HR assessments and transactions around the world. Prior to joining ISG, Julie worked for nearly a decade as an independent consultant, providing market research, vendor assessments, systems testing and implementation consulting to a broad community of benefits administration vendors and human resources departments. Julie started her career in human resources outsourcing, establishing shared service centers for a national benefits consulting and administration firm. She is a well-published thought leader in her field.
Jeanne Cuff is an Associate Director in the Governance Services-Managed Services organization who brings a broad set of experiences to support ISG clients. Jeanne has over 20 years of senior leadership and consulting roles in operations, human resources, network and SaaS.