Posted on Jan 19th, 2023 by Emma Owens
Over time, measures such as education or increasing visible STEM role models that are women will support the growth of gender equality in STEM. But in the short term, more needs to be done to encourage women into these industries whilst creating a workplace environment that embraces them.
At Tech Returners, we work with people that have all the expertise, passion, and drive to change these numbers. Zooming in on technology, we work with software engineers looking to return to work after a career break. Of those individuals that we work with, 59% are women.
However, career breaks often generate preconceptions and not all are positive. Those who take career breaks are sometimes considered to be ‘out of touch’ with the latest in technology. The perception is often that a career break doesn't add value to an individual’s skill set, and instead it somehow erodes it. These preconceptions couldn’t be further from the truth. Year after year, we’ve seen the incredible depth and breadth of value, experience and ‘real’ skills that those returning to work after a career break - ‘Returners’ - bring to businesses.
Two perceptions, one initiative
We’re excited to share an initiative that aims to bring some of that Returner diversity to STEM. The McLaren F1 Team and Entain, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment group, just this week announced their brand new, six-month Returnship scheme that supports women back into STEM roles after a break from work.
Whilst we at Tech Returners understand the pressing need to change perceptions surrounding career breaks, similarly, McLaren and Entain recognise the “urgent need to change the perceptions of careers in STEM, open more opportunities for women to pursue careers in the field, and help both women and men thrive equally in STEM.”
Imagine if we could begin to break down both these barriers and preconceptions with one initiative. That’s exactly what this latest collaboration intends. The Returnship will see 10 women join McLaren or Entain for six months across a multitude of roles from technology and data to engineering and UX design.
Create an inclusive environment
We’re excited to play a part in shaping both this initiative and its surrounding environment to be inclusive and embracing of women that are returning to work. We’re going to support applicants making it through to interview, as well as those who are unsuccessful in their applications to reframe their career break and build confidence for whatever comes next. The core ethos of the Returnship is for every applicant to gain something positive and develop meaningful take aways to help shape their future.
Our deep understanding of the barriers that women face in technology when returning to work makes us perfectly placed to support McLaren and Entain’s scheme throughout all stages, from interview preparation for the Returnship itself, through to developing a Growth Mindset and building personal profile.
McLaren and Entain have taken steps to ensure that the Returnship is a supportive environment for participants, providing workplace buddies, one to one coaching, clear and evolving objectives, and the opportunity to take part in a group project which addresses a live business challenge. Flexibility and consideration are built into the scheme with hybrid working as standard. Feedback and reviews are implemented throughout, with the exciting prospect of finding a permanent position upon completion of the Returnship.
We’re confident that the combination of this inclusive environment, our delivery support and hands-on experience in a STEM role will change the careers and lives of 10 women for the better.
Take your step back into STEM