The push to get more women in corporate jobs

The new program that's helping to get more women back in senior leadership roles after spending years out of the workforce.

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AMP Capital, BT Investment Management and Mirvac are among the big name companies that have signed up to an initiative that paves the way for more women to find employment in middle to senior management.

The program called Career Returners, which also includes Frasers Property (formerly Australand Property Group) has been launched by Serendis Leadership Consulting who has partnered with recruitment specialists Vine Partners and Capstone.

“The aim of the program is to facilitate the return to work of women who have taken a step back from their career for a long time and really want to re-engage with it, but are not finding this very easy,” said Serendis’ founding director Maud Lindley.

Corporate Australia is increasingly looking for ways to boost the number of women in middle and senior leadership positions.

Research shows that women make up only 27 per cent of key management personnel at many if Australia’s top companies according to 2015 data produced by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

As it stands, organisations typically look at a person’s cv or resume and often select candidates who have the most up-to-date experience, which disadvantages many women who have taken time out of the workforce to care for loved ones.

The program titled Career Returners seeks to cut through that traditional pathway by working a little bit like a professional internship that helps women brush up on their skills and reconnect with networks and potentially secure a long-term role with an organisation.

But Ms Lindley said the program isn’t a free lunch for the corporates. Unlike an internship, it’s paid work for the employee and the project that’s assigned is meaningful to the business and the individual’s future career prospects.

Currently similar programs are taking place overseas with Goldman Sachs running a successful returnship program in the United States and across Asia.

“Our target this year is to deliver a program that is highly successful for a small number of women across various companies. My biggest hope is that women who go through this program inspire others to follow,” said Ms Lindley.

Recruitment for the program is underway – see the Financy directory for links to it.

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