The Return of Returnships

We have seen a significant uptick in the number of corporate return to work programs “returnships” since 2016. Global hubs of career re-entry program activity center in the U.S., U.K. and India.

What Are Returnships?

More than 2.6 million women in the United States hold bachelor’s, masters, or PhD degrees but do not work outside the home, according to Working Mother. In fact, 40% of American mothers have, at some point in their lives, reduced their hours or taken time off to care for a child or family member and 27% have left the workforce entirely.

Returnships, a term trademarked by Goldman Sachs in 2008, aim to mitigate the obstacles faced by Won and many others. Modeled after traditional student internships, organizations hire individuals for a few months to a year during which they pair employment with mentoring and training. The benefits are twofold: returners gain skills, confidence, and connections, and employers evaluate prospective candidates risk-free. Returnships can provide an excellent segue back into the working world; here are three strategies to maximize their potential.

Notable Investment Banking Returnships

Barclay’s Encore

Bloomberg Women’s Returner Circle

Goldman Sachs Returnship

JP Morgan Chase ReEntry Program

Morgan Stanley Return to Work

RBC Capital Markets Relaunch Program

Societe Generale Career Arc

UBS Career Comeback

Alternative Approaches

Alternative approaches for returning to the workforce include seeking further education, hiring a career coach, volunteering strategically, networking, and attending conferences. Returners can also utilize the cadre of recruiting platforms that specialize in women and returning mothers, such as AprèsreacHIREThe Mom Project, and Second Shift, and women-centric job boards like Power to Fly and Fairygodboss.

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