She’s Back! Why Employers Should Hire Working Moms After A Career Break

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She’s Back! Why Employers Should Hire Working Moms After A Career Break

Companies are missing out on a vast talent pool and opportunities by overlooking a substantial group of skilled women because of career breaks on their CV. Career breaks refer to periods of time when individuals step away from paid employment to focus on other aspects of their lives. Working women may pause their careers for various reasons, such as maternity leave, raising children, caring for elderly dependents, or even study breaks. 



Research by RecruitMyMom found that forty-nine percent of women have taken a career break at least once in their professional career. Ninety-five percent of these women returned to work.

The number one reason women take a career break is to raise children. Many women choose to spend some time at home caring for their young family, while others feel forced to take a break because their jobs do not allow for flexible work arrangements. 


While outdated thinking might paint these "career breaks" as unfavourable, the reality is far more positive. Hiring a working mom has endless benefits, not just for your organisation but for the economy as a whole. 


Why a business should consider hiring moms after a career break


By supporting a working mom’s re-entry into employment, companies can access a productive, experienced, and emotionally mature workforce, solving three common hiring hurdles.


1. Reduction of skills shortages

The second biggest problem holding back economic growth in South Africa is the need for more skilled workers, with frequent power outages being first. The need for skills is a significant problem for businesses and the economy. If employers consider the untapped potential of working moms returning from career breaks, they tap into experienced professionals who bring a wealth of relevant pre-break expertise and transferable skills.


2. Cost-effective hiring

Returning working moms bring valuable expertise without requiring intensive supervision or extended onboarding and training, thus making them cost-effective hires. Their existing experience translates to a quicker ramp-up time, reducing training costs and lost productivity, which translates to significant savings on resources and a faster return on investment for your company.


3. Improved diversity and inclusion

Hiring working moms re-entering the workforce can significantly boost an organisation's diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts and enrich the workplace. These women bring a wealth of experience and honed skills from managing families. Their return also broadens the range of perspectives within the company, fostering a more inclusive environment that values different life experiences. This talent pool helps achieve gender equity by showcasing the capabilities of working moms and demonstrating a commitment to their professional success. 


What working moms bring to the workplace 


Working moms bring a wealth of experience and transferable skills to the workplace. Their previous roles (prior to their career breaks) equip them with extensive knowledge and expertise, making them valuable contributors.

The willingness of these working moms to jump back into the workplace months or years after a break is a testament to their indomitable character. To remain relevant in the job market, these women must learn to re-balance their home and work lives, refresh their skill sets, and adapt to new environments. This process calls for determination, resourcefulness and the ability to overcome difficulties with unflagging commitment.

Time management and organisation skills are exceptional among working moms. They excel at setting tasks in order of priority, streamlining procedures and maximising efficiency during tight deadlines.

Balancing work and life results in unique problem-solving abilities that are found among working mothers. They have the capacity for innovative thinking, developing creative solutions, and promptly adjusting to changing needs.

Women who take care of their families while pursuing careers tend to have a broader understanding of the needs and problems of various groups than others. These women have strong interpersonal skills derived from their natural empathy, which enable them to work well with colleagues and clients in multidisciplinary teams. This diversity of perspective and empathy can enrich any workplace, fostering a culture of understanding and inclusivity.


How companies can support working moms returning from a career break


Working moms who take a career break often face challenges when they decide to return to the workforce. Companies can make it easier for these women to transition back into their careers by providing them with the necessary support. 


1. Provide training and development opportunities

One way for companies to help working mothers return from a break in their careers is by providing them with training and development opportunities. This can involve offering access to online courses, workshops where they can update their skills, or job shadowing colleagues so they can learn while they work. Training and development opportunities are a way of assisting working moms to regain confidence so that they can smoothly re-enter the workforce.


2. Offer returnship programmes

Experienced women returning from a career break can accelerate their return with paid, short-term programmes aimed at women who held mid-to-senior roles prior to their break.  These programmes refresh skills, expose them to new technology, and provide mentorship for a smooth comeback. Returnship programmes are useful for working mothers to acquire hands-on experience and rebuild professional networks as they move towards permanent roles within the organisation.


3. Promote flexible work arrangements

Another way that organisations can help returning working mothers is by promoting flexible work arrangements. Recognising that a balanced work-life is important for everyone, companies can offer flexibility in the form of hours, remote working, or hybrid work policies, thereby allowing working mothers a higher chance of  successfully integrating back to work. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, better retention rates, and a more productive workforce.

Our outlook at RecruitMyMom is that the smooth integration of women returning to the workplace is essential to providing diversity and inclusion in the workforce. Companies can benefit from a dedicated, competent, and well-experienced workforce by recruiting working mothers and creating a supportive workplace atmosphere. Additionally, companies with inclusion and diversity as their main priorities stand a chance of attracting the most talented employees while fostering a positive corporate culture while benefitting from the diversity quotient

Visit RecruitMyMom, South Africa’s award-winning online recruitment agency specialising in skilled full-time, part-time and contract work. Speak to one of our consultants today, or load a job.