STEM Returners welcomes a new government plan to help STEM professionals get back to work after a career break
Announced on International Women’s Day, the government has launched a new returners programme alongside an initiative to improve pay transparency in the job application process and help businesses who want to go even further in attracting women to their positions.
In their announcement, the government used findings from the 2021 STEM Returners Index, which revealed that 61% of returners found the process of returning to the industry difficult or very difficult.
Natalie Desty, Director of STEM Returners, said: “We are delighted to see the launch of a government returners programme across STEM industries. Working in this space for the last 5 years, we know just how difficult it is for women to overcome the career gap penalty and the impacts that this has on their career in STEM. We also know how vital their return is to an industry with an advanced skills gap and in some areas, a shocking lack of diversity. We are proud to be supporting the initiative with our STEM Returners Index, we launched the 2022 survey recently, and look forward to helping open up more opportunities for returning women in STEM.”
The 2021 Index also showed 27% of women said they feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to their gender compared to 8% of men, while 30% of women said they feel they have personally experienced bias in recruitment processes due to childcare responsibilities compared to 6% of men.
STEM Returners has launched the 2022 STEM Returners Index to better understand STEM professionals’ experiences of trying to re-enter the sector after a career break.
The survey is open to all STEM professions who have had a gap in their career or who are attempting to return to work or who have recently returned to work. It is anonymous and will ask a variety of questions including reasons for a career break, what challenges were faced when attempting to return to work and what impact COVID-19 had on finding a role.
The STEM Returners works with leading firms to eliminate the barriers professionals face when they return to work. by giving candidates real work experience and mentoring during their placement and helping them to seamlessly adjust to life back in work. Programmes have been set up with internationally renowned firms including BAE Systems, Leonardo UK, Babcock International and SSE, with more than 200 candidates joining programmes across the UK.