Backtobusinessship Background

To find out more about the 2025 programme please click here



In November 2016, a report by PwC research in partnership with the 30% club and Women Returners produced compelling  evidence in support of the case. “Addressing the career break penalty for female professionals can deliver significant economic benefits. . .. generating additional economic output of £1.7 billion annually. … Getting more senior women back into the workplace will also help businesses build stronger pipelines of potential female leaders and improve the diversity of businesses at the senior levels”.


In 2017 there  were just 23  Returner Programmes across the UK. Only two are in our sector; a sector that  loses hundreds of talented practitioners year after year. This is talent that could be lost forever. We need to make it easier for these women (and some men) to transition back into the workplace.


In early 2013, Liz Nottingham, then the global HR Director at SMG (Starcom Media Group) and Amanda Fone, Founder and CEO of f1 Recruitment, hatched a strategy for a programme aimed at helping parents and carers who had worked in the Marketing & Communications sector to get back into the work after extended ‘time-out’ for family/childcare/caring reasons. The programme was aimed at returning parents and carers  who have been absent from the workplace for a minimum of 3-5 years.
The programme, in its 10th year in 2023 includes course modules on 1) Marketing  knowledge such Digital & Social Media, the future of AI, ESG, Data & Insights and 2) practical job seeking skills as Career Planning, Presentation skills,  how to attack the jobs market & apply for roles, how to find flexible and agile working and how to manage the first 90 days back in the workplace. There are a range of coaching and training sessions led by senior industry professionals as well as case studies and presentations by inspirational women (and men) who have returned to the workplace successfully after a career break raising a family.


Hear the thoughts of industry leaders as they review the returners research and discuss ways that UK government can create a more inclusive job market that values the contributions of older workers and helps our returners to re-enter and remain in the workforce.

Introduction: The Value of Returners Webinar

Episode 1:  Research Findings Summary

Episodes 2 to 5 Hear from the Panel

Episode 2: Juliet Turnbull

Episode 3 Tricia Wombell

Episode 4 Ian Williams & Jacqui Sanders

Episode 5 Andrew Adie & Imogen O´Rorke

Episodes 6 to 8 Audience Questions

Episode 6 Is there any point in applying for jobs using the ATS system?

Episode 7 How do you tackle ageism in the workplace?

Episode 8 How do you change the mindset of your internal recruitment team?


To find out more about the 2025 programme, please click here.