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15 March 2023

Day 2 of Back2businessship 2023 – Hemal and Gillian 2023 delegates share 3 major insights for how returners will propel the UK workforce to sustainable growth

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Day 2 of @Back2businessship 2023 – Hemal and Gillian Kennedy 2023 delegates share 3 major insights for how returners will propel the UK workforce to sustainable growth

Day 2 @backtobusinessship #backtobusinrssship2023: Today’s “Return to Work” budget highlights what Back2businessship has proven for a decade. Returners are a much needed, experienced and diverse talent pool awash with fresh eyes, unique perspectives and a hard-to-find blend of skills. Yesterday’s session served up 3 major insights for how returners will propel the UK workforce to sustainable growth. What are they?


Business benefits from “emergent-led strategy” and flexible leadership. Day two kicked off with an energetic session from the Ithaca Centre’s trailblazing  founder @Alexcole who outline three mega trends shaping corporate strategy today: polycrisis, hyper transformation and people power. The “flux” economy requires leaders with “flex and resilience”. Looking around the room there was a palpable energy shift as we realised how our career breaks to care for elderly parents and children were pressure tested environments which sharpened our the real-time logistics skills, incisive thinking and experienced decision making. A workshop on flexible leadership followed, which highlighted the need for diversity at the very top along with skills to maintain positive energy in life and work.


The powerful interpersonal skills and long-standing network women returners bring to the leadership table are transformational. @Amanda Fone, Co-Founder Back2businessship, CEO & Founder F1 Recruitment Ltd, spoke about our elevator pitches, while UCL researcher @Elisa Duriavig ran a practical LinkedIn skills session. Immediately it was clear how returner’s well-honed interpersonal skills and deep networks could fill a critical gap in today’s workplace. As returners, we uniquely blend seasoned core skills with an ability to to talk to an enormous range of people and personalities. This balance of hard and soft skills offers a distinct advantage to work across generations, styles and skills.


Our value as seasoned professionals who have made conscious choices to pivot, learn and relearn is gold dust. The day ended with a powered up session from B Corp consultancy @OxfordSM that spoke to us about Category-lead strategy for @FMCG, Healthcare, pharma and retailers. We learned from @Fiona Tough and @Peter Kirkby that Sustainable growth in today’s market hinges on a balance of long term brand building and short term activation and performance marketing. The range of experience in our cohort shone through as we challenged this model through a lens only afforded by years of craft and discipline.


The day ended with a palpable sense that the returners have arrived. Ready and able, the time for growth has never been more prescient.


What do you think? Do you agree that women returners bring critical super powers to a rapidly evolving work landscape? Will the “back to work” budget help build the skills necessary to deliver sustainable financial growth? Let us know in the comments and tag a returner you