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5 August 2016

Where are they now? A timely look at some of the success stories from previous year’s Back2businessship Programmes

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For the third consecutive year we will be running our Back2businesship programme – exclusively for career returners who have over a decade of experience in marketing, media and communications and over 3 years out of the workplace raising a family. Last year the success of the programme led to representation at the Gender Pay Gap discussions with a House of Commons Select Committee and already action has been taken to encourage more employers to open opportunities to returners looking for more flexible working hours.

But what of the people who attended the programme in previous years? Let’s take a look at some of the success stories, starting with Laura Weston, who now has an active role in the organisation of this year’s Programme:

Laura Weston – Marketing Director, Golin
Before having children I’d had a career at a senior level running digital content teams for the Sun and X Factor, but had struggled to find a flexible role at that level. Back2Businessship gave me confidence and practical skills to focus my job hunt. Before the course I felt a little disheartened, but the speakers were so inspirational and proved good flexible roles are out there.

Following the course I kept up momentum by applying for roles straightaway, I won Golin’s 3-month paid returnship to work as marketing director. I was encouraged to negotiate my hours and chose to work four days with flexibility. Coming back to work after a break has been invigorating. I often describe myself as having senior level experience combined with a graduate’s enthusiasm!

Cath Frusher – Partnerships Manager at Channel Mum Ltd.
Having attended Back2Businessship last year, I am happily back in the media business working flexibly in a role that I love and that suits my family life. I am working 3 days a week at Channel Mum. (4 days when my oldest starts school in September). Channel Mum is an online video publisher targeting millennial mums so it’s quite different from my previous role heading up the digital sales team at News UK.

The course gave me the push I needed to restart my career, but it also crystallised my motivations to work and prepared my vital skills, confidence and attitude to return. It was a great experience whereby I was given privileged access to some fantastic speakers and had the opportunity to network.

Fiona Hurst – Alumnae Manager
Before starting a family, I’d worked in corporate communications for FTSE 100 companies in London and then for mining companies in Perth, Australia. I knew that when I returned to work, I wanted a new role in a different environment with flexibility, but was unsure exactly what that job would look like and needed some advice on how to find it.

The Back2Businessship programme showed me that flexible working is achievable, can be a step up in my career and gave me many ideas of what I could do next. I’m now using my PR and networking skills in my new role as the Alumnae Manager at a school three days a week. Best of all, I found the job by contacting one of the speakers on last year’s programme!