The case for a supported returner program

The benefits of a returner program go well beyond optics or moral obligation.

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Workplace gender equality has been found to improve organisational performance, effectiveness, profitability and revenue generation.

Future proofing the national labour force

  • Women graduate across a range of disciplines at rates higher than men, but many shift out of the workforce mid-career. A supported returner program creates access to a new pool of talent who possess the right skills, or could easily be trained to develop them.
  • Lifting female labour force participation in Australia will be instrumental to offsetting the effects of our ageing population.
  • For more information see The Business Case for Gender Equality report.

Improved gender diversity

  • 89% of people out of paid work who are caring for family or the home are female. Supported returner programs can enable greater gender diversity across a business.

Improved business performance

  • A diverse and inclusive workforce, regardless of size and industry, generates tangible benefits, such as increased efficiency, productivity, innovation, creativity and improved employee engagement.

  • A diverse workforce tends to produce a more holistic analysis of the issues an organisation faces and spurs greater effort and motivation, leading to improved decision-making.

  • There is significant evidence from across the globe demonstrating the positive impacts on company performance of female representation on boards, in executive management and senior leadership.

  • A study by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability.

  • For more information see The Business Case for Gender Equality report.

Improved cognitive diversity

  • Employers report that returners tend to offer a different way of looking at problems and situations, enhancing cognitive diversity.

Social responsibility and reputation

  • A successful supported returner program can have a positive impact on brand and image, clearly signaling that your business supports parents and carers in the workplace. It shows that your business is open to and accepting of non-linear career paths and values the role that caring plays in your community. This can play a key role in both the recruitment and retention of talented employees.

Tapping into new talent

  • The 2018 Deloitte Millennial Survey shows that 74% of individuals believe their business is more innovative when it has a culture of inclusion. If businesses are looking to hire and sustain a millennial workforce, diversity must be a key part of the company culture.

Cost-effective recruitment

  • The hiring and training of new employees can come with a high cost. Supported returner programs give businesses access to professionals who are already skilled, qualified, and experienced.

  • Supported returner programs can also be cost-effective in comparison to using a recruitment agency, as businesses do not incur percentage-based success fees for successful hires.

  • Businesses can engage returners using a low-risk model to assess the true value of each returner, whilst looking for opportunities to grow their leadership pipeline for future roles.