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STEM Returners and Emma Waltham Team Up to Support ‘Maternity Returners’

Diversity & inclusion pioneers STEM Returners have today announced a brand-new partnership with maternity transition expert Emma Waltham to provide extra support to their rapidly growing talent pool of ‘returners’

STEM Returners - which provides programmes aimed at introducing underrepresented groups back into STEM - has partnered with Emma Waltham, a mentoring and maternity transition expert with a fantastic record in promoting gender equality.

Providing coaching and mentoring solutions to increase returners’ confidence and help managers support the return to work, the partnership will include intensive one-to-one support and workshops.

With a PhD and a career spanning several sectors, Emma’s experience led solutions to help re-engage women returners with maternity coaching, training and return-to-work consultancy – providing a perfect fit with the award-winning programme STEM Returners offer.

These support mechanisms will help coach returners through the application and return-to-work phases. They are designed to increase their confidence and addressing the imposter syndrome which can negatively affect a successful return to work.

Currently, only one out of ten UK engineering roles are occupied by women, with career-break barriers disproportionately affecting them due to maternity leave and the lack of adequate support as they seek to re-enter work.

The impact of employment barriers has been recognised as a significant contributor to the low numbers of women in senior roles, at a time when closing the gender pay is vital to encourage more women into STEM.

STEM Learning UK estimates that over the next decade, Science, Technology and Engineering roles will increase tenfold, posing an urgent problem to the UK’s businesses, which are already losing billions due to the skills shortage.

With STEM Returners unique ‘returnships’ providing the means for companies and candidates to dismantle the barriers career breaks often present, the partnership with Emma Waltham will engage those who lack the courage to re-enter the world of work following an absence.

Specific themes that the partnership will help to address include:

  • Confidence building for returners

  • Interview preparation

  • Application advice

  • Work life balance tips

Hiring managers will also receive education and support as a result of the partnership: addressing recruitment bias and highlighting the value that returners bring, re-affirming STEM Returners commitment to reshaping industry recruitment practises across the long-term.

Emma Waltham, Maternity Returners specialist said: “Maternity is all too often a pinch-point in women’s careers. There are thousands of highly qualified women who would love to go back to work or re-start their careers, but they face significant barriers in doing so. I’m excited to be partnering with STEM Returners, which has a great track record in opening doors for returners with their programmes for STEM organisations looking to fill skills gaps and increase gender diversity. I’m delighted to be using my expertise to support returners and their managers, to enable organisations make the most of this untapped talent pool, so they reap the full rewards of re-engaging returners in their workforce."

Natalie Desty, Founder of the STEM Returners Programme said: “STEM Returners partnership with Emma Waltham will provide a fantastic opportunity to the many women who currently struggle to break down career-break barriers after their maternity leave. "Whilst diversity & inclusion across the board is paramount to us, providing specific solutions applicable to the diverse range of returners is the key to solving the STEM skills gap. “Giving our wonderful returners access to Emma’s expertise and mentoring will make their return to their industry an inclusive one, something that has always been important to us at STEM Returners.”

If you'd like to find out more about how your organisation can successfully tap in to the returner talent pool email to arrange an exploratory call.

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