Returnship Programs Create a Female Talent Pipeline

Most professionals who have taken a career break and are looking to get back into the workforce are female. These women have taken time off to raise children or care for ailing loved ones. And, unfortunately, due to the gap in their work history, they often find it difficult to get back into the workforce.  

A Hewlett-Packard study shows that women don’t apply for a job unless they are close to a 100% match for the role. This finding has nothing to do with whether or not they think they can do the job, it’s simply a reflection on the fact that they don’t think they will be considered. Now, compound this with a gap in work history and women who are Returners are even less likely to apply.  

This untapped female talent pipeline is a valuable resource that companies are missing out on and provides a wealth of career-ready professionals.  

Returnships can fix the problem.  

Returnships send a clear message that a company values professional women returning to the workforce and the unique perspective they often bring. This message helps create a female talent pipeline of not only Returners, but women in general as they appreciate a company that provides highly desirable flexibility to their workforce.  

The benefits of a gender diverse company  

More Females in Leadership  

A solid pipeline of female talent inevitably leads to more women in leadership roles, which is proven to be a positive for most companies. According to a survey conducted by Pew Research Center, women in top executive positions are better at providing fair pay and benefits, being more honest and ethical, being an effective spokesperson for their company and at providing guidance or mentorship to younger employees.  

(Read: A Comprehensive Guide to Implementing a Successful Returnship Program)

Women are Better Educated  

Since 1970, female enrollment in universities has increased almost twice as fast as that of men. In addition, at 67% of universities around the world, women make-up the majority of the campus population.  

Among millennials, females earn more bachelors’ degrees than men and 56% of the masters’ degrees are awarded to women. And now, with millennials entering the workforce in record numbers, it’s important to have a strategy in place that helps attract millennial female talent. Returnships are one way to do this.  

Increased Revenue  

Numbers don’t lie. And the numbers clearly show that countries with more gender equality have stronger economies with better economic growth. And as might be expected, companies with more women in leadership roles perform better. In fact, an investigation into Fortune 500 companies showed that organizations with the greatest representation of women in management roles delivered a total return to shareholders that was 34% greater than companies with the lowest representation.  

Additionally, an analysis by global management consulting firm, McKinsey % Company, found that companies with a better gender balance are 15% more likely to outperform less diverse companies in achieving above-average returns.


The ability for organizations to compete is largely reliant on a gender diverse workforce and management team. A properly implemented Returnship program can be a key part of a comprehensive strategy to attract and hire female talent resulting in a female talent pipeline that addresses this issue.