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More than half of women who rejoin the workforce feel disadvantaged compared to their peers

The study, which surveyed over 500 professional women from a range of fields across the UK, showed that more than half of respondents (53%) felt at a disadvantage upon returning to work having taken a break to have children.

56% also said that on their return to work, they struggled to return at the same level, limiting their ability to progress in their career.

Sally Martin, directorat Robert Walters, commented, “In a market where the competition for top talent is increasingly fierce, employers cannot afford to risk alienating professional women who have returned to the workforce.

“Providing effective support for those who choose to return to work and ensuring that they are made fully aware of the value their employer places on their contribution is vital.”

The survey also investigated attitudes of professional women towards the management culture among their employer. The research showed that nearly half of women (45%) felt that the management culture at their current employer was not open and transparent.

Martinadded, “It is essential that employers work hard to create a sense of trust between them and their employees. Hiring managers should not underestimate the importance that a reputation for openness and transparency can play in helping a company to attract top talent.

“Employers creating a dialogue with women who have returned to the workforce to identify issues they may face is the first step to ensuring that such employees can be retained long term.”

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