Destigmitising Career Breaks

Bandofsisters has changed how I think.

I took a 12-month career break and did something quite different, it changed what I think and what I will do. I return to the workplace very shortly, privileged with a great HR opportunity and a whole new perspective and bucket load of insights and tools that I just would not have had without taking a break and setting up a social enterprise. Not a hole in a resume and calling time on the stigma of taking career breaks.

I have learned though building bandofsisters that mid-career off ramping by women, frequently after having children is prolific, impacted by barriers to workforce return, compromises made on former role equivalency and pay to balance family and career needs. Exacerbated by women’s self-confidence and thereby not taking new opportunities and consequently an untapped talent pool.

All of this is outrageous when you see these women’s ingenuity, courage and potential in action as I do, whom in their own words are about finding solutions, living a life they choose around family and career, equality, supporting other women and creating a sustainable planetary environment. Leaders that are needed back in the workplace, invisible and unaccounted for in national statistics.

I return from setting up bandofsisters to the workplace, re-energised to address working practices built for a time passed and equipped with a heap of new skills, and experiences that I suspect I wouldn’t have acquired in an HR role. A belief that the future of work lies in deepening our connections in the communities that we serve as amplified in COVID; and that we finally move from #explainingcareergaps to #celebratingcareergaps.

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