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Women's Returnship Programs: Creating Better Opportunities for Career Restart in the UAE

Returning to the workforce after taking a break can be a daunting task for anyone, but it often poses unique challenges for women who have paused their careers to focus on family responsibilities. However, in recent years, the UAE's employment industry has witnessed positive changes with the emergence of returnship programs designed to support women in getting back on track. These initiatives provide a valuable bridge between career breaks and professional reentry, offering opportunities for growth, skill enhancement, and networking. In this blog, we will explore the significance of women's returnship programs in the UAE's employment landscape and discuss how they contribute to creating better opportunities for women seeking to restart their careers.

  1. Recognizing the Challenges:
    Taking a career break, whether for childcare or other personal reasons, can result in a gap in a woman's professional trajectory. Reentering the workforce after an extended hiatus often presents hurdles such as outdated skills, technology advancements, and limited networking opportunities. Returnship programs acknowledge these challenges and aim to address them proactively.
  2. Returnships: A Pathway to Professional Reentry:
    Returnships, also known as mid-career internships, provide an invaluable opportunity for women to reestablish their careers. Unlike traditional internships, returnships cater to individuals with prior work experience, acknowledging the value of their expertise while providing the necessary support for a successful transition. These programs typically offer paid positions, training, mentorship, and a chance to update skills, ensuring that participants can regain their professional footing.
  3. Prominent Returnship Programs in the UAE:
    The UAE's employment industry has seen the rise of notable returnship programs offered by various companies and organizations. These initiatives actively contribute to empowering women in their career restarts. Highlighting a few key programs:


    a. Company Name: UniversalGiving
    Description: UniversalGiving, a nonprofit organization, offers a remote returnship program that matches individuals with volunteering and giving opportunities worldwide. The program requires a minimum six-month commitment, providing flexibility for participants.

    b. Company Name: Goldman Sachs
    Description: Goldman Sachs, a leading global financial firm, runs an annual returnship program spanning from March to August. This in-person opportunity, available across multiple locations, offers diverse positions and paid fellowships to support participants' career advancement.

    c. Company Name: HubSpot
    Description: HubSpot's Returners Program focuses on easing professionals back into the workforce. It offers a 20-week program with training, support, and resources to ensure a smooth transition. The program paves the way for full-time employment opportunities.

  4. Creating a Supportive Ecosystem:
    To enhance opportunities for women in career restarts, it is crucial to foster a supportive ecosystem. This involves collaboration between employers, industry stakeholders, and governmental bodies. Key steps towards creating a more inclusive environment include:


    a. Employer Awareness: Encouraging employers to recognize the value of diverse talent and the benefits of returnship programs. This can be achieved through awareness campaigns, showcasing success stories, and highlighting the positive impact of these initiatives on organizational growth.

    b. Skill Enhancement: Offering tailored training programs and upskilling opportunities to address any gaps in knowledge or technology. Partnering with educational institutions or industry experts can help provide comprehensive support for participants.

    c. Networking and Mentorship: Establishing mentorship programs and networking events that connect returnship participants with professionals in their fields of interest. These connections can open doors to new opportunities, build confidence, and expand professional networks.

Women's returnship programs play a vital role in creating better opportunities for career restarts in the UAE's employment industry. By addressing the challenges faced by women returning to work after a break, these initiatives bridge the gap and facilitate

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