08 Sep 2017 01:10:16 PM

Empowering women returnees through the career comeback programme

The decision to return to work after a long career break can be daunting for many women, who are often faced with having to choose between their own careers or taking care of their families. However, today’s progressive and competitive business environment means that many companies offer family-friendly policies that enable women to pursue their career paths, while adequately taking care of their family responsibilities at the same time.

PwC Malaysia is one such company that embraces a strong diversity and inclusion culture, one that empowers women who seek to return to work. The organisation has more than 40% of women in leadership roles. 

According to Salika Suksuwan, Executive Director of Human Capital at PwC Malaysia, many women who left the workforce to start a family end up taking too long of a career break, and eventually decide not to return to work. 

On the potential of women returnees and the impact they can bring to a company’s success; Salika says,  

We know for a fact that these are educated women, they have been very successful in their careers and they are perhaps people who would be good fit into the roles that we want to hire."

Having the right and supportive measures at the workplace is crucial, as many women may see their confidence level slip from having been out of work for a while. This may affect their preparation to embark on their career comeback journeys

Salika has a personal advice for this. “What you can you do to prepare yourself, is to first inform people around you - your children, your in-laws and your husband. Inform them of your desire to come back to work and discuss how they can support your decision,” she shared. 

To Salika, having a great support system is key to a fulfilling career. Besides family support, women should also reach out to fellow returnees. She advises,
Reach out to other women who have had that experience, and see what experiences you can learn from.”

Women-friendly programmes such as Career Comeback @ PwC help motivate women to return to work. Through the introduction of flexible work arrangements (FWA), options to work part-time or on short-term contracts, it is now more possible for women to effectively manage their time between career and family responsibilities. 

Employers also benefit by the ability to leverage on competent women talent to address the resource needs in their respective organisations. Salika offers this, 

It is a win-win situation. Providing FWA can help create a supportive work environment in which both employers and employees will thrive.”

Watch Salika's view on Career Comeback below:

The Career Comeback Programme offers professional women the opportunity to relaunch their career after a long hiatus. 

Find out how this programme can help you to return to the workforce at our website