There are many reasons why experienced workers take breaks from the workforce for a few years—raising children, caring for a sick parent, dealing with an illness, traveling, or military service are all common motives.
But, mothers make up a big portion of those who step away. According to Pew Research, 42 percent of mothers have said they reduced their work hours at some point over their career, and 39 percent said they have taken a significant amount of time off work. Twenty-seven percent said they quit work completely because of familial responsibilities.
These professionals often find it daunting to return to the workforce after a long break, whether their skills need to be sharpened or they need to gain some relevant experience again. To help these workers transition, many companies offer “returnship” programs, which are similar to internships but are meant specifically for those who are looking to rejoin the workforce after taking time away.
HubSpot launched its Returners Program in 2019. Hannah Fleishman, the company’s senior manager of employer brand, says returnships may be becoming more popular in the tech world specifically. She says, “For most tech companies, age diversity is a problem. Returnships are a great opportunity to connect with candidates who don’t fit the young, millennial stereotype that’s become synonymous with tech culture.”
Returnships are also important in helping brands diversify generally. “Diversifying how and who you hire will lead to a more inclusive company culture that’s rich in perspective,” Fleishman says.
As workplaces are becoming more in tune with creating equal opportunities, closing pay gaps, and creating more inclusive environments, returnships can be a big part of those efforts. These 15 companies currently offer returnships worth checking out.
Details: Paid, three-month returnship for experienced workers who have been out of the corporate workforce for three or more years and are looking for a full-time role upon reentry.
Industry: IP communications
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Details: A 20-week program that offers training, support, and opportunities for growth to help those reentering the workforce ease the transition. “We’ve learned a lot about how to build a more inclusive culture and create a stronger sense of belonging for employees who are transitioning back into the workforce,” Fleishman says.
Industry: Software development
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Details: A 16-week program for those looking to return to the technology workforce, offering one-on-one mentoring, workshops, an onboarding bootcamp, and support for this often challenging and stressful transition.
Industry: Software development
Location: Mountain View or San Diego, California
Details: A 16-week paid returnship for those who want to rebuild their technical skills who already have several years of experience working in the tech world.
Industry: Professional services
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesotta
Details: Two options in the program—either a 16-week paid program, or a bootcamp. Designed to help those returning to work expand their skills and become equipped for the technology workforce once again.
Industry: Online payment system
Location: San Francisco, California
Details: For workers who have been out of the workforce for two or more years and want to find a permanent position with AWS upon completion.
Industry: IT service management
Details: For those who have taken time away from work or who have a non-traditional work background and want to gain real-world experience in a 16-week acceleration program.
Location: Redmond, Washington
Details: Paid internship program for experienced technical professionals who have stepped away from the workforce and want to rebuild their skills and restart their career.
Industry: Computer hardware
Details: A 14-week paid fellowship program with the potential for full-time employment after completion, focusing on workshops, on-the-job training, coaching, and transitioning. Professionals must have taken a voluntary career break for at least two years.
Industry: Financial services
10. Walmart Labs
Details: A 16-week paid internship for those with at least five years of professional experience who have taken a break for at least two years to care for a child or dependent.
Industry: Internet retail
Location: Silicon Valley, California
11. Goldman Sachs
Details: A paid, eight-week program offered to those experienced professionals who are needing to restart their career after a long absence. Opportunities within a variety of company departments.
Industry: Investment banking
Location: New York, Jersey City, Salt Lake City, Dallas
12. Morgan Stanley
Details: For a range of business areas (from finance to HR to research) and provides experienced workers who have taken a career break for at least two years a 12-week paid internship.
Industry: Investment banking
Location: Baltimore, New York
13. General Motors
Details: For experienced professionals who have taken at least two years away from their field and need to r-launch their career. A 12-week paid internship with all necessary training and development opportunities, including mentorships and coaching. Offering opportunities in eight different areas of the business.
Industry: Auto manufacturer
Location: Detroit, Michigan
Details: For those who had to put their career on hold, a six-month paid program to professionals with at least five years of experience who have been out of the paid workforce for at least two years. Areas range from technical to project management to security to software development.
Location: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Los Angeles
Details: A temporary assignment program for 16 weeks for those with five or more years of experience and who were away from the workforce for at least a year. Online training, mentorship opportunities, networking support, and potential for full-time employment after completion.
Industry: Information technology