Women Returners is partnering with EY to launch EY Reconnect, the firm’s 2017 career returners programme, providing a bridge for professionals to re-enter the workplace after an extended career break. Kemi's story is featured on the EY Reconnect website, please see here for more inspirational stories and further information about the programme.
Kemi, Manager, Financial Services Transactions.
“My career has always been very important to me and, although I loved my time at home with my children, I felt the time was right to get back into a hopefully rewarding career.”
Kemi worked at Deloitte and Goldman Sachs before taking a career break to care for her two daughters. She joined EY in the Transactions practice as part of the EY Reconnect programme – a 12-week initiative providing a route back to business for people returning from a break of 2-10 years.
“I did not want my decision to take time off when my children were young to impair my long term career goals, especially as I felt I was even more skilled in areas such as negotiation and time management post two children! When I came across the EY Reconnect programme, it ticked all the boxes. It would give me exposure to interesting client work but within a programme that was aware of the challenges of coming back to work after a break.”
And the expectations of the programme quickly became a reality for Kemi.
“On joining the programme, I was enthusiastic to get going and add some value to my team. Luckily I have been given the opportunity to do that just that, while taking advantage of the exceptional learning and training EY has to offer. For example, the career coaching sessions have been very illuminating, with valuable knowledge sharing on the best ways to approach this new stage of my career.”
EY’s flexible and supportive approach was also key factor in Kemi’s decision to join the programme and where she felt she would be able to really contribute.
“Everyone I have encountered have been really positive and interested in the programme, and always keen for a coffee and a catch up. In my opinion EY’s approach to workplace flexibility is empowering for employees and shows a modern organisation that listens to its people.”
Programmes such as EY Reconnect encourage and empower parents to refocus on their careers after a break, according to Kemi.
“There are huge armies of well qualified, experienced people – especially women – who feel marginalised from the work following a career break. EY Reconnect and similar initiatives promote diversity in the workplace which we all know benefits everyone – it’s a win-win situation.”
Of course, returning to work after a long career break can bring some challenges along the way, so what’s been the biggest challenge for Kemi to overcome?
“Realising my kids are alright without me! Because they definitely are. I have a supportive husband and great childcare in place, and this programme has been an opportunity to see that I can manage a busy career and home-life. And I feel I’m providing an important example to my daughters when I go to work each morning now.”
Posted by Donna