New mother Bercu Erdur was finding it hard to return to work after a career break until she gained a place on Vodafone's ReConnect Programme

Returning mothers success thanks to Vodafone programme

Returning mother's success thanks to Vodafone programme

Burcu Erdur is a Customer Value Marketing Manager at Vodafone in Turkey who returned to work after a career break through Vodafone's ReConnect Programme.

Difficulties returning to work

When Burcu decided to take two years off work to care for her young child, she had not expected how hard it would be to find a job when she was ready to come back to work, particularly with 16 years of work experience in a senior role.  

“It was as if I had never worked. I felt like my career break wiped clean all of my previous career achievements,” said Burcu, who before had worked at four different companies in Turkey in a number of senior roles. Burcu is just one of many experienced women who have found it hard to return to work after a career break.

“Time passed and, when I decided it was time for me to go back, it wasn’t as easy as I expected. I was being questioned about a very personal decision I made.  I had to struggle and convince people why I made that choice,” Burcu said.  “During interviews, some of the questions I was asked were really alarming: ‘Are you really ready – will you be able to balance your work and your personal life?’ And my favourite was, ‘My wife did the same thing. She was planning to go back and then we had our second child’”.

Vodafone responds to these difficulties

According to economic research by KPMG for Vodafone, there are around 96 million skilled women between the ages of 30 and 54 around the world on career breaks and around 55 million of these women have experience at middle-manager level and above.

In 2017, Vodafone responded to this research by creating the ReConnect programme. Vodafone's programme is designed to attract talented and skilled women who have left the workplace for a number of years, in most cases to raise a family, and who would like to return to work on a full-time or flexible basis, but are finding it hard to make the required professional connections or refresh certain skills.

Burcu, who gained a place on Vodafone's ReConnect programme, said it has changed her life. “I feel complete now. It is hard, and it is tiring, but it also makes me feel more dynamic, more valuable, and more complete,” she said. Vodafone's programme operates across 26 countries with a target of 1,000 ReConnect recruits within three years.

A highly beneficial programme

The KPMG research states that programmes like this will not just give access to an untapped talent pool of highly experienced women - they could also bring valuable economic benefits. The research found that, if all such women worldwide with middle manager-level experience and above were able to secure manager-level employment (providing that their recruitment did not displace other employees), this could create additional economic value of around £151 billion. Meanwhole, the financial boost for those women’s households could be as much as £419 billion annually.

“I believe there are many talented women around the world who are trying to reintegrate back to work,” added Burcu. “It is very hard being a working mum, but it is manageable with the right support. ReConnect gave me this.”

Join talented women like Burcu at Vodafone

Vodafone offers exciting opportunities to candidates around the world. Search and apply for your next role with Vodafone today and see where your career will take you.

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