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WTWs Caroline Barber shares her journey as a woman returner

WTW's Caroline Barber shares her journey as a woman returner

 August 10, 2022

Working at WTW provides a chance to push into the unknown, the never before, the new. WTW uses its know-how, experience and global reach to tackle challenges and fuel potential.

In a workforce that sees many women returners, diversity of experience and perspective is key.

Inclusive Recruitment Program Manager, Caroline Barber, shares her experience of joining WTW, and discusses how she returned to work after taking a career break.


Attracting and hiring more diverse talent

Caroline took on a newly-created role of Global Program Manager for Inclusive Recruitment at WTW. The purpose of the role is to fully imbed our existing Inclusive Recruitment strategy and to come up with new initiatives and ideas to attract and hire more diverse talent.

"WTW has always had a very strong focus on the importance of inclusion and diversity (I&D) within the business and has identified that, in order to continue delivering our commitments in this space, a role has been created within our recruitment function which is dedicated to I&D. For me, it shows just how serious WTW is about I&D and ensuring that all colleagues are supported and are able to bring their full selves to work every day," explains Caroline.

Having worked in the insurance industry for the last 20 years, Caroline has seen changes being made. "We still have a long way to go. What was once and environment which was severely lacking in diversity has become much more inclusive and this can only be a positive thing. I, for one, don’t want to work somewhere where everyone is the same and has similar ideas and outlooks. By having more diverse colleagues, we are fostering a much more exciting, creative, and productive business," she says.

Inclusion and diversity challenges in the recruitment arena

"As an industry, we have come a long way, however there is so much more we can do to create inclusive working environments," suggests Caroline. "Education and training are huge factors here and the more we are able to talk openly and honestly about the challenges which we still face, the easier they will be to overcome. I also think that businesses can do a lot to work together and create a more inclusive industry as a whole."

WTW's career returner program

WTW recognises the wealth of talent there is amongst returners and the huge benefit they can bring to the business. Returners can bring extremely valuable skill sets and different perspectives to a team and contribute massively to their success.

"I took a career break of around 9 months in 2019 in order to reassess what I wanted to do and where I wanted my career to go. I felt as though I had sat in the ‘comfy seat’ for too long and needed a new challenge. During my break I had a much-needed rest and also spent time focussing on myself and my priorities – pilates and running also played a very big part in this! It also enabled me to have a bit of breathing space and spend some really valuable time with friends and family," reflects Caroline.

"When I started thinking about returning to work, I knew it had to be at the right time for me. Finding the right role was also crucial – I didn’t want to undo all the good work I had done! One of my priorities was to work more locally and not to have such a long commute as I had previously. I also wanted to work in an environment where I would be supported and could develop my career. The role I returned to was as an Underwriter (something I had done for many years) but in a different area to my previous role. This enabled me to use my skills but also do something which wasn’t identical to what I had done before."

Caroline encourages: "Don’t be concerned about what other people think about having taken a career break. I was very nervous about how others would perceive me taking time out, however it was only ever viewed positively. Whatever the reason for the break it should never be an issue and if you come across an employer who thinks it is, they aren’t the right fit for you! Returning to work is never easy, however I found it to be an extremely positive experience and has enabled me to take my career in a completely different direction and find a role which I love!"


Join WTW and enjoy a return to the workplace

WTW supports women returners entering back into work after a break. 

Join the company and get back into a career groove. 

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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