- TD Bank announced a program to help financial professionals re-enter the industry following extended family, medical or personal leave. The bank has partnered with iRelaunch for the return-to-work program, which is available to professionals in credit management and commercial lending who have been out of the workplace for at least two years, a press statement said. The bank said it will kick off its first 16-week program in the New York City area in January 2020.
- The program will help professionals, especially women, successfully resume their careers through coaching, mentoring, personal development, career revitalization and networking, the statement said. Citing a Harvard Business Review study, the bank noted that while 43% of women leave the labor force to raise children, care for aging parents or for personal illness, many eventually need to return to work.
- "Career relaunch programs present a huge opportunity to tap into a skilled pool of talented individuals who want to return to the traditional workforce," Chris Giamo, head of commercial bank at TD Bank, said in the statement. "TD Bank strongly supports the success of all of our employees — and especially women in the banking sector — and I am thrilled that we are launching this program as a key part of that effort."
Return-to-work, or returnships, have been trending for some time, and their common mission is to prepare people who have had a break in their career for jobs and reconnect them professionally with their peers. Returnships can be a win-win for employers and workers; employers get a chance to work with program participants and gauge their performance before hiring them, and professionals get a chance to regain their careers and become marketable again. Returnships also expand the talent pool for employers in a tight labor market.
Oil and gas producer BP saw merit in a career re-entry program when it revived its BP Returnship Program this year. The returnship was resurrected after what the company described as a successful pilot program in 2017, and BP extended it from six months to nine months to enable more people to participate. Walmart, too, announced in May that it would expand its return-to-work partnership program with Path Forward to allow more people to participate. The four-month program offers professional development opportunities, networking and skills training in such areas as product development and software engineering.
Talent professionals can make their organizations more inclusive for caregivers — especially for women and parents — through programs that ease them into working again. Experts have said that before pitching a new program, such as a returnship program, to the C-suite, talent pros should consult with the CFO and ask for their feedback on the program's business case.