How can “returners” overcome the huge obstacles they face to get back into the workplace after a career break? What can companies do to retain and re-attract talented women?
Helen McGuire is the Co-Founder and MD, hopscotch.work, a platform dedicated to supporting female professionals find the right jobs, whether re-entering the workforce or changing careers.
Helen has actually had three very different careers… She spent 12 years in London’s music industry, where she successfully piloted and presented her own music radio show in 11 countries globally and DJ’d internationally as a hobby. In 2012, Helen moved to Dubai to become Head of Digital Content for one of the Middle East’s biggest advertising companies, successfully growing a team to encompass key client work across the Impact Group regionally and globally.
On taking a maternity break to have her first child in 2015, Helen began to understand the pressures felt by women who wished to work but were unable to find flexible options to suit their family commitments. And so the idea of Hopscotch was born… The company now employs a strong team across its three tenets of Work, Learn and Connect; has grown a community of over 50,000 women in the Middle East and works with multinationals to SMEs in order to spearhead initiatives, skills sessions, events and training for women and companies. In 2018, the family will move to Singapore to grow their brands throughout Asia.
We spent some time at the beginning talking about Helen’s own career, because the diversity of it so fascinating! She worked for free for years just to break into the (highly competitive) music industry, and then got a culture shock in the corporate advertising world. About 14 minutes into the show we started talking about Hopscotch and how a chance photography course opened her eyes to the plight that many talented women face after they have children: the desire to work and the need to do so flexibly. Around 25 minutes into the podcast we talk about the barriers to re-entry and how they can be overcome. You will hear much about the power of networking – and get tips on how to do it effectively.
If you would like to sign up for Hopscotch or reach out to Helen, please visit www.hopscotch.work