Today is International Women’s Day 2022 – #IWD2022 –  an opportunity to celebrate women everywhere by amplifying this year’s powerful theme;  #BreakTheBias.  As #IWD2022 highlights, whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field.

That’s why today we’re putting the spotlight on our programme called ‘Making Work Work – for Women Returners’, in Scotland.  Women seeking to return to work after a break shouldn’t have to face barriers or have to overcome workplace bias and that’s where Making Work Work helps. To put this into context, the Scottish Government has strategies to close the gender pay gap and has introduced funding for programmes to support ‘Women Returners’: women looking to get back to work after a break.

We asked the programme’s Engagement Manager, Rachel Helms, to tell us all about Making Work Work and how it breaks the bias. Here Rachel explains how it all works.

“Volunteering Matters is working in a new partnership with The Challenges Group and Get the Gen to deliver ‘Making Work Work – for Women Returners’ .  We are working specifically with women who have managerial or leadership experience and / or aspirations. We support women to find ‘work that works’ and recognises their skills and experience. There is support though for all eligible women from a range of different providers.

A snapshot of our own data shows that the primary reasons women take career breaks relate to caring for others and attending to their own health and wellbeing. Many women also find challenges after losing jobs or relocating to new cities or countries, away from social and professional networks. We know that during these career breaks, women are busy parenting, caring, volunteering and studying.

Making Work Work supports eligible women to:

  • Assess their next steps;
  • Refresh skills Develop confidence, particularly around transferable skills;
  • Access information about changes to work place cultures and new opportunities;
  • Reach into professional networks;
  • make applications and perform well at interview;
  • Craft and assess employment opportunities to suit their needs;
  • Access a network of other women with similar situations;

Crucially, also to:

‘Make Work Work’ around all women returners’ commitments, priorities and the fun of life. We are strong believers in flexible and home/ hybrid working.”

Making Work Works is making a difference to Women Returners in Scotland:

When asked if Making Work Work is helping women returners in Scotland, Rachel said; “Yes it is making a positive difference; in just six months, we have empowered 67 women to move on from the programme with renewed confidence and new networks.  Every week we hear of new job offers. Programme alumna tell us we are changing their lives!”

“This course has given me increased confidence in my ability to re-enter the workplace. It has helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses and the possibilities for future employment. It has reignited my ideas and enthusiasm for searching out fulfilling opportunities that are meaningful to me and reflect my values.” Making Work Work, Alumni

If you would like to find out more about the programme:

Please contact: and / or visit the web page