Robert Walters - Latest research: Women in secretarial and support roles are the most likely to gain new qualifications during a career break

  • 43% of secretarial and support professionals pursued education while on a career break, compared to 23% of other professionals. 
  • Secretarial and support professionals are also the most likely to seek a more family friendly role or industry on returning from a career break, at 64%.

Original research from Robert Walters has revealed that women in secretarial and support roles are the most likely to pursue training or further education during a career break (often to have children, but also for a host of other reasons), with 43% saying that they had compared to just 23% of women in other professions.

41% of female secretarial and support professionals also reported that they worked in another field during a career break, compared to just 23% of professionals in other fields.

SECRETARIAL AND SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS MOST PROACTIVE IN GROWING THEIR SKILL SET

The findings suggest that women in secretarial and support are the most proactive in terms of developing new skills and earning qualifications during a career break.

The results of the survey also show that secretarial and support workers are the professionals who are most likely to work in another field during a break from their career.

This presents employers with a valuable opportunity to attract highly skilled and experienced professionals who are looking to rejoin the workforce, many of whom will have acquired new qualifications during a break from their career.

Gill Owen, Manager for Secretarial and Support recruitment, comments,

“While many women take a break from their career in order to have children, it is also common for them to take a break to travel, care for relatives or to work in another field.”

“In addition to acquiring formal qualifications during a break from their career, secretarial and support professionals are also likely to have gained experience in a new field or industry.”

“As secretarial and support professionals play increasingly broad role within businesses, employers have a valuable opportunity to attract highly skilled and educated professionals from this talent pool. It is clear that secretarial and support professionals who have spent time out of the workforce are likely to have developed new skills which can be of significant value to employers.”

SECRETARIAL AND SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS PLACE HIGHEST IMPORTANCE ON FINDING A FAMILY FRIENDLY ROLE ON RETURNING TO THE WORKFORCE

While women in secretarial and support roles are likely to return to the workforce after a career break having developed valuable skills, employers risk losing these professionals by failing to offer family friendly policies which meet their needs in terms of work life balance.

Gillian Owen continues;

“The fact that women in secretarial and support roles are able to pursue education and work in other fields during a career break demonstrates that they are fully able to rejoin the workforce, provided that employers are prepared to take a flexible approach to their working culture.”

“By doing so, employers can gain access to this valuable talent pool, attracting these professionals and retaining them long term.”

For further information, or a full copy of the white paper please contact Alan O'Doherty on Alan.ODoherty@robertwalters.com or 020 7509 8087