AGSM @ UNSW Business School today announced a revitalised Career Comeback Sponsorship program created to address the barriers faced by professionals returning from a career break. Applications are now open for up to 30 AGSM Career Comeback Sponsorships to be awarded to successful applicants seeking to accelerate their leadership and business capability ahead of a career comeback after a period out of the workforce.

Open to both women and men, the AGSM 2019 Career Comeback program is primarily designed to close the gender gap in Australian leadership. Successful sponsorship recipients will attend a newly designed three-day AGSM short course (valued at over $5,500) that will run from 21 August to 23 August in the UNSW Business School’s Sydney CBD campus. They will also have access to an exclusive Career Comeback Network, a professional community offering AGSM content, development opportunities, networking events, and career consultation and advice. Successful candidates from interstate will also be provided with up to three nights accommodation in Sydney.

“The AGSM Career Comeback Sponsorships enable people to harness their ambitions and achieve their goals by building not only the capability, but the confidence and connections required to succeed in a post-break leadership career,” said Dr Michele Roberts, AGSM Academic Director. “There is a real need to address the barriers that are preventing women in particular who have taken time out from a career from achieving their professional goals. The Women’s Agenda 2019 Ambition Report confirms women do not lack ambition - they want to earn money (37%) and get promotions (30%) – but many who have taken career breaks are not optimistic about their current career options,” she said.

“We have designed a program that will prepare and support you to realise your full potential in this next phase,” said Dr Roberts. “Whether it is returning to a previous role, venturing into a new one, or starting your own business, returning from a career break can be daunting,” she said. “We know women don’t lack ambition, and equipped with the right professional development, tools and resources, they can return to a fulfilling career.”

The AGSM Career Comeback program was created to provide accelerated leadership, business, commercial, and strategy development for individuals seeking to return to the workforce or business after a career break.

According to recent research, one in two mothers reported experiencing workplace discrimination as a result of their pregnancy, parental leave or return to work while one in five mothers indicated that they were made redundant, restructured, or dismissed, or that their contract was not renewed upon their return to work (Face the Facts, Dept. of Human Rights and Equal Opportunity, 2018.) In the 2019 Women’s Agenda Survey, 56% of women who have taken a career break indicated that despite the additional challenges they now face, they feel more ambitious than ever.

“From geologists and solicitors, mechanics and CEOs, marketing managers and management consultants, the calibre of applicants for the 2017 sponsorships was exceptional and the number of applicants far exceeded our initial expectations. The vast majority were also mothers who'd taken a break from their career accomplishments,” said Magnus Gittins, Director AGSM Short Courses. “The response also validated our hypothesis that many organisational, professional and personal barriers exist that prevent people from reaching their true career potential after a career break.”

To apply for an AGSM 2019 Career Comeback Sponsorship click here

AGSM 2019 Career Comeback Sponsorship recipients will receive:

  • Up to 30 Career Comeback sponsorships will be awarded in 2019
  • Enrolment in the three-day AGSM course ‘Design Your Career Comeback’ from 21 August to 23 August in Sydney
  • Up to three nights paid accommodation in Sydney for interstate sponsorship recipients
  • Childcare reimbursements of up to $60 per day for the duration of the course on receipted costs
  • Access to an online professional network of peers and business professionals
  • Access to AGSM content and invitations to events
  • Access to tailored career consultations and resources through AGSM’s Career Development Centre

About AGSM Career Comeback

In 2017 the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) awarded ten fully funded Career Comeback Sponsorships, to help encourage highly qualified women and men back into the Australian workforce after time away.

Almost 200 candidates applied from across Australia. To qualify, all had to have taken extended time out of their primary career. Study-related childcare and travel costs were reimbursed by AGSM as part of the sponsorship package.

Both women and men applied for the 2017 Career Comeback Sponsorships (91% women and 9% men). The vast majority were mothers who had taken a career break to look after their family. Many cited struggling with a lack of confidence, the cost and availability of childcare, and difficulty finding meaningful part time work or flexible full-time work as reasons for seeking a professional boost from AGSM Executive Education’s short courses and networking opportunities.

The 2019 Career Comeback program has been redesigned to incorporate feedback and learning from the inaugural program. The new three-day format is more convenient for parents with caring responsibilities and the content is designed to address specific barriers that interfere with a return from a career break.

More information, eligibility criteria and how to apply details can be found here.

Apply now
Applications close at 11 am on Monday, 15 July.