AGSM @ UNSW Business School launches a newly revitalised Career Comeback Sponsorship program designed to create opportunities for people seeking support and skills to relaunch or recalibrate their careers following a career break.
Applications are now open for up to 30 AGSM Career Comeback Sponsorships to be awarded to successful applicants seeking to recalibrate their careers and build business capability ahead of a career comeback after a period out of the workforce.
While in the past Career Comeback has focused almost exclusively on supporting women and men who have taken a career break for at least five years, this year the program is also open to applicants seeking to return to professional careers after a break due to COVID-19.
“The 2021 Career Comeback Sponsorship program will enable people to develop the capabilities required to negotiate the right career outcomes that meet their individual needs and remove barriers to career success in these unprecedented times,” said Associate Professor Michele Roberts, AGSM Academic Director.
Successful sponsorship recipients will attend a bespoke AGSM Executive Education ‘Empowered Negotiation Skills” Virtual Learning Short Course, consisting of 14 hours of facilitated learning spread over three weeks in November.
The program has been built with flexibility in mind to accommodate those with caring responsibilities and people who are interstate and unable to attend an in-person course due to restrictions on travel. Sponsorship recipients will also have access to the Career Comeback Network, a professional community offering AGSM content, development opportunities, networking events, and career resources.
The 2021 program design was informed by the findings of the recently published Women’s Agenda Ambition Report that indicate that women have been carrying multiple loads with 28% reporting they are spending more time on caring responsibilities now than they were before Covid-19 (note the survey was completed in May 2021 ahead of lengthy winter lockdowns).
In the 2021 Women’s Ambition Report, 45% of respondents said confidence in their abilities may get in their way of their ambitions over the next two years.
“This metric has barely moved since the Ambition Report was first published in 2017,” said Associate Professor Michele Roberts, AGSM Academic Director.
“This is concerning because it detracts the conversation from the real structural barriers and bias that are preventing women from getting ahead. We need to be addressing these gaps in different ways to make lasting change.”
“Our goal is to enable people to harness their ambitions and achieve the best possible career outcomes – whether that is returning to a professional role after being out of the workforce for some time, changing professions or industries, or taking a leap into something entirely new,” she said.
“There is a real need to address what is getting in the way of women – who do not lack ambition - progressing in their careers,” she said.
For the first time, burnout was identified by 39% of Women’s Ambition Report respondents as a key barrier to their career success and “reflects some of the realities and additional burdens placed on women over the past 18 months, and the longtail of exhaustion and fatigue this is creating.”
Women also reported (31%) that caring responsibilities were hurdles that impacted their career ambitions.
Common trends that came up included concerns about ongoing lockdowns, burnout, a lack of qualifications, pay inequity, trying to manage as a single parent, contending with a disability or illness, family obligations, time, money, the need/desire to achieve work-life balance. One theme that did come up over and over again was the word “energy”.
Women reported that with so many competing demands between paid work and unpaid work and trying to manage their own health and other needs, they’re running short of the energy required to pursue and/or achieve other ambitions, according to the 2021 Ambition Report.
The AGSM Career Comeback program was launched in 2017 to provide accelerated leadership, business, commercial, and strategy development for individuals seeking to return to the workforce or business after a career break.
To apply for an AGSM 2021 Career Comeback Sponsorship, click here.
AGSM 2021 Career Comeback Sponsorship recipients will receive:
• Up to 30 Career Comeback sponsorships will be awarded in 2021
• Enrolment in the AGSM Executive Education virtual learning course ‘Empowered Negotiation Skills’
• Fourteen hours of online guided and self-paced learning spread over the course of three weeks from 8 November to 3 December*
• Welcome webinar and panel discussion: Creating a Comeback with Confidence
• Access to an online professional network of peers and business professionals
• Access to AGSM content and invitations to events
• Access to career resources through AGSM’s Career Accelerator Team
AGSM 2021 Career Comeback Program important dates:
• Tuesday 9 November: 12.30 to 1.30 pm. Welcome Panel
• Thursday 11 November: 12.30 to 1.30 pm. Empowered Negotiation Skills Welcome webinar
• Thursday 18 November: 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm. Empowered Negotiation Skills Simulation Workshop #1
• Monday 22 November: 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm. Empowered Negotiation Skills Simulation Workshop #2
• Thursday 25 November: 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm. Empowered Negotiation Skills Simulation Workshop #3
• Thursday 2 December: 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm. Career Comeback Program Wrap Up
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 was 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. Over 300 applications were received for the 30 Career Comeback Sponsorships. You can read more about the 2019 Career Comeback Program here.
To apply for an AGSM 2021 Career Comeback Sponsorship, click here.
Applications close at 5 pm on Friday, 22 October. Successful applicants will be notified by Friday, 29 October.
*DEADLINE EXTENSION: The deadline to apply has been extended until Wednesday, 27 October.*