Beyond Careers launches ‘Return to Work Survey’ across GCC

The study aims to address and propose solutions for the challenges faced by mothers in the workforce, with the support of the British Chamber of Commerce in Dubai.

By Central Desk, ‏‏‎ ‎
Beyond Careers _ Return to Work Survey
Image design | Alavudheen Bin Majeed

Dubai: Employment platform, Beyond Careers, has launched a GCC-wide ‘Return to Work Survey’ to explore the challenges faced by mothers employed in or re-entering the regional workforce. Launched on International Women’s Day, the study aims to gather data to determine current trends to build good practices that employers can adopt to attract and retain female talent in the workplace.

Developed by Rowen Astrom, the founder of Beyond Careers, the survey invites respondents to share their own experiences of the barriers they have faced in the workplace and the support structures that could help to overcome them. The study is inspired by Astrom’s professional background in corporate reputation and employer branding, coupled with her personal experience of working motherhood.

While expecting her first child, Astrom was convinced about the benefits of flexibility in helping women return to work and bridging the gender pay gap.

Rowen Astrom_Return to work survey
Rowen Astrom
Founder – Beyond Careers

“The employment market is at a pivotal moment. We hear a lot about the global talent shortage, but equally, some highly skilled candidates cannot find the right position to suit their needs, particularly those with young children or returning from a career break. If we can bridge this gap between employers and applicants, we can build a long-term solution to talent acquisition and sustainable employment.”

The Return-to-Work Survey is being rolled out in collaboration with the British Chamber of Commerce Dubai, led by CEO, Katy Holmes, who said, “There are two rising scenarios in Dubai, highly experienced and time constricted women looking to return to work and company founders who are ‘lonely at the top’ and would hugely benefit from senior counsel on a part time basis. It will be so interesting to see the results and scale of the opportunity through this survey.”

An NLP Master Business Practitioner, Strategic Marketer and Public Speaker, Astrom established Beyond Careers to offer jobseekers and employers a dedicated platform that provides a culture-centric approach to connecting candidates with companies. Drawing on her 15 years of experience, and in line with her passion for ESG and personal development, she saw the opportunity to create a holistic solution to help businesses attract, retain, and develop talent by building a strong employer brand, while supporting candidates to find the right job to suits their skills, lifestyle and career aspirations.

Key Highlights

  • Focus: The survey explores challenges faced by mothers employed in or re-entering the GCC workforce.
  • Goal: It aims to gather data to identify best practices employers can adopt to attract and retain female talent.
  • Seeking: It asks mothers about workplace barriers and supportive structures.
  • Opportunity: It hopes to uncover opportunities for experienced mothers and companies seeking part-time senior counsel.
  • Outcome: The data will encourage employers to adapt workplace culture to retain talent and access a broader pool of skilled women.

Three integrated approaches

Explaining the platform’s three integrated approaches, Astrom said, “Candidates are looking to connect with companies that align with their purpose and values, so our work with employers prioritizes those with a strong workplace culture underpinned by tangible, employee-friendly policies, ranging from remote-work to wellbeing. We go under the surface to review and verify a company’s culture using a proprietary accreditation process and we provide employer branding insights and solutions enabling businesses to continually evaluate and improve their reputation.”

Rowen Astrom and Katy Holmes _ Beyond Careers _ Return to Work Survey
Rowen Astrom Founder, Beyond Careers | Katy Holmes, CEO, British Chamber of Commerce Dubai

Astrom continued, “Simultaneously, our work with candidates involves career coaching, clinics and workshops, as well as guidance on salary negotiation, career progression and workplace wellbeing. Through our employer verification process, we can also answer those important questions from candidates on whether the company’s work culture is what they say it is, which leads to the third aspect of the process, to match the right candidates with verified employers through executive search and placement.”

Looking ahead to the outcomes of the study, Astrom concluded, “Ultimately, we hope that the data drawn from this survey will encourage employers to reflect on and adapt their workplace culture, to foster loyalty, drive impact, and find ways to accommodate talented candidates who seek to enter or return to the workplace while bolstering productivity and access to untapped talent pools of highly-skilled and experienced women.”

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