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‘Career comeback’: new opportunities for mature women with experience

Jane Absolum was out of the workforce for 15 years raising three children before she joined the CBA program with seven other women including one in Victoria. She left her last corporate job in 2005 after having built a career in IT while working for a bank in London. Before arriving in London, her background was in law and commerce, but while travelling she found a job working for software vendors and fell into data entry work.

As part of the CBA program, she is working in data analytics and using her background in IT.

“I was thrilled to apply and get in,” she said. “It was a brilliant opportunity and an area I wanted to get into.

“I had struggled to know how to position myself to get back into the market after such a long time. You lose professional contacts and confidence.”

During her interview for the program Ms Absolum said her managers made a real effort to put her at ease. “My nerves dissipated and I felt like I presented an accurate version of myself at the interview,” she said. “I felt really positive about it.”

Andrew Hinchliff is group executive for institutional banking and markets at CBA said the career comeback program was one of the most exciting initiatives launched in recent years.

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While many large organisations had recruitment programs for graduates, CBA decided to look for “untapped talent” and more mature candidates to put the bank in a stronger position.

“We absolutely recognise the value of experience,” he said.

“Some of these women are globally travelled and have held senior positions in banks who are now looking to come back.”

Laura Green, general manager of operations at ONCALL Group Australia, said the disability sector was also providing job opportunities through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for people with life experience.

“There is meaningful, skilled work that is waiting for people to get into,” she said.

“We have hundreds of jobs available right now. We are ready to train people quickly in the right skills, and keep supporting their development on the job. This is a great opportunity for people with other experience, especially for groups like older women, who may be struggling to find the job that fits their life.”

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