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The biggest obstacles mums face in re-entering the workforce

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It's no secret that mothers returning to work is one of the biggest demographics that could be engaged and supported better - be it through flexible work arrangements, affordable childcare support, and more.

A new study has found that the biggest obstacles that mothers re-entering the workforce face are, in fact, the following:

  • Age
  • Technological and skills gaps
  • Lack of confidence
  • Fear of changing work environment
  • Generational diversity
These were the views of close to 40,000 [email protected] members on re-entering the workforce, in a study led by [email protected] (MW) and Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP).

The respondents cited these challenges despite their demographics - more than 80% of the members had more than eight years of work experience, mostly in white-collar jobs in banking and finance, media and entertainment, and HR. Close to half were even in a managerial position previously.

Given the survey findings, MW and NP have signed an MoU to help aspiring back-to-work mothers and mumpreneurs overcome challenges by curating programmes that will serve to bridge the gaps.

(From L to R) Sher-li Torrey, Founder of MW and Clarence Ti, Principal, NP at the MoU signing ceremony

From getting a professional image makeover to refreshing their resume and developing a digital portfolio, NP's programme is aimed at helping "MW members regain confidence and prepare them for the corporate world".

The set of programmes includes the following:

  • For homemakers who want to start a home-based venture, there will be kickstarter programmes, where besides learning new crafts, mumpreneurs will also gain an understanding on e-commerce and digital analytics.
  • To further bridge the digital divide, programmes on digital skills and emerging technologies such as AI and fintech, are available.
    • Among them is an eight-week SkillsFuture Work-Study Programme - Bootcamp in Digital Marketing and Branding, which is co-sponsored by the hiring company.
    • This fast-track programme will enable them to learn the essentials of digital marketing within two months, and guarantee them job interviews with NP’s network of industry partners which include e-commerce companies and marketing agencies.
    • Over 60% of past participants of this bootcamp were successful in securing a placement with the industry partners.
  • A total of 15 short courses with duration ranging from half a day to eight weeks will train MW members. In addition, there is a suite of more than 20 microlearning courses under the banner called Professions which offers on-the-go training in critical lifeskills as well as professional skills for specific industries such as healthcare and landscaping.
  • MW members can also sign up for NP’s newly launched Masters Collective video docu-series featuring local entrepreneurs like Love, Bonito’s Rachel Lim and Carousell’s Co-founder Marcus Tan, to give them some insider insights on setting up a business.


Sher-Li Torrey, Founder of [email protected], said: "With Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s suite of courses, the member-mums in our network can rediscover their career paths and find different courses to help them restart or develop their career or entrepreneurial journey."

One of the attendees, Christy Chung, Director of NP’s CET Academy, shared from her personal experience: "As a mother of five, I had been away from work for extended periods five times over. I can fully understand that the days leading up to returning to work may be daunting.

"I am thus grateful for this opportunity to collaborate with [email protected] to co-curate learning itineraries for mumpreneurs and returning mums. Whether they are re-starting, re-anchoring or re-discovering their careers, there is an itinerary for each of them."

Inline photos / ProvidedLead image / iStock

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