Headhunter to help women return to top City roles

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The Return Hub is the brainchild of Dominie Moss, a partner in global banking and markets and head of diversity at JD Haspel and has been set up in partnership with the recruitment firm.

The service, which launches on October 12 and which Moss claims is the first of its kind in the UK, aims to provide women with a path back into senior and mid-level roles across investment banking, asset management, private equity, market infrastructure and consultancy.

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Moss told FN there was a “big gap in the recruitment market” for an executive search firm dedicated to finding roles for women who had taken career breaks. She said: “The traditional recruitment methods used by [headhunters] and executive search firms wouldn’t necessarily identify this talent pool. They’ve dropped off the radar, which of course makes the path back to work for those women particularly difficult.”

The Return Hub will help women by providing them with introductions to relevant contacts and information on the programmes on offer within firms that specifically target returning female professionals. Investment banks including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Credit Suisse have all within the last few years established so-called “returnship” programmes for women.

Moss said: “[This] is a fantastic talent pool that is highly motivated, highly skilled, highly engaged, willing to work, has maturity, a fresh perspective and [which] represents something really great for employers, and they’re missing out.”

Women and the firms the end up working for will also be offered support during the transition period that follows a return to work.

Brenda Trenowden, the European head of financial institutions at ANZ Banking Group and the global chair at gender diversity lobby group the 30% Club, said: “The importance of helping more women to come back into workforce cannot be underestimated. Returner schemes such as The Return Hub represent a huge talent pool that has historically remained untapped by financial institutions.”

The launch follows the announcement on October 11 that the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority had set “ambitious” five-year gender diversity targets alongside a number of major financial institutions in a bid to put more women in top jobs.

The UK markets watchdog and firms including Virgin Money and Legal & General have committed to having complete gender parity in senior roles over the next 10 years as part of the government’s Women in Finance Charter. Launched by the UK Treasury in March 2016, the Charter has now been signed by 72 companies, including 15 banks and 13 insurers, and 60 have committed to having 30% of women in senior positions by 2021, according to a statement from the Treasury.

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