Making Work Work


Are you a woman? Are you looking to return to work after a career break and seeking to make work with all the other commitments and enjoyment of life?


Making Work Work – for Women Returners is the Challenges Group award- nominated women returners programme. We are delighted that The Challenges Group, in partnership with Chartered Management Institute and new partners Volunteering Matters and Get The Gen, has successfully won funding to support even more women in 2021/22 to make work work.

The programme seeks women looking to step back into the workplace and who face difficulties in finding work that fits with all the commitments and fun of life following a career break (e.g. for maternity, caring, health issues / disability, redundancy, relocation or other reasons). We are looking for women and those who identify as women who have management experience or aspirations from across Scotland to take part in a peer-led management skills refresher programme which will facilitate the confidence and networks which are essential to finding work which is commensurate with their skills, ambitions and potential. Participants also get support with their job search, personal development and designing their (work)life blend.

Women on the programme will:

  • Boost their work-related skills in management and leadership
  • Build confidence in their skills and abilities
  • Expand their networks to support them through their job search and beyond
  • Craft their CVs and interview skills for success
  • Understand the ins and outs of flexible, remote and hybrid working
  • Develop strategies for their job search and (work)life blend
  • Have the opportunity to attend informative networking events
  • Find a peer group of supportive women and facilitators which lasts much longer than the training programme


Making Work Work – for Women Returners was piloted early in 2021 with a success rate of over 80% of pilot participants of the first cohort being employed or having started their own business within 6 months of finishing the training programme. They joined an alumni network of support and exchange and are now advocating for flexible working and (work)life blends that accommodate any working individual’s needs and non-work-related responsibilities.


We particularly welcome applications from women who face multiple barriers to employment, for example older women, menopausal women, disabled women, lone parents, minority ethnic women, women affected by domestic abuse, women from rural or areas of high socio-economic deprivation, female veterans / spouses of veterans and LGBTQIA+ women are especially encouraged to apply.

If you are ready to make work work for you, click on the buttons below to learn more and apply!

Training programmes start in January and February. Apply now to secure your place!

If you have any questions, or any issues with the deadline, please email us:  or attend our info session.

Do you have questions about the programme?

Come to our online information event – Wednesday 26th January 2022 10.00am


“I feel a massive different in my confidence, my sense of self purpose and passion and will be a different (and much better) female leader walking back into the workplace.”

“I feel empowered to choose which organisations I want to share my skills with whereas before I felt I would be lucky for an employer to pick me. I’ll be brave and have more courage in next steps, and now realise it’s ok to make mistakes on that journey too.”


“I have been offered a job. I’m pretty confident that I wouldn’t have applied for the post before starting this programme, but it has definitely given me confidence and opportunity to reflect on what I want to do and the aspects of work that I really enjoy… it will contain elements that I know I have expertise in but also new challenges. This is the most excited and optimistic that I have felt in months!”


“I feel a massive different in my confidence, my sense of self purpose and passion and will be a different (and much better) female leader walking back into the workplace. I can’t thank you all enough.”


“This course has given me increased confidence in my ability to re-enter the workplace. It has helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses and the possibilities for future employment. It has reignited my ideas and enthusiasm for searching out fulfilling opportunities that are meaningful to me and reflect my values.”


“This course has been a game changer; my confidence ahead of seeking to return to the labour market has been restored and refreshed in ways I simply could not have mustered myself after such a long break.  I feel empowered and brimming with ideas as to where I want to take my career next.”


Current partners (2021/22)


Previous partners (2021 pilot)


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