Middle-aged mums fight back! Meet the entrepreneur helping City returners.

It can be very hard, or nigh on impossible, for skilled women to re-launch their careers in the financial services after a career break. In 2016, City headhunter Dominie Ross set up recruitment consultancy The Return Hub connecting women with a CV gap to organisations with a female talent gap.

Prior to setting up The Return Hub, Dominie was a Managing Director at Sheffield Haworth and then a partner at JD Haspel; she boasts 20 years experience in the Financial sector. We stole five minutes of Dominie’s time to ask her about challenges and highlights of setting up her own business.

I came up with the idea when… a client at one of the big investment banks told me about their Returnship programme – a mid-career internship designed to help women return to work after a career break. They received hundreds of applications and I had the idea to enable employers who don’t have the resources or know-how to do the same thing.

The biggest challenge is… letting our potential candidates know we exist.

The average day is spent… juggling a lot of balls! I get up with the children and get them ready for school and leave for the office around 8am. Most days I am meeting clients in the City and explaining what a return to work programme is or why they should consider returning candidates as part of their hiring strategy. We talk to candidates to understand their background and how we can either introduce them to our clients or help them on their journey back to work. Talking to our developer about how to improve our website, registration process, workflow etc, planning events such as our free CV writing webinars, posting on social media, talking to journalists.

The team consists of... myself, Sarah Thorne our Head of Operations and also a returner after taking 7 years out, Claire, Senior Recruitment Consultant, our 2 fabulous coaches, Helen and Helen, and our researcher Emma. We are also supported by Tom and James who have built and designed our website and database.

My favourite quote… “Life is sometimes sad and often dull, but there are currants in the cake, and here is one of them,” as said by Nancy Mitford in ‘The Pursuit of Love.’

I am where I am today because of… hard work and good fortune.

I am who I am because of... my life experiences and my hormones.

The best advice I've been given... to have courage.

In five years I’d like to be… I’m taking it step by step.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... is how to use Google Analytics.

The websites I most frequently use are... Twitter and The Times App for news.

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us… We are learning everyday but I think it is important to know that you can’t grow if you try to do everything yourself. You need a good team around you.

What apps do you use to be more productive... HSBC Banking and Xero accounting apps are brilliant for running a start up.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date… It’s hard to pinpoint – we have placed some amazing women back to work on Returner programmes and into regular permanent roles in our first year. Working with every one of them has been incredibly rewarding.

October 2017