Back to Your Future UK and Ireland Conference 2020


Ticket sales are now closed 

See FAQs for Ticketed Attendees here

See the full Conference Agenda here.

See the Speaker, Panellist and Workshop Facilitator Biographies here.

Read here about our Employer Sponsors, who will be available at the Conference to meet with attendees

Are you a professional woman ready to return to work after a long career break? Join Women Returners, the return to work specialists, for our fourth annual Back to Your Future Conference, specifically tailored for you! 

Enjoy two motivational days to kick-start your return to work, from the comfort and safety of your own home. Enter our virtual Conference Venue and you’ll have a truly interactive experience, just like at an in-person Conference (apart from the coffee and biscuits!). You can watch content on the Main Stage and ask questions to panellists and workshop leaders; interact with employers in their virtual booths and organise one-to-one chats; and chat to other returners individually (just like talking to the person sitting next to you).

Highlights include:

  • Get advice and information from a wide range of Return-to-Work Expert Workshops, on topics from Career Direction to CVs
  • Be inspired by our Keynote Speakers: Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, tech and returner employer pioneer, and Jane Garvey, Co-Presenter of BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour and the Fortunately podcast
  • Be encouraged by the stories of two Returner Panels of women who have successfully returned to work in diverse fields from medicine to law, hosted by Jane Garvey, and Trish Halpin, Co-host of Postcards from Midlife podcast and ex-Editor of Marie Claire
  • Understand more about what returner employers are looking for from two Employer Panels, chaired by Isabel Berwick, Editor, Work & Careers, Financial Times and Claire Cohen, Women’s Editor and Associate Features Editor, The Telegraph
  • Learn more about return to work opportunities in the sponsor booths and schedule 1:1 video meetings with 11 leading Returner Employers: Accenture Ireland, AWS, Bank of England, Bloomberg, Credit Suisse, Facebook, FDM Group, J.P. Morgan, Moody’s, O2, St. James’s Place Academy  (read more about these employers here)
  • Connect with other like-minded women returners through 1:1 video chats and group video networking rooms organised by geography and sector.
  • Receive personal 1:1 coaching or small group support with interviews, IT or networking (subject to availability)
Don’t worry if you can’t watch all the sessions live. The speaker and workshop sessions from each morning will be available on recording – for ticket holders only – for 30 days after the event.

The Conference will be relevant to you whether your background is in finance, tech, engineering, law, marketing, HR or any other professional area; whether your career break has been 2, 5 or 15+ years; and whether you are at the first stage of your return-to-work journey or actively applying for roles. 

Our previous Conferences have all sold out in advance, and ticket numbers are limited. Don’t delay booking your ticket if you’d like to secure your place and have your choice of personalised support session. Book your ticket here.

“After attending this event, I have gone from hopeless to dynamic, with a clear mission of returning to work.” 2019 Attendeeare

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What will you get from the Conference?


“Absolutely inspiring event, with the blend of positive and practical. Great job on putting together such a wonderfully useful day” 

“After 18 years at home I no longer feel so lost at sea. I’ve a lot of work to do but I feel buoyed up now on this journey.” 2019 attendees

See the full Conference Agenda here

Expert Return to Work Workshops

  • Find your Career Compass
    • Become more focused in your ‘What Next?’ career choices
    • Get a road map to clarify your aims, develop decision criteria and move to action
  • Boost your Professional Confidence
    • Get a renewed sense of ‘what is great about me?’
    • Increase your self-belief with practical tips and techniques
  • Improve your Self Marketing 
    • Craft your career story
  • Sharpen up your CV and enhance your LinkedIn Profile (with Victoria McLean, CEO of City CV)
    • Sharpen up your CV
    • Enhance your LinkedIn profile to attract employers

Keynote Speakers

Returner Panels

  • Learn from the experiences and advice of other successful returners on two Returner Panels of women with diverse backgrounds, hosted by Jane Garvey and Trish Halpin, Co-host of Postcards from Midlife podcast and ex-Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire

Employer Panels

  • Find out from our two panels of leading employers the reasons why employers run returner programmes and what you can do as a candidate to stand out (hosted by Isabel BerwickEditor, Work & Careers, Financial Times and Claire Cohen, Women’s Editor and Associate Features Editor, The Telegraph )

Connect with leading Returner Employers 

  • Learn about returner opportunities from our returner employer sponsors, including Accenture Ireland, Amazon Web Services, Bank of England, Bloomberg, Credit Suisse, Facebook, FDM Group, J.P. Morgan, O2 and St. James’s Place Academy within their virtual sponsor booths, including live content during two Employer Power Hours
  • Schedule 1:1 video meetings with sponsor employers during the afternoon of 13 October (subject to availability; bookable from midday 8 October)

Connect with other Returners

  • Meet and talk virtually 1:1 with other like-minded women returners in randomly-allocated peer networking 
  • Meet and talk virtually with women returners with similar locations and/or backgrounds in video discussion groups organised by sector and geography. Create your return to work support group!

Personal Coaching or Interviews/IT/Networking small group support (subject to availability; one choice only booked when you buy your ticket)

  • 1:1 ‘Laser’ Video Coaching Session (15 minutes) with one of Women Returners’ expert coaching team (Fully Booked)
  • Bridge your IT Gap (20 minutes) small-group video workshop with Computer Fitness
  • Interview Skills (25 minutes) small-group video workshop with City CV
  • Communicating with Impact (25 minutes) small group video workshop with Jayne Constantinis, communications expert
“After the Conference, my ‘To Do’ list got longer, but hope is restored and my motivation levels are high!” 

“After 8 years at home this event felt like a very supportive network and has more than fulfilled my expectations.” 2019 attendees

Watch our 2019 Conference highlights video here 


Who is the Conference aimed at?

The event is targeted at women with a professional/managerial background who have taken a long career break (over a year) and who want to return to work using their professional skills and experience.

  • Your career break could be for 18 months or 18 years, for childcare, eldercare, health, relocation or other reasons
  • You may have not done any paid work for a number of years, or have been running your own business or doing lower-level work around other commitments.
  • You could be any age
  • Your background may be in finance, law, tech, engineering, marketing, retail, HR or any other professional area
  • You could be at the first exploratory stage of your return-to-work journey; you may have been trying to get back for a while and are feeling stuck; or you might be actively engaging in interviews
  • Our focus for the Conference is the UK or Ireland, but you are welcome to join us from anywhere in the world.

Note for Employers: This event is not targeted at employers, recruitment agencies or coaches; please do not book a ticket unless you are a woman returner. If you are an employer interested in sponsoring the Conference and/or returner programmes, contact


Where, When and How?


When? Monday 12 October (9:00 – 16:30) and Tuesday 13 October 2020 (9:00 – 16:30)

Where? Online, from the comfort of your own home. 

How? The content will be a mixture of live speaker sessions, panels and workshops and interactive e-meetings for the employer networking and personalised support components. Selected speaker/workshop sessions will be available on recording for ticket holders for 30 days after the event. Conference materials will be provided in advance, including speaker biographies and employer profiles.


How do you book?

You can book your ticket by clicking here. Tickets are £60.

If you have any questions, email Sarah on


“Women Returners has offered me a lifeline as I embark on my return to work. I feel energised and hopeful that a job is waiting for me” 2019 attendee