We are so excited to be pioneering a new and diverse employment program, The Encoreship. The Encoreship provides employment and upskilling for women who are facing challenges re-entering the workforce after an extended period away from work – no matter the reason.
The program is a 3-month paid placement at our DISSH Head Office in Australia, designed to upskill, build confidence, create connections and set women up for their future aspirations. We sat down with our incredible 2021 Encoreship recruit, Louise Walker to hear her story.
What lead you to apply for The Encoreship with DISSH:
I applied for the Encoreship with DISSH after finding it challenging to secure an opportunity to return to the workforce, and after doing some research into the DISSH brand and being immediately attracted to it!
How many years had you been out of the workforce and what was the primary reason for this:
I had been out of the workforce for nine years, primarily because my personal circumstances changed very suddenly and unexpectedly, and I needed to step back from the workforce to care for my children and sort out financial affairs as well as some other responsibilities which landed my way.
Additionally, the arrival of COVID-19 increased the competition for available positions.
What industry/role did you work the most in?
Probably the professional services and airline industries, although I also worked in the media, government and hospitality industries, and in the consulting sector. My roles were mostly in general management and people management, communications, marketing, and business development areas.
What is the proudest moment in your career to date?
Establishing my own consultancy – lots of hard work there! But also a lot of reward and satisfaction!
What, if any, do you perceive are the main barriers for you in finding employment and/or women in general?
I would say the fact that women are, in many cases, the primary caregiver for children, meaning we do often need to step back from the workforce for some time – at least in a fulltime capacity – as we raise families, and that career gap can present a barrier to finding employment again when we are able to fully return.
What do you think of The Encoreship program? What does it mean to you?
I truly feel the Encoreship is an outstanding Program, having a real, significant, positive impact on its participants’ lives. I admire and respect the companies that have made the commitment to be part of the Program – I believe they are demonstrating leadership in genuinely supporting women in the workforce. For me, the Encoreship has been instrumental in moving forward on my work journey!
What do you hope to get out of The Encoreship?
I hope to regain my professional confidence and upskill – for example, in technologies which have advanced during my time out of the workforce, and to make and re-establish work connections.
What would you say to other women struggling to re-join the workforce after a period of time out of it?
Be kind to yourself! It can be a challenging experience. Try to not take any knock-backs personally. I would advise women in that position to persevere, to focus on being resilient, to keep presenting the best applications they can, to make and retain as many professional contacts and connections as they can and to reach out to those contacts and connections – people do want to be supportive where they have the capacity.
What would say to women thinking of applying for The Encoreship in 2022?
Do it! This is a Program which can positively change your life!
What is your favourite thing about being a part of The Encoreship at DISSH so far?
The supportive environment at DISSH, and working every day with talented, clever, motivated and kind women and men who are passionate about, and proud of, what they do! I really believe DISSH’S participation in The Encoreship is a practical demonstration of the company living out its values of empowering and supporting women and providing them with opportunities!
DISSH will be bringing The Encoreship program back in 2022. Stay tuned for more information on this opportunity (position only open to applicants located in Brisbane, Australia).