Researchers explored the experiences of professional women re-entering the workforce after taking time off for family reasons.

The research focused on returner programmes which are employer-sponsored initiatives and it reveals a “complex picture.”

While returner programmes offer valuable support, the study says they “fall short of addressing persistent discrimination.”

The study also shows that returner programmes may reduce the risk of immediate workplace stigma but don’t address deeper issues.

It says women who successfully re-enter their professions often experience occupational downgrading and limited career progression.

Notably, the research suggests this is particularly true in the private sector.