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Women in marketing the most likely to freelance, start a business, or work in another field during a career break

Martina Mercer
July13/ 2016

30% of women in marketing who have taken a career break started a business during their time away from the workforce, compared to 21% of women in other professions.
33% worked in another field, compared to just 20% among professionals in other fields.
33% took on freelance work, while just 17% of professionals in other fields did the same.

Original research from Robert Walters has revealed that women in marketing are among the most active during a career break (often to have children, but also for a host of other reasons), being more likely than other professionals to freelance, work in another field, or start a business.

33% of women had worked in another field or freelanced during their time away from the workforce (compared to 20% and 17% respectively among other professionals) and 30% of women in marketing had started a business compared to 21% on average.

Ed Glover, Associate Director for Marketing recruitment at Robert Walters, comments,

“While many women take a break from the workforce in order to have children, travel, caring for relatives or pursuing education are also common reasons for women to take a break from their careers.”

“Marketing professionals are often in the fortunate position of having valuable transferable skills which can be applied to a range of pursuits while they are out of the workforce.”

“While they may find that conventional full time hours are unsuitable based on their needs, many women are evidently able to successfully pursue their career in other ways.”


The research also revealed that 59% of women in marketing consider moving into a more family friendly industry or career a priority when returning from a career break. Businesses looking to retain women who take a career break, or to attract women returning the workforce into marketing roles, should be aware of the importance these professionals place on an employer that can offer a good work life balance.

Ed Glover continues:

“Given the fact that a significant number of women in marketing pursue their career in alternative ways when on a career break, employers have a valuable opportunity to take advantage of this ambition and proactivity by attracting these professionals to their businesses.”

“Employers should focus on showing commitment to flexible working policies to attract top professionals from this group.”

“The fact that so many women in marketing are able to pursue freelance work or start their own businesses when on a career break demonstrates that when given the flexibility to structure their own working hours these professionals are able to deliver strong results for a business.”

It isn’t just women in marketing that this relates to, women in software also feel the strain of finding the work life balance. Sarah Dowzell, is a woman in a man’s world in HR Software, and she documents her experiences on her blog. Along with her partner she founded Natural HR, a HR software that simplifies the human resources process. This has not been without its challenges though but Sarah manages it all with aplomb and is candid with her advice as she gives advice to other working mums.

Martina Mercer

Martina Mercer is an award winning copywriter and digital marketer. She specialises in psychology delivering marketing that identifies consumer profiles and connects customers with brands. As an expert in proximity marketing, Martina is one of the only experienced beacon marketers in the UK highlighting her commitment to developing her skills in an ever changing consumer focused world.