Bank of America Merrill Lynch has today announced a new initiative that supports women and men looking to return to work after time away to care for their family. Individuals who have been absent from the workplace for three or more years are being offered the opportunity to benefit from BofA Merrill’s ‘Returning Talent’ programme.

Michelle Fullerton, head of Diversity and Inclusion for Europe and Emerging Markets (ex-Asia) at BofA Merrill, who is spearheading the initiative, says, “As an employer of choice and recognised as one of The Times’ Top 50 Employers for Women, we are keen to ensure we attract, retain and develop talented individuals. We recognise that choosing to have a family is a very important stage in a person’s life, and that some decide to take time away from work to focus completely on caring for their family.”

During the inaugural year of the programme, 20 places are available for individuals to participate in three, one day workshops (scheduled around childcare), executive coaching and access to employees and experts from BofA Merrill. At the end of the programme, it is anticipated that participants will feel better prepared and confident to re-enter the world of work, either at BofA Merrill or at another organisation.

‘Returning Talent’ is being delivered in partnership with the Executive Coaching Consultancy – the company that currently delivers maternity coaching workshops and individual coaching sessions to the bank’s employees and their managers – and the Mumsnet Family Friendly programme which develops and promotes family-friendly practices in business. The workshops will take place in June at the bank’s London offices. Interested parties are asked to complete an application form which can be accessed here. Successful applicants will be notified by 6 June.

Fullerton concluded, “Above all, our company is about people. A philosophy of inclusion drives us every day and helps us all to succeed in a diverse, global marketplace. Through ‘Returning Talent’, we are demonstrating that Bank of America Merrill Lynch is an attractive organisation for prospective employees and clients – a place where people want to work.”