Wittner Shoes will support two women to come back to the workforce as part of The Encoreship program.
The program, developed by Alpha-H, was created to address the disproportionate number of women whose employment was negatively impacted by COVID-19.
According to the Women’s work: The impact of the COVID crisis on Australian women report by the Grattan Institute, women’s jobs were hit harder than men’s during the COVID lockdowns.
The report found that at the peak in April 2020, almost 8% of Australian women had lost their jobs, and women’s total hours worked were down 12%.
Meanwhile, the figures for men were 4% and 7% respectively.
Additionally, the report found that mothers in couples and single parents (80% of whom are women), were more likely to leave the labour force than other groups.
The Encoreship program was created to address the gap and encourage women back into the workforce.
Wittner joins other Australian brands Alpha-H, Ettitude, Adore Beauty, Who Gives a Crap, Six Degrees, Mamamia, Gritty Pretty and Dissh that are participating in the program.
For Wittner CEO Catherine Willamson, the project hits close to home.
"Following the birth of my twins, I transitioned back to work and took on one of my biggest projects to date - so I know first-hand how daunting re-entering the workforce can be," she said.
The Encoreship program is open to anyone who identifies as a woman, has had an extended period of time (one or more years) away from the workforce and is having difficulty getting back in.
Successful applicants will commence in roles late April/early May and are allocated to a specific project, complemented with hands-on training around business systems, processes and up-skilling, particularly around the ever-changing digital landscape.
The women joining Wittner's operations will be adding to its already strong female workforce.
Of the 500 staff employed across the company, 97% of the workforce in the retail, corporate, manufacturing and sampling departments are female.
Wittner's Encoreship roles will be offered in the retail, human resources and marketing departments.
Applications open on March 01 2022.