Working Chance is an award-winning charity and the UK’s only specialist recruitment consultancy for women with criminal convictions and young women leaving care.

CWN is proud to support Working Chance for the second year running (2016-2017). Click here to find out how our members can engage and partner with Working Chance.

Since 2009, Working Chance has changed the lives of over 600 women by supporting them into quality, paid employment and helping them to overcome any barriers to finding work. Working Chance’s innovative approach dramatically reduces re-offending and helps the women and their families move from lives of exclusion to lives of contribution – breaking the intergenerational cycle of disadvantage and crime.

“We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as City Women’s Network (CWN) charity of the year for the second year running. It’s incredible that women who are at the top of their game in the City want to help those that have been behind bars.  Our candidates continue to be judged long after they have served their sentences and struggle to find progressive employers who will look beyond the conviction.

From everyone here at Working Chance, thank you CWN for understanding that all our candidates want to do is learn from their mistakes and turn them into opportunities for positive change.” – Jocelyn Hillman, CEO & Founder, Working Chance.

Working Chance’s mission:

Working Chance is leading a revolution in recruitment – pioneering a change in attitudes amongst employers, media and society towards women with convictions and young women leaving the care system. The forward-thinking employers who hire from Working Chance cover a range of industries – from large, national corporations including Virgin Trains, Pret A Manger and Nike, to the Houses of Parliament and the NHS, to SMEs and the third sector.

Working Chance is well aware that the best talent is often found in unexpected places – 40% of its own award-winning staff have convictions – and it is determined that this talent will not be overlooked.

Women with experience of the criminal justice and care systems often face barriers to finding and keeping a job – which can include housing, domestic abuse and debt – so Working Chance provides tailored, wraparound support, in addition to offering free counselling, to all of its candidates.

Working Chance’s impact:

  • In 2015/16, Working Chance supported 173 women into paid jobs – a 16% increase on the previous year – and supported 54 women into voluntary/work experience roles, an important stepping stone to paid employment for many of our candidates.
  • High retention rate: 83% of candidates are still the same job after six months.
  • Serving a highly diverse group of women: 69% of the candidates who registered with Working Chance in 2016 are BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic).

Working Chance passionately believes that hiring women with convictions and young women leaving care is good for the whole of society. The women achieve financial autonomy and thrive in a job they love. Their children have a role model and do better in school. Businesses reap the benefits of exceptionally loyal, hard-working and skilled members of staff. There is a dramatic drop in re-offending rates, which not only creates huge savings for government and taxpayer (re-offending costs the UK economy up to £13bn a year), but also creates a safer society for everyone.

Working Chance’s tagline is restorative recruitment. Restorative for the women, their families, businesses and the taxpayer – restorative for the whole of society.

Applications for CWN Charity of the Year 2018 will be considered in Autumn 2017.