Every aspect of our existence was impacted when COVID-19 hit. The pandemic changed so much of our lives, every aspect. Our kids were rerouted from their classrooms in their respective schools to their makeshift desks in the dining room with one or both parents as their teacher, parent, and lunchroom supervisor. Organizations and companies across the country had to figure out how everyone could best do their job remotely in the face of the pandemic. All the while, they also had to figure how to give moms, in particular, the flexibility they needed to wear all these hats.
Over the last year and a half or so, women took a hard look in the mirror and realized that they were fed up with being undervalued, paid less, and pigeonholed into what being a caregiver meant. Since the pandemic, 3 million women have left the workforce for these reasons and more. When women are ready to return to the world of work, there are companies — run by women, for women — ready to help.
Companies like The Mom Project are helping women who want to return to the workforce do that with the support and necessary tools to help them succeed. Organizations such as Path Forward and others are equipping women with not just a job prospect, but a community of support, too.
Founder and CEO of Path Forward Tami Forman told Scary Mommy, “In 2021 we significantly ramped up our events — being able to do them virtually has had an upside! — to provide returners with the information they need to successfully prepare, apply and interview for return to work programs. The fact is, as much as we try to educate hiring managers that there should not be bias around a career gap and caregiving, bias sadly remains. Interview prospects drop off by about 50% once a career gap hits two years — an anniversary many women who left the workplace at the start of the pandemic are about to face. We have to keep talking about career gaps to normalize them.”
Along with Path Forward, here are three additional companies helping women make all the right moves — from resume writing to coaching to landing the job — that much easier. Here’s what you need to know about just a few of them.
Apres is a team of mothers who have one goal: to help other moms get back into the world of work. The team partners with companies that are dedicated to hiring women. Apres tailors job opportunities to fit women’s needs. As women, they know how integral having the right support team can be. They provide coaching to help build confidence. They offer tailored coaching sessions at different price points. Each session or kit has a particular theme, from helping resume writing to returning to work after a break to interview prep. The tailored coaching sessions match you with experts who will help you build your confidence as you navigate your path as you return to the workforce. They provide a community made up of other women who are in the job search, too. When you look at their website, two words hit close to home for me: confidence and respect, two things every woman needs in the job search.
Milena Berry and Katharine Zaleski were on a mission when they founded Power To Fly – to connect underrepresented individuals with roles in “highly visible sectors” to help people acquire economic equality. I’ve attended a few of their webinars and found it to be empowering as a woman of color in the nonprofit sector. On their website, they share, “We are women-led, intersectional and focus on empowering underrepresented talent across all races, ages, ethnicities, sexual orientations, abilities, veteran statuses, and gender identities. We welcome allies.” We could all use an ally or two when it comes to getting a job or advancing in the workplace.
Power to Fly offers a Diversity Reboot Summit with a focus on elevating Black leaders. Not only do they host virtual events to help empower and educate, but they offer mentorship and coaching opportunities. Their coaching opportunities focus on an array of topics, from cover letter writing to achieving work-life balance to job search strategy. With a tagline of “invest in yourself,” Power To Fly provides a unique opportunity for women who want to learn and grow. They offer free virtual events which double as professional development. They also offer virtual job fairs. You don’t even have to leave home to build your network as you journey toward getting back in the field.
The Second Shift is a company that offers a five-step process to help women find jobs that match their talents and expertise. The first step is applying for membership or the verification process, which is like a mini-application and interview process. From there, you describe who you are, your interests, and your expertise in your own words. Once you’ve expressed your interests and expertise, The Second Shift will send you job matches based on your interests and skillset. During this stage in the process, the ball is in your court; you get to share your needs and wants with the match, from what schedule works for you to the kind of work you see yourself doing.
A company founded by women, The Second Shift shares on their website, “As a woman owned, run and focused business we appreciate that femininity comes in many forms. Our goal is to support women by providing an ecosystem to enable professional success.”
As we come to the other side of this pandemic, women are reentering the workforce and these companies are here to make the process a little easier. Work cultures are increasingly shifting to accommodate and understand what it means to need to take a break from work, to focus on family, to show up as a teacher, as a mom, as any of the other multiple hats moms are required to wear.
Tami reminds us, “You can do it! We know how daunting it can be and how hard it is to deal with the rejection that is an unavoidable part of any job search, especially when you are feeling isolated and questioning your value in the job market.” The workforce as we knew it is changing before our eyes. Women have long been boxed into the role of “caregiver” and with that role comes no job description, salary or time off. But if you’re ready to return to work, there are women out there ready and willing to help you figure it out.
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