Returnships for Women: A Unique opportunity to update your skills, network and re-enter the workplace
So, you want to return to work after being home providing caregiving for a number of years? But you are worried - will anyone want to hire you in a professional position?
Lapses in professional employment can occur to women for many reasons, including to care for children, parents, or other personal reasons. However, the pandemic forced women to leave the workforce in large numbers, and the workforce has not yet seen these women return. In April 2020, the U.S. lost over 22 million jobs. A year later, the U.S. was still short 9.5 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels. Blacks and Latino unemployment rates are disproportionately impacted: last spring black unemployment was at 10%, and for Latinos 8.5%, both higher than that of whites (5.6%) and Asians (5.1%) (See These 5 charts show the pandemic's brutal impact on American workers - CNN). The pandemic also exacerbated gender inequalities, by hitting women more than men, (See, Covid job losses hit working mothers especially hard (nbcnews.com).
But getting back to whether an employer will want you if you have taken time out of the workforce. The answer to that question is absolutely "Yes"! Not only will an employer want you, but as a prospective employee you may be in the power position. The workforce is different from when(ever) you stepped away. Large employers offer return-to-work programs (in the form of adult internships, or "returnships") that don't frown on resume gaps and are instead encouraging women to re-enter the workforce even after long periods of unemployment; in these programs you can gain precious training or pivot to a new type of position that is more accommodating of your needs or interests. These "returnships" are a
great way to get back into the workforce, gain valuable training and work support, and offer opportunities to develop marketable skills and network.
Most of the positions that we researched are professional and paid, and allow for workplace flexibility to accommodate a broad range of employee needs. Here are some national companies accepting applications now:
· J.P. Morgan’s Re-Entry Program: Targeted to experienced professionals who have taken a career break of at least two years. The program is a 15-week paid fellowship that runs from March 2022 to June 2022, with the prospect of an offer for permanent employment at the end of the program. The program is global and offers participants resources and support as they reenter the workforce in specific work sectors (See ReEntry Programs | JPMorgan Chase & Co.). The deadline to apply is January 2022.
· Amazon Returnship Program: These 16-week paid and benefit-eligible virtual returnships provide a structured environment through which returners receive work assignments that help them reintegrate into the workforce and acclimate to Amazon worklife. Subject to performance and feedback throughout the returnship program, qualified candidates may be offered full-time employment at Amazon. There are multiple opportunities with varying deadlines (See Amazon Returnship Program | Amazon.jobs).
· Deloitte Encore Program: Offers an opportunity to enhance participants' skills while providing a role in a client service environment. A network of Deloitte professionals will be assigned to provide relevant training and mentorship and will help support participants' professional growth while they gain hands-on experience. Designed for professionals who have had a break in employment for six months or more. Various positions with varying deadlines. Submit your profile for an assessment by the company (See Encore Program | Deloitte US Careers).
· Dell Career ReStart Returnship Program: A 16 week paid returnship that provides , professional development, and support in transitioning back into the workforce. The program is open to individuals who have at least 5 years of professional experience and have been unemployed or underemployed for at least one year (See
* Facebook/Meta Return to Work Program: Facebook/Meta offers returnships that span 16 weeks. Candidates are expected to commit to the full timeframe for successful completion of the program. The program is offered for various positions at the company. At the end of the term, those who have demonstrated their ability to succeed and make an impact at Facebook/Meta will be considered for a full-time position. Roles are filled as candidates are identified (See Return to Work Program | Facebook Careers | Facebook Careers).
If you are game to re-enter the workforce, now is the time! With unfilled jobs at a record high, returnships can offer a unique opportunity for improving or enhancing job skills, or pivoting to new work sectors, networking and mentorship for a period of months while also getting paid by the employer. It can be a win-win, and may lead to a full-time position at the end of the returnship period. Good Luck, and if you get a returnship be sure to contact us to let us know how it's going!