A Women's Path Back To Work
Carol Fishman Cohen - IReLaunch Founder
iRelaunch Return to Work Greater Boston hosts a weekly in real-life meet up for professionals who stayed home to care for a child/parent/themselves and are blueprinting a path back to work. We provide support to each other in the transition from caregiving to employment as well as host a speaker series where caregivers can gain strategies to return to the workforce. To date, we have hosted CEOs, hiring managers and recruiters. The speakers share game plans to chart a return to paid employment. If you would like to speak to our group, our next opening is January 10th. For more information, please email [email protected] or join the iRelaunch Return to Work Greater Boston Facebook group. Answering the questions is mandatory for admittance to the group. We also have an advocacy component. One of our policy goals is to have caregivers be legislatively mandated as a group in the Work Opportunity Tax Credit; this would be a wonderful carrot and stick for companies to hire qualified caregivers who left the workforce and are eager to return and contribute their skills. We need to change the “red flag” mindset when there is a gap in a candidate’s resume. As a society, we cannot afford to have daycare cost five figures then economically punish (primarily) women when they opt to leave and then face barriers to return. This could be one policy that could change this mentality and mindset so professionals who have so much to contribute are not left sitting on the sidelines?
FlexProfessional shared the statistic that there are 35,000 women in Greater Boston and 2,500,000 in the United States between the ages of 25-55 not in the paid workforce. These numbers tell a very powerful story. I started the group iRelaunch Return to Work Greater Boston to better understand those numbers because I am one of those digits. My personal story - I was working in a public school system at the top of the union pay scale when my son was hospitalized with a rare disease at eight months old. He was on breathing and feeding tubes for a month at Mass General Hospital. Luckily he survived. That experience compiled with sticker and quality shock of daycares sealed the deal on becoming a stay-at-home mom which I truly value and appreciate. I ran a small business while home, but now need a position that would keep up with the cost of living in Massachusetts.