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Tech Companies Help Women Get Back to Work

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Women brush up on their tech skills during a session at the Reboot Career Accelerator for Women.

As tech firms compete in an escalating battle for talent, some are targeting what they consider an undervalued source: women returning to the workforce.

Credit: Reboot Career Accelerator for Women

Major technology companies as well as startups are leveraging internships and other programs to help women return to work and update their skills to use the latest technologies they need to be competitive.

"The war for talent is so extreme that we're seeing CEOs sitting around, saying, 'Who have we not gone after? Maybe we need to find women who are at home with kids?'" says Frederickson Pribula Li CEO Valerie Frederickson.

The tech industry is confronted with a shortfall of qualified job candidates, and companies looking for women who have been out of the workplace for a prolonged period say they are easier to hire because they face less competition. For example, IBM started an alumni network of former employees to help women return to work at the company.

The Center for Talent Innovation estimates almost 90% of such women attempt to resume their careers, yet only 40% obtain full-time jobs. In addition, about 25% of women who attempt to resume their careers accept part-time jobs.

Initiatives to bring such women up to speed include GSVlabs' Reboot Career Accelerator for Women, an eight-week program that teaches skills such as design thinking, shared calendars, and personal branding. Through such efforts, tech companies are striving to correct the endemic underrepresentation of women in the industry.

From The Wall Street Journal
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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