Path Forward is a nonprofit on a mission to empower people to return to the paid workforce after they’ve taken time off to care for children or a loved one. We fulfill our mission by partnering with employers to launch returnships: a paid work program for experienced professionals who have a long career gap due to unpaid caregiving. We launched on March 22, 2016 and in August of the same year we announced six employer partnerships and by the fall we had a cohort of ten women.
As we wrap up Q1 of 2021 we are so proud to be able to say that we have now launched more than 80 returnship programs with some of the largest and most well-known companies in the world (and a few of the smallest!) We have now graduated more than 550 people and 80% have converted into full-time jobs.
While 2020 was a challenging year it also offered the opportunity to innovate our programming for both employers and returning professionals. We supported companies in offering fully remote returnships and revamped our participant support program to work in a remote environment. Silver lining: We are now able to offer opportunities to more parts of the US than ever before. We’ve had returnees working (remotely!) in more than 20 cities.
To support those displaced by COVID, and the many displaced long before that, we launched a monthly webinar program to bring advice from alumni, recruiters and Path Forward staff. By the end of 2020 we’d had more than 8,000 registrations, with many attending multiple sessions. Recordings of these sessions, along with written materials, makes this support available to more than 20,000 prospective returners.
“I was discouraged and lacked confidence when I first started to look after an 8 year break. Thanks to Path Forward and the returnship experience, I can dream again about my future with an exciting career.” — Winnie Choi, DataStax
You chose Path Forward as an organization to support with your charitable dollars because you understood the hurdles to reentering the workforce after caregiving. The COVID pandemic has hit women especially hard, many of whom have spent the past year juggling increased domestic responsibilities as a result of quarantines and school closures. Be here for us now so we can be there for all the caregivers who will be trying to restart their careers in 2021 and beyond.