A New Career Re-Entry Course Helps Moms Who Took Time Off to Raise Kids

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The MBA Moms

Susan Rietano Davey embarked on a career in a Fortune 50 company in the mid-1980s. By the time her first child was born in the mid-1990s, she had risen through the ranks into a position of leadership, reveling in the challenges and financial rewards it brought.

“I loved my work and had every intention of returning to it, but when my son was born, I felt an instant conflict between my career drive and my maternal instincts,” she explained.

With no flexible work options at her level, Rietano Davey was forced to make that “all or nothing” choice. 

“I chose motherhood,” she recalled.

Like many women before and after her, Rietano Davey dove deep into volunteer work in her community, at her church, in her children’s schools, gaining new and valuable skills in the process.

Davey met fellow MBA mom Kelley Biskupiak in 2016 and they decided to combine their respective expertise in women’s personal and professional development to help women return to work and, in the process, increase women’s presence in management and senior leadership roles. 

Their business, Prepare To Launch U, offers a live eight-week career re-launch course that trains women in all of the back-to-work essentials, and helps them understand their workplace assets and translate the skills they acquired “away from the office” into market-valuable currency. After seeing the success of the live course, the partners decided to create a more affordable and fully flexible online program for which enrollment will begin in August.

“There are thousands of them out there – ‘MBA Moms’ with finely honed skills, executive experience, valuable volunteer and community experience, and many work years ahead of them – eager to return to work after raising children,” adds Rietano Davey. “Smart employers recognize the value of these women, but many won’t give them a second look.”

The online program is designed to guide women through the unique challenges of returning to the workforce after opting out to care for family.

Rietano Davey and Biskupiak navigated their way back to work after their own opt-out years and they believe the secret to increasing women’s numbers in the workplace is to help re-launch this skilled, but largely overlooked, talent pool.

A 2015 Women in the Workplace study conducted by LeanIn.Org and management consulting firm McKinsey found that 43% of leadership-track women, like Rietano Davey, derail themselves for child rearing at some point; 90% of them opt-out with the intention of returning. Unfortunately, when they’re ready to get back in the game, résumé gaps and related biases make it difficult. This exclusion of capable women as suitable employees reinforces the glass ceiling and extends opportunities for harassment or exploitation to occur. Not to mention, many of these women could be assuming leadership roles, growing companies’ bottom lines, and changing workplace culture, yet many are stuck.

Prepare to Launch U provides women the opportunity to slow down, re-focus and reclaim a future vision for themselves, after years of being visionaries for everyone else in their orbit” said Biskupiak. “We begin the course with the important foundational work of helping women understand who they are now, because it most likely is different than who they were when they left their career. After three modules and 28 exercises, students have the self-knowledge, the confidence, the skills and all of the tools necessary to reenter the workplace successfully.”

The program fees are rather reasonable. The August mini course costs $49. For the full Course and Online support, the fee is $399. If you add two live-time check-ins, there’s an additional $100 attached. The course, online support, live check-in and a special webinar with Kelley and Susan, limited to 25 participants, costs $599.

Visit Prepare to Launch U here.

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