It’s the latest effort to return caregivers to full-time employment.
Six tech companies are joining the on-going and up-hill effort to get caregivers back into the workforce.
On Tuesday, domain registrar GoDaddy GDDY -0.50% , online education platform Coursera, grocery delivery startup Instacart, as well as customer service software company Zendesk, marketing technology company Demandbase, and CloudFlare, a content-distribution network, all announced that starting in October, they will offer “returnships” for mid-career professionals who want to get back to the workplace after taking time off to care for a child, parent, or other loved one.
The companies will offer these workers 18-week paid internships through an organization called Path Forward, which launched as a standalone non-profit earlier this yearafter starting as an internal program of data provider Return Path.
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By helping companies create returnship programs, Path Forward answers a vast need, particularly among women looking to get back into the workforce. A study published by the Center for Talent Innovation in 2010 found that 31% of highly qualified women voluntarily left their jobs for an average of 2.7 years. Nearly nine of out 10 women who left their jobs said they wanted to resume their careers, and while 73% succeeded in returning to their careers, only 40% found full-time, mainstream work.
A 2014 poll of nonworking adults ages 25 to 54 by the New York Times, CBS News, and the Kaiser Family Foundationfound that 61% of women said that family responsibilities were keeping them home; just 37% of nonworking men gave that same answer. Of the women who identified as homemakers and had not searched for a job in the last year, nearly three-quarters said they would consider returning to the workforce if a job allowed for flexible hours or let them work from home.