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Society of Women Engineers

Learn about the STEM Re-entry Task Force

Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO of iRelaunch, discusses the SWE iRelaunch STEM Re-entry Task Force.

Published On: February 2016

Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO of iRelaunch, discusses the SWE iRelaunch STEM Re-entry Task Force.

The STEM Re-entry Task Force is an initiative to increase the number of technical women in the STEM sector by providing support to women who are returning from a career break. It is designed to produce structural change in the STEM sector with internships as a vehicle for engaging women returning to the technical space.

The STEM Re-entry Task force was formed by a partnership between The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the world’s largest advocate for women in engineering and technology, and iRelaunch, the leading and most comprehensive career reentry resource.

The Task Force includes seven members from SWE’s Corporate Partnership Council – Booz Allen Hamilton, Caterpillar Inc., Cummins Inc., General Motors Company, IBM, Intel Corporation and Johnson Controls. Each member has committed to pilot a re-entry internship program during 2015-2016.

Re-entry internships are emerging as a special category of progressive action for employers re-integrating professionals back into the workforce at a later life stage, and a powerful return-to-work strategy for individuals. These programs create a formal pathway to employment for returning professionals.

Re-entry internships give the employer the opportunity to connect with high caliber returning professionals at a moment when their childcare, eldercare or other career break responsibilities are reduced or over, and the candidate is ready to fully re-engage in the workforce. The programs also enable employers to increase the number of mid- to senior-level women in their ranks.

Returning to the workforce after a career break can be difficult – industries evolve, skill sets shift and you compete with other candidates who do not have gaps in their resumes. Furthermore, your own work interests may have changed, affecting what type of position and industry you may find to be a good fit. The STEM Re-entry Task Force aims to support women who are returning from a career break by providing insight and support, as well as opportunities to explore career possibilities through internships in the STEM industry. These internships allow women returning to work to explore various opportunities and re-discover their own skill sets and interests that will translate into a full-time successful career.

Visit careers.swe.org to upload your resume and be considered for an internship through the STEM Re-entry Task Force.

The Society of Women Engineers (SWE), founded in 1950, is a not-for-profit educational and service organization. SWE is the driving force that establishes engineering as a highly desirable career aspiration for women. SWE empowers women to succeed and advance in those aspirations and receive the recognition and credit for their life-changing contributions and achievements as engineers and leaders.

The Society of Women Engineers has more than 30,000 professional and collegiate members, each with a goal to be a resource to other women in engineering and to use the SWE network to support their professional and personal aspirations. Supporting women at all career stages aligns with the mission at SWE, and putting women back in the working world of STEM, where gender diversity is greatly needed, is a key initiative at SWE.

iRelaunch is the leading and most comprehensive career reentry resource for employers, individuals, universities and professional associations. Empowering, coaching and updating individuals returning to work after a career break, and working closely with employers to create and promote formal pathways back into the workforce, iRelaunch champions “both sides of the equation” to maximize large scale career reentry results.

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