Project Return: Because the future really is female | HerCanberra

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Project Return: Because the future really is female

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I am woman, hear me roar!

Gender equity in Australian workplaces is having its moment of social and political reckoning, and Helen Reddy’s rallying call for women to claim their rightful share echoes across the land.

Roar? Oh boy, will I give you a roar!

But it’s when the music comes to an end, that the room slowly fills with an uncomfortable silence.

A silence far too many women face when they begin the difficult task of navigating back into the workforce after pushing out and raising a tiny human.

Australia’s professional network for women’s leadership and advancement, Future Women, is tackling the issue head-one with a new Project Return Scholarship—a targeted training scholarship designed for all mothers and carers re-entering the workforce after time in a no less demanding (but unpaid) role.

(No) Thanks to the pandemic, women have been forced to deal with the brunt of job losses in some of the hardest-hit industries. Or they simply have to stop work altogether, taking on the sole responsibility of childcare while screaming intermittently into a pillow.

It’s a sobering and chilling reality that Future Women Founder and Managing Director Helen McCabe recognises but, more importantly, wants to change.

Future Women’s Helen McCabe

“Prolonged absence from the workforce impacts women’s awareness of career pathways and what employers are looking for, as well as their relationships and personal confidence.

Project Return will bridge this gap by giving women the knowledge and connections to accelerate their career ambitions and overcome obstacles to employment.”

A powerful message to all females that Future Women is providing practical assistance to help them not only get a foot back onto their career ladder but a welcome boost to climb it.

The 150 women involved in the Project Return program will have access to virtual leadership masterclasses, small group speed mentoring, training resources, a virtual ticket to the annual two-day Leadership Summit in Sydney, and 12-month membership to the premium subscription only online platform.

It’s a package that will give women a kick start to their career and the added bonus of a newfound sense of confidence that comes with financial autonomy.

As Future Women Deputy Managing Director Jamila Rizvi explains: “We know that having a job helps women exercise control over their lives and choices; it also offers additional financial security for women and their families, as well as increased savings for retirement.”

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