Darcie Lamond left an executive-level business and consulting position at a major financial services company to raise her family. A decade later, when she was ready to rejoin the workforce in 2014, she had trouble finding a job.
“It was tough, it was very tough to get people to look at you seriously because there was this sense of, ‘Your skills are dated, you don’t know how the world works anymore,’ ” she said. “That was frustrating.”
Then she found Linda Wells, an executive recruiter with 11 years at Stanford University’s Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, who was successfully reintegrating women into the workforce with “returnships” via her new company, Talent Reconnect. She introduced Ms. Lamond to Matt Bijarchi, who was trying to grow his Los Angeles-based ad agency Blend, after founding the shop in 2013. Mr. Bijarchi brought Ms. Lamond on for a short-term returnship—and the rest is history. Within two years, she rose through the ranks at the 15-person agency to become partner last year.
Returnship programs offer caregivers, usually women, a means to reenter the workforce after taking time off to raise children. The paid program usually lasts three or four months. The concept can represent a win-win: Women get more current experience in rejoining industry, and employers get experienced executives they couldn’t otherwise afford…
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