Commenting on Economist Jodi Beggs’ Boston Globe OpEd on the Pay Gap and Career Breaks

By Carol Fishman Cohen

Jodi Beggs' Boston Globe OpEd presents an excellent, clear analysis of the pay gap and the penalties for women taking career breaks. The "trading compensation for control" solution some women resort to when returning to work after a career break can be a realistic strategy for a first foray back into the workforce. This option for women returning from career breaks is to take less money than they think is fair or than they think they are worth, in order to get the schedule they want.

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Tory Burch, Ann Fudge and Linda Zecher: Three Luminaries Who Took Career Breaks

by Carol Fishman Cohen

Last month I reported live from the Massachusetts Conference for Women as a member of their “Street Team.” I was able to be front and center for the keynote presentations and selected breakout sessions. Before even half the day was over, I was thrilled to note that three luminaries speaking at the event, Tory Burch, Ann Fudge, and Linda Zecher, all took career breaks and soared to even greater professional success upon their returns than their considerable achievements before they left.

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An Interview with Bentley University President and Founding Director of the Massachusetts Conference for Women: Gloria Larson

By Carol Fishman Cohen

I was honored to have the opportunity to interview Bentley University President and Founding Director of the Massachusetts Conference for Women Gloria Larson on the 10th Anniversary of the Conference. Here’s what she had to say:

CFC: Your career history includes senior roles at one of Boston’s top law firms, in Massachusetts State government and the Federal Trade Commission, and since 2007 as President of Bentley University. Can you talk about your transitions from the public sector to the private sector to academia?

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An Important Announcement from iRelaunch

Dear iRelaunch Members:

After over 10 years working together with Carol, first writing Back on the Career Track, and then establishing iRelaunch, I have decided to leave iRelaunch at the end of this year to focus full time on my executive search business, VSR Advisors.

I have really enjoyed building iRelaunch with Carol and helping to change the conversation around career reentry. I am very proud of what Carol and I have accomplished. When we first started working together, our goal was to destigmatize career breaks and make it easier for people to return to the workforce after time at home. We set out to accomplish this by working both sides of the equation - by helping those on career break develop and execute a strategic and practical return-to-work plan and by highlighting to employers the advantages of hiring from the returning professional talent pool. Happily, as a result of our Conferences, Boot Camps, FastTrack events, book, webinars and presentations for other organizations, we have helped thousands of individuals around the world get back to work they love. I also believe that it is in part thanks to our efforts that at least half a dozen companies have set up Return to Work programs specifically to recruit from the at-home pool.

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A Relauncher Asks: "1 week until my relaunch! Any wisdom for easing my preschool aged kids’ transition as I go from SAHM of 5 years to working full time?"

By Carol Fishman Cohen

We just received this great question on our LinkedIn group from relauncher Vicki Harrison, who is about to return to a full-time role at Stanford University School of Medicine after five years at home. She is also the founder of The Flex Frontier website which provides resources for those seeking flexible work. Here’s my answer:

Vicki: Thanks for asking this question! You want to get your preschoolers invested alongside you when you return to work so here are some thoughts on how to involve them:

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Relaunchers selected for Commonwealth of Massachusetts Women's Leadership Fellowship Program!

We are thrilled to announce that several relaunchers are among those selected for the new public policy Women’s Leadership Fellowship Program offered by Governor Deval Patrick’s office as part of his Women in the Workplace Initiative. The Initiative “will underscore the key role all working women play in business and the economic success of the Commonwealth by growing the pipeline of women poised to fill high-level positions in both the public and private sectors, and examining policy steps the Commonwealth can take to advance women in the workplace from across the economic spectrum.”

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Over 550 Attendees at 17th iRelaunch Return to Work Conference in NYC

iRelaunch held its 17th Return to Work Conference at Columbia University's Lerner Hall with 550 attendees and 19 corporate and university sponsors. The high-energy crowd was riveted by the presentations, starting with Morgan Stanley Chief Human Resources Officer Jeff Brodsky recounting his childhood moment when his own mother returned to work after staying home for years.  iRelaunch co-founders Vivian Steir Rabin and Carol Fishman Cohen followed, telling their personal relaunch stories and then focusing on actionable, high-impact, career reentry strategy.

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"They did it and so can I!" - Angela Lee Returned to Work After Attending the iRelaunch RTW Conference

Guest Blog by Angela Lee

I always knew that I wanted to return to work. My initial plan to take a break from work for just a few years was derailed when the economy crashed in 2008. Right when I was ready to go back to work, nobody was hiring. Life threw me a few more curve balls and - long story short - I found myself staying home for eight years, not knowing how to restart my career.

Then I had coffee with someone I had volunteered with at our children's preschool. She was in a similar situation: she had had a successful career and stopped working to take care of her family. She told me that she planned to go to the iRelaunch Conference that fall and invited me to join her. I was tempted but I balked and decided I wasn't ready. The truth is that I was terrified.

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