The Center for Women has reached 114 women in transition since August: 85 through women’s workshops; 4 in the LAW Program; and 25 who received information and referrals to other community programs. We are now ready to roll out our Mentoring and Internship programs. We are recruiting mentees, mentors, interns, and internship hosts. These programs are funded through the United for Women Initiative of the United Way of Allegheny County. Here’s how you can get involved:
Separation. Divorce. Job Loss. Empty nest. Some of these changes are planned for and some rush in like a gust of wind when least expected. Planned or unplanned, these are all changes that can cause difficulties for many of us.
For many women, it’s not only a period of transition, but a time of reinvention, of finding a new sense of self, a new purpose, a new career path, and a new life plan. Perhaps the above description is familiar to you because you’ve successfully navigated a similar situation. Perhaps you can imagine how challenging it must be to overcome such barriers.
The Center for Women Mentoring Program is designed to provide support and encouragement to women as they begin a new chapter in their lives. Mentors and mentees will be screened and paired for one year of monthly contacts. Mentors act as coaches, advisors, cheerleaders, and trusted confidants so that the mentee can begin to navigate her life transition, build career and financial skills, and enhance networking relationships. Have you been looking for a way to strengthen and empower our community of women? Do you feel you could provide support to a woman who is facing a life transition? Maybe it’s time you become a mentor. Share the knowledge you’ve learned along the way and enrich your own life in the process!
Since the recession hit in 2007, the unemployment rate has risen significantly. Jobs have been harder to come by and the competition has been markedly strong. Did you know that of the roughly 89% of women who tried to get back into the workforce, only 40% ended up with full-time positions? Once a job seeker has been out of work for more than six months, the rate of callbacks drops from about 16% to 3%. Research also shows that when all things are equal, women are less likely to be hired than men; 22% of women re-entering the workforce step down to a lower job title. When hired, women in Pittsburgh still earn just 74 cents to every dollar that men earn.
While this data can seem bleak, we do know that women are natural advocates—for their kids, for their parents, for their families. According to Carol Fishman Cohen, cofounder of the career re-entry programming company iRelaunch, “Returning to work requires that [women] now advocate for themselves.” That is exactly what The Center for Women Internship Program is helping women do. Substantial gaps in resumes and outdated skill sets can negatively impact self-esteem. The Internship Program is a great bridge between careers. Skills gained can make women feel more effective and empowered in their work. Likewise, companies can get assistance with project and task completion.
We are currently seeking companies and organizations to host internship opportunities for our women in transition so call CFW today!
To participate in the Mentor or Internship programs please contact me at 412-421-4400 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Lindsey Miller, Mentor & Internship Manager, Center for Women