Discrimination in the workplace is something nearly every woman has to deal with at some point in her career, but no one has it worse than women returning to the workforce after taking a leave of absence to raise a family.
That’s where Après comes in. Founded by Jennifer Gefsky and Niccole Kroll, Après is being billed as a "LinkedIn for women who have taken a career break," and rightfully so. One of the hardest parts about resuming one’s career after an extended hiatus is regaining contact with the network of professionals one leaves behind.
Après, which is described as a "marketplace for both full- and part-time positions, consulting projects, maternity fill-in positions, and pro-bono opportunities across a wide range of industries," promises to reconnect women with those networks. Joining the site is free, while members can then pay $250 a year, which gives potential employers access to their portfolios. That can also be scaled down to $25 a month, with a three month minimum.
Gefsky came up with the idea for Après when she tried to return to corporate America after taking eight years off to focus on being a mother. However, despite years working as an elite lawyer, Gefsky was only being offered entry-level positions.
As it turned out, Gefsky wasn’t alone. A study by the Center for Talent Innovation revealed that 90% of women who left their jobs to focus on raising a family eventually wanted to return to work, but only 40% of them found full-time work.
Après is scheduled to launch May 4, with a membership base of “several thousand” women who are 35 or older and who mostly hold graduate degrees.
"This virtually untapped pool of candidates is an invaluable source of talent for corporate America," Getsky added. "They bring a strong skill set, a proven work record, reliability, and life experience."
Learn more about balancing your career and your family with a copy of Flex Time: A Working Mother's Guide to Balancing Career and Family, and let us know if Après appeals to you.