WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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systematic pathway for exceptional professional women to find their way back into the workforce. Sometimes this bias stems from an all-or-nothing corporate culture, in which employees are expected to pursue their work, 24/7, at the expense of everything else in their lives. It's the reason that people work through lunch, stay late, and forego vacation or parental leave — even when their companies offer these benefits. People in work-obsessed corporate cultures often assume that women who have taken time off, often to raise children, are not committed to their work and that they will only be interested in part-time work and positions that don't require travel. While this may be the case for some, many returners are eager to return to work, have fewer external constraints, and are inter- nally driven to be successful. Other times bias takes the form of formal corporate policies and procedures that are not designed to handle exceptions. Non-traditional applicants are by definition exceptions; they don't fit conveniently into companies' established recruiting, promotion, and compensation sys- tems. For example, 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies — and many smaller businesses as well — use applicant-tracking systems (ATS) to sort through resumes to determine which candidates are the best fit for the positions for which they applied. ATS do so by scanning resumes for key words that suggest relevant experience. Unfortunately, a gap of time on a resume is an immediate disqualifier. As a result, returners are often invisible to companies; they don't have a chance of securing a job through today's most prevalent recruiting channel. This bias ultimately hurts everyone. Indeed, it can impede compa- nies' efforts to achieve their most important business objectives. For example, more than 75 percent of CEOs include diversity and gender equality among their top business priorities. According to 2016 Women in the Workplace, a study conducted by McKinsey and LeanIn.org, women are underrepresented, less likely to advance then men, and face more barriers to senior leadership at every level of U.S. corpora- tions, from entry level to the C-suite. The report concludes that at the current rate of progress, it will take 100 years to reach gender equality in the C-suite. "For women to advance, businesses have to retreat from old think- ing," Swartz explains. Hiring qualified professional women who are committed to returning to the workforce is one way for organizations to begin to build an inclusive and sustainable talent pipeline. Swartz is "For women to advance, businesses have to retreat from old thinking." Addie Swartz reacHIRE 130 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 7 business "eager to return to work"

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