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.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/856603

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Page 133 of 219

quick to note that hiring women is not just a diversity play — it's first and foremost a talent play. "We have a tremendous talent shortage in this country," Swartz explains. "At the same time, there are 2.6 million women with advanced degrees and years of on-the-job experience who take time off, and 1.6 million of them are looking to get back to work now. The only problem is they can't get back in." This challenge of closed-doors to women who have stepped out of the work place for a period of time is not likely to disappear. Consider that on average 43 percent of highly educated women take a career break for one reason or another, and 90 percent of those women fully intend to return to work. A recent survey of young female alumnae of Harvard Business School found that 37 percent are planning on taking time off of work to care for their children, suggesting that career breaks are not a thing of the past but rather a significant trend that will con- tinue well into the future. As men and women grow in awareness of the ramifications of living longer — since 1900 American life expectancy has grown by 30 years — rather than tagging the extra years on to retirement, only to discover that retirement often lasts longer than retirement funds, might they choose to live their whole lives differently? Will professional men and women want to work, or be able to work, for 70 years straight without a career break? Or will the careers of the future involve an increase in the number of career breaks? Will companies need to shift their expectations and create new infrastructures to be able to harness and retain talent? Why do people take career breaks in the first place? Women take career breaks for many reasons; some are work related, others are not. One of the most common reasons is the experience of a glass ceiling within their organization or industry. The venture capital industry has been often cited as an example. It gets very narrow, long before reaching 132 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 "companies need to shift their expectations"

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