More than 40 percent of accomplished, educated women leave the workforce to have and raise children, according to Allison Robinson, CEO and founder of The Mom Project. Robinson knows first-hand ‐ her Chicago-based company hopes to change this statistic by matching employers with highly-qualified female candidates wanting to return to the job market.
The Mom Project, in partnership with Atlanta Committee for Progress, recently kicked off a new national program, the Atlanta Women’s Work Initiative™ (AWWI), that connects leading local corporations like Georgia‐Pacific with experienced and diverse talent in and around the city.
Terry Reed, vice president of talent selection for GP, says, ”To continue being competitive, we can't afford not to tap every source we can for talented people. The Mom Project has a unique business model that also brings us valuable perspective.”
A public-private venture, AWWI will connect 50 local women returning to work in careers in technology and business with Atlanta’s leading employers. Program partners will offer a range of opportunities to these women, including projects, part‐time and full-time positions.
”Through this joint effort led by The Mom Project, we can collectively affect greater change by expanding opportunities for working mothers,” said Christian Fischer, CEO and president of Georgia‐Pacific. “This is vital to attracting and retaining top female talent. Georgia‐Pacific is proud to support The Atlanta Women’s Work Initiative in identifying what matters most to women returning to work so positive strides are made in workforce participation.”
Robinson points out that there's an economic benefit to cities when mothers return to the workforce. In Atlanta alone, advancing gender equality is worth approximately $41 billion in GDP, with $14 billion attributable to women’s workforce participation, according to research by the McKinsey Global Institute.
While Atlanta will serve as the pilot effort for Women’s Workforce Initiative, additional efforts are in development for New York, San Francisco and Chicago in 2018 and 2019.
In 2017, Georgia‐Pacific initially worked with The Mom Project through Engage Ventures, a venture fund and program supporting early‐stage companies. As one of the founding partners of Engage Ventures, GP contributes resources, expertise, time and capital to help the companies in its portfolio ‐ one of which was The Mom Project.