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A Woman's Path Back to Work
Addie Swartz, reacHIRE CEO

A Woman's Path Back to Work

Firm helps women return to the corporate sector after they have kids.

When women leave careers for an extended period of parenting, some of them get stalled on corporate off-ramps. A Massachusetts-based company is expanding to the Twin Cities to help local women rejoin the work world in key business roles.

Known as reacHIRE, Boston Scientific will be the company’s first local client. Boston Scientific will pay reacHIRE to recruit and train women who have strong academic backgrounds and substantial business experience.

Addie Swartz, reacHIRE CEO, founded the company in 2013 after she took time off to care for her daughter, who was injured in an accident. “I saw all these other women on the sidelines who wanted to go back to work and couldn’t because they had a break in their resumes,” Swartz tells TCB.

So she created a company that identifies qualified women who want to return to work, vets them, and provides short training sessions focused on business, technical and leadership skills so the women can retool. As women age, studies show they are more likely to face age and sex discrimination, says Sarah Rand, a business professor at St. Catherine University. “An extended leave from the workforce can only exacerbate this [problem],” she says.

The Twin Cities is the fifth U.S. city where reacHIRE will be vetting candidates and conducting training.

Most of the reacHIRE recruits are in their 30s and 40s and have graduate degrees and business experience, Swartz says.

“We manufacture medical devices. We work in a very dynamic and changing environment,” says Mary Beth Moynihan, Boston Scientific senior vice president. The company wants gender diversity, and Moynihan says that it successfully worked with reacHIRE in the Boston area to find good job candidates who were ready to go back to work.

“It is an incredible talent pool of people that is hard for us to find, and [it is] hard for them to know where to go,” Moynihan says. She notes that reacHIRE has demonstrated that it can find women with excellent experience. In the Twin Cities, Boston Scientific has asked reacHIRE to help it fill roles such as marketing, finance and project management.

“Time out of the workplace often results in a loss of necessary skills and experience,” Rand says. She recommends women do some part-time work or nonprofit service to keep their resumes current, so they will be more marketable when they want to return to work full time.

—Liz Fedor