You recently founded Après. What need did you see that you are seeking to fill?
We founded Après to connect women looking to reenter the workforce with companies seeking talent and diversity. There are more than 3 million college-educated women in the U.S. looking to reenter the workforce. But before we launched Après, it was difficult for women with resume gaps to get noticed. At the same time, it is proven that companies that enjoy gender diversity in mid- to senior-level positions will outperform less diverse competitors.
Thankfully, companies are beginning to understand and appreciate these facts AND the value these women bring to the workforce — their maturity, loyalty, commitment, soft skills, and life experiences are all extremely desirable characteristics. Après is the first tech platform to connect the two.
My readers are women in midlife and beyond, many of whom are seeking to reinvent at 40 or later. What unique opportunities and challenges do you see for these women as they consider a reentry into the workforce?
First, let’s start with the challenges, the fact is that most companies are not shouting from the rooftops that they are interested in hiring women with gaps in their resumes and, as a result, women tend to lack confidence about their value in the workplace, making reentry intimidating. Reentering the workforce can be difficult because it takes a commitment to getting back and a belief in your own value to a company.
On the good news front, we are beginning to see a definite shift in thinking by companies about this highly qualified, untapped pool of talent. Companies are beginning to get accustomed to gaps in resumes and some are even actively seeking this group for their workforces.
How can Après help with this reentry? What do you offer readers?
Après is the first tech platform to connect women looking to reenter with companies who are specifically looking to hire this demographic. Après is going company by company, advocating for our members and discussing the important and unique qualities that this demographic brings to the workforce. We also feature tools, inspiration, and coaching to help our members navigate their re-entry, along with full- and part-time job opportunities from companies that want them.
Après is also a community for women to connect with one another, whether they’re thinking about opting out, thinking about opting back in, are searching for their next job, or are looking to take an entrepreneurial path.
What resources do you recommend?
Your college or graduate school website can be a helpful resource, and LinkedIn is an important tool for any job seeker. If you’re making a big career change or have been out of the workforce for a long time, you might want to consult with a career coach or industry expert (we have some of the best on our site). And if you’re looking to read a book on the topic, I highly recommend Cheryl Cassone’s The Comeback: How Today’s Moms Reenter the Workplace Successfully.
Contact Jennifer Gefsky at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Gefsky is Co-Founder of Après, a digital recruiting platform that connects women looking to re-enter the workforce with companies seeking talent and diversity, that launched in May 2016. A lawyer by training, Jennifer was an Associate at Proskauer LLP in New York City, where she practiced labor and employment law before becoming Deputy General Counsel and one of the highest ranking woman at Major League Baseball. At age 30, Jennifer was recognized as a “40 Under 40 rising star” by Crain’s New York Business. After almost a decade at MLB, Jennifer “retired” to raise her three children, until she and Niccole Kroll came up with the idea for Après.
Jennifer, I’m so glad you started Apres. There are so many talented women out there who need help in getting back into the workforce. Employers are missing out on these great women. I remember after staying home with my children for years how difficult it was for me to find a part time position in the career I once had.
This is a really cool thing that is going on, and Apres sounds very exciting! The importance of gender diversity within a company is a proven necessity, and I think it’s great this company is aiding women with their re-entry into the workforce!