ReConnect(TM) Helps Women Re-Enter The Workforce And Support Canada’s Long-Term Economic Growth

Jul 22, 2010 | Corporate Member News

What accomplished women need to step back into their careers with confidence

When highly-qualified women take time away from their careers, many find it challenging to step back into the workforce with confidence. Yet these women are part of the solution to the problem of Canada’s shrinking labour force in the coming decades with the retirement of millions of baby boomers as the first baby boomers turn 65 in 2011(1).

“Inspiring women to reconnect with their chosen career path – or to explore a new professional path – positions them to support Canada’s long-term economic growth,” said Carol Stephenson, Dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business. “Reaching out to successful, yet overlooked, groups is crucial as Canadian companies struggle with an increasing talent gap sparked by the retirement of the baby boomers.”

As the program’s founding sponsor in 2008, CIBC provided $1 million over five years to fund the first executive development program in Canada specifically designed to help accomplished, professional women who have taken time away from the workforce re-enter at a leadership level.

Patricia Virc knows first hand the challenges of re-entering the workforce after taking seven years away from her law career to focus on her three young children. After taking the ReConnect program, she now is Legal Counsel at Echo Energy Canada Inc.

“Through ReConnect, I was able to bring myself up-to-date on key global issues, discover how new trends are changing business strategies and refresh my financial management, leadership, communication, and marketing skills,” said Virc. “The program will guide you and help you approach your job search in a strategic and practical way. It’s also a great opportunity to network.”

“Canadian business benefits from having a strong complement of talented women in its ranks,” said Jacqueline Moss, CIBC’s Executive Vice-President of Human Resources. “ReConnect provides a source of professional women for employers looking to reinforce their management teams with highly skilled leaders. We are pleased to be the founding sponsor of ReConnect, and to have business leaders from CIBC play an active role in sharing knowledge, business experience and views on leadership.”

Now in its third year, ReConnect(TM) takes place over seven intense days. For 2010, the first five days take place from October 4 to 8 at the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario, followed by the second module on November 1 and 2 in Toronto.

“We’ve been very pleased with the success of the graduates,” said Mary Heisz, Faculty Director, ReConnect. “It’s a privilege to work with and help fulfill the ambitions of women of this calibre.”

Candidates come from a range of fields, such as business, law, finance, accounting or not-for-profit and are motivated to reconnect with their careers after having taken a leave of absence to focus on other activities like raising their family, taking care of aging parents or pursuing their own business aspirations.

For more information and to apply online, visit or call 1-800-948-8548. 


    (1) Statistics Canada: 2006 Census: Portrait of the Canadian Population in 2006, by Age and Sex: Findings

For further information: Ivey, Mary Weil, 416-203-0664, [email protected]; CIBC, Doug Maybee, 416-980-7458, [email protected]

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