Ivey launches ReConnect™: Canada's first leadership renewal program for professional women returning to work
CIBC provides $1 million as founding sponsor LONDON, ON, May 15 /CNW/ - The Richard Ivey School of Business today launched "ReConnect: Career renewal for returning professional women™". Sponsored by CIBC, ReConnect is the first executive development program in Canada specifically designed to help women step back into their careers with confidence. ReConnect™ is a seven-day immersion program that will renew critical business knowledge, provide leadership skills, and serve as an important stepping stone for professional women looking to return to the workforce. The course will be taught by Ivey faculty with ongoing participation from CIBC's senior leaders. As the program's Founding Sponsor, CIBC is providing $1 million over five years to fund program development, underwrite program costs for participants and provide financial assistance to ensure access to the program for women with financial need. "We're delighted to partner with CIBC to successfully reconnect women with their chosen careers," said Carol Stephenson, Dean, Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario. "This program reinforces Ivey's commitment to women in business. 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. Reaching out to successful, yet overlooked, groups is crucial as Canadian companies struggle with an increasing talent gap." "Canadian businesses benefit from having a strong complement of talented women in their ranks," said Jacqueline Moss, Executive Vice-President, Human Resources, CIBC. "ReConnect will provide a source of talented 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." According to a recent study by the Center for Work-Life Policy and the Harvard Business Review, more than one third of highly qualified women take a leave from their careers for a period of time. Of those women, 93 per cent want to return to work, but only 74 per cent succeed in doing so, and only 40 per cent return to work full time. "ReConnect is just what many women are looking for," said Lisa Colnett, former senior vice president in the electronics manufacturing services industry. "After having taken a few years off from work, they can get current on business issues such as changes in governance, finance and global trends. The program will also provide a great opportunity to network with other women from different business experiences, but with similar goals. ReConnect will allow women to refresh their skills, get up to speed on current best practices and return to their careers with confidence. I am pleased that a business school of such high caliber is offering this innovative program." ReConnect's inaugural program will take place at the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario starting October 27, followed by an intensive two-day extension and graduation in Toronto on November 24 and 25. It is expected that participants in the program will have a post-secondary degree, between five to 10 years of management experience and have been out of the workforce for more than two years. "For CIBC, this sponsorship is very much consistent with our longstanding commitment to supporting women and education," added Moss. "ReConnect is an exciting new program that will make an important difference for women returning to work." CIBC is a leader in employment equity and diversity. Over the past five years, CIBC has invested more than $5.5 million dollars in hundreds of organizations that support Canadian women. For more information and to apply online, visit www.reconnectyourcareer.ca or call 1-800-948-8548. About ReConnect ReConnect: Career renewal for returning professional women is focused on professional women who have taken time off from their careers. The program renews their leadership, business and technical skills; builds their peer network and personal brand; and helps participants develop an action plan to return to work. ReConnect is similar to successful programs at Harvard Business School, Tuck Business School at Dartmouth and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. About CIBC CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com. About the Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario The Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario (www.ivey.ca) offers undergraduate (HBA) and graduate (MBA, Executive MBA and PhD) degree programs in addition to non-degree Executive Development programs. Ivey has campuses in London (Ontario), Toronto, and Hong Kong. Ivey recently redesigned its curriculum to focus on Cross-Enterprise Leadership - a holistic issues-based approach to management education that meets the demands of today's complex global business world.