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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
    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 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

    About the Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western

    The Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario
( 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.

For further information:
For further information: CIBC: Doug Maybee, (416) 980-7458,; Ivey: Mary Weil, (416) 203-0664,