How many are we? More than you might think. When we start the difficult process of relaunching, many of us feel quite isolated. But as more and more women attempt to relaunch, the number of services catering to this force is growing too. Case in point, iRelaunch.com founded by Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin. The co-authors of Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work, are themselves successful relaunchers. Cohen and Rabin conduct relaunching conferences around the country, and they offer coaching circles, online training classes, and webinars. They saw a need and are filling it. Cohen and Rabin say they’ve “run into a veritable army of relaunchers.”
The number, understandably, is constantly in flux as women move in and out of the workforce. But Cohen and Rabin have attempted to pin the number down.
Starting with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Population Survey, in 2005, an average of 9.1 million women between 25 and 54 years of age with children under 18 were not in the work force. That translates to a quarter of women with children under 18 not working for pay. Cohen and Rabin say that within this group, 2.3 million or 24%, have a BA degree or higher. These are the women who are likely to be career-oriented.
The logical next question — how many of those want to relaunch? In 2005, the Center for Work-Life Policy and the Harvard Business Review reported in a study entitled Off-Ramps and On-Ramps: Keeping Women on the Road to Success that 93% of women who took career breaks want to return to work.
Cohen and Rabin applied that 93% figure to the 2.3 million colllege-educated women currently not working for pay and came up with a figure of 2.1 million women.
“This number is important,” Cohen and Rabin write, “because it indicates to potential relaunchers on a career break that they are far from alone, and it tells employers that this cohort of women is a force to be reckoned with from a hiring perspective.”