Before Sonu Ratra helped build her company, Akraya, into a multinational staffing and consulting firm for Silicon Valley high-tech firms, she was a stay-at-home mom eager to get back to work. But Ratra’s resume revealed a 17-month gap in employment. Gaps are common among professional women who leave the workforce to raise children or care for aging parents, but they lead hiring managers to assume the applicants are not committed enough or that they have fallen behind in their skills. Ratra believes these concerns are based on “myths” about what makes a valuable employee, inspiring her to found Women Back to Work in 2015. This social enterprise arm of Akraya wants to help other “returners” reclaim their careers. Women Back to Work offers free coaching and mentoring and works with Cisco, Google and other major companies to show that smart, talented women possess the life experience and fresh perspectives that create strong and culturally diverse workforces. This news organization talked to Ratra in late September, when she and her Women Back to Work team hosted a free, drop-in workshop at the West Valley Branch of the San Jose Library for about 20 women to learn about crafting an “elevator pitch.” The workshop… Read full this story
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