Future Women has launched a year-long professional development membership to support 140 women who have experienced perinatal depression or anxiety (PNDA) who want to find, gain and retain employment, as Women’s Health Week 2021 comes to a close.
Jobs Academy is a new program developed in partnership with Gidget Foundation Australia, with the support of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office for Women. The program will provide participants with access to professional development activities and connect them directly with real job opportunities offered by employers committed to increasing women’s workforce participation.
Future Women Founder and CEO, Helen McCabe, said the virtual offering, funded through the Women’s Leadership and Development Program, was specifically designed to advance gender equality in Australian workplaces.
“Jobs Academy is an exciting partnership between Future Women and Gidget Foundation Australia which utilises each organisation’s expertise to help create more women’s leadership and development opportunities across Australia,” said Ms McCabe.
“The first Jobs Academy is critical to addressing the challenges faced by women who have experienced perinatal depression or anxiety. We will support women to return to the workforce empowered and confident – with the knowledge they are working with employers that have developed a secure and supportive working environment.”
Minister for Women’s Economic Security, Senator the Hon. Jane Hume said that initiatives like Jobs Academy had the potential to improve the lives of Australian women.
“We know women who get a hand up lend theirs down to the next generation of leaders. It’s key to making change, and Jobs Academy will deliver that hand up to thousands of female leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Minister Hume.
“This project is going to make real change for women across the country – through confidence building workshops, digital mentoring, financial literacy training, networking opportunities and connections with job vacancies.”
Jobs Academy marks the latest evolution for Future Women as the organisation continues to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. “We know that there are many talented women who want to work but need the right support and connections to find, gain and retain secure employment,” said Ms McCabe.
“At the same time, we have an unemployment rate of just 4.9% and skills shortages across many sectors. Our goal is to connect highly skilled women who want to work with employers who want to hire more women.”
“The launch of Jobs Academy just after our third birthday is an exciting next step for Future Women, as we continue our mission to advance gender equality by helping women connect, learn and lead.”
Gidget Foundation Australia CEO Arabella Burge described Jobs Academy as critical in ensuring the security of Australian mothers during the post-pandemic economic recovery.
“Women, and particularly women with children, are at risk of long-term unemployment and underemployment. The issue of reduced working hours is compounded if a woman is vulnerable or feeling marginalised,” Ms Burge said.
“That’s why Gidget Foundation Australia is proud to partner with Future Women to deliver Jobs Academy. With our combined expertise, we’re able to help women who need support whether they’re between jobs, looking for work, or returning to work after having children.”
Expressions of interest are currently open for women who are looking to re-enter the workforce, secure more working hours, or undertake a career change, who have also experienced:
Perinatal depression or anxiety (PNDA), or mental health challenges during the perinatal period, or
Difficulties balancing work (or the search for work) and family during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pilot program will run throughout 2022, with Jobs Academy recruits joining Future Women’s online community of women dedicated to their personal and professional development upon selection. The Jobs Academy schedule of online learning and development will commence in January 2022.
Expressions of Interest are now open. The first Jobs Academy cohort will be selected by December 2021. To apply visit jobsacademy.futurewomen.com.