The Ongoing Caregiving Crisis in the US Fuels the Nonprofit’s Actions to Expand Reach
(New York City: Nov. 29, 2021) — The national nonprofit Path Forward, which helps moms and other caregivers return to the paid workforce, today announced the appointment of three new board members — Jayne Jamison, Neema Bollampally, and Sheena White. The appointments are a first step toward increasing the organization’s reach and impact in response to the pandemic-precipitated caregiving crisis in the US that has pummeled women’s careers.
- Jayne Jamison has served as publisher for some of the world’s largest publishing companies, including Hearst Corporation, The New York Times, and Reader’s Digest. Throughout her career she has prioritized company cultures and policies that support working mothers. Jayne is also a member of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Advisory Board.
- Neema Bollampally is a senior program manager for product launches at Twitter. She credits her 2019 participation in Path Forward’s returnship program with empowering her pivot to a successful new career in tech, after a three-year break to care for twins.
- Sheena White is a director of global accounts at PayPal, which was an early company proponent of Path Forward’s returnship programs. Sheena is responsible for developing growth strategies and driving revenue with some of PayPal’s largest multinational internet clients and partners. Sheena sits on Villanova University’s College of Engineering Advisory Board and the Girl Scouts of Greater New York Leadership Advisory Board.
The three new directors join Cindy Guerra Robbins, former president and chief people officer at Salesforce, who became a board member in April, Gayatri Agnew, a senior director in Walmart’s Global Office of Culture, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, who joined in 2020, and three founding board members, Cathie Black, former president of Hearst magazines, and Matt Blumberg and Cathy Hawley, co-founders of Bolster.
“This pandemic-induced crisis in caregiving is the biggest blow to women’s careers in a generation,” said Tami Forman, founding chief executive of Path Forward. “Women’s workforce participation rate is the lowest it’s been since 1988. And while many mothers are trying to return, many others are still struggling to find and keep adequate childcare as schools continue to grapple with outbreaks and the childcare industry struggles to recover. All of this means longer gaps, which can make it increasingly difficult to find employment.”
Since its founding in 2016, Path Forward has worked with 100 employers – including Amazon, Expedia Group, Grubhub, NBCUniversal, Allstate, and Northwell Health – to launch, implement, and expand returnship programs. Returnships are a type of hiring program that provides experienced professionals who’ve left the paid workforce for two years or more with supportive on-ramps back into their career. While the majority of returners in Path Forward programs have been mothers who left the workforce for childcare, the nonprofit has supported fathers, adult children caring for elderly parents and other loved ones, military and trailing spouses, and many others.
The need for Path Forward programs is expected to reach new highs as more caregivers who were pushed out of the workforce by the pandemic seek to return to work. In response, the organization is increasing both its board leadership and operational capacity to make returnships more common. The nonprofit partners with employers to effect changes in recruitment, hiring, and onboarding. By doing so, fast-moving workplaces that historically have had neither the processes nor the cultures in place to effectively bring on professionals with a career break are able to open their doors to returners.
“Jayne, Neema, and Sheena come to Path Forward with impressive careers, a deep understanding of what it means to raise a family while pursuing a career, and a passion for our mission,” said Matt Blumberg, board chair for Path Forward. “The expertise and perspective they bring are vital as we build on the organization’s first five years to expand our impact over the next five and beyond.”
“I look forward to the valued contributions of each of our board members as we respond to the professional and family needs of talented employees now and into the future,” said Forman. “Path Forward creates the conditions that allow professionals to restart their careers. Our aim is nothing less than to change the nature of work to better serve parents and caregivers, families, and employers.”