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Canadian women who have temporarily left the workplace are now getting a helping hand to return to business.

The Ivey school at the University of Western Ontario is launching a seven-day immersion programme in October, sponsored by CIBC, the financial institution. CIBC is giving Can$1m over five years to fund the programme and provide financial assistance for women with financial need.

The programme, “ReConnect: Career renewal for returning professional women”, will be taught by Ivey faculty and review the latest in business knowledge, provide leadership skills and serve as an important stepping stone for professional women returning to the workforce. Participants are expected to have a degree, between five and 10 years of management experience and have been out of the workforce for more than two years.

Carol Stephenson, dean of the Ivey school and one of the few women to become dean at a top business school, says the programme reinforces the school’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.”


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