OUr story is similar to thousands of other australian women.
Like so many Australian women, we went to university, graduated, started our professional working lives and experienced successful careers. We’ve also had families and have juggled the very real and challenging demands of doing both.
For various reasons, not all driven by the demands of young children, we’ve both had ‘career pauses’. We’ve filled those pauses by consulting, contracting, undertaking further study, volunteering, business start-ups and reinvention to new titles.
Like many women however we have also faced a metaphorical brick wall the size of Mt Everest when we attempted to return to the ‘traditional’ workforce. We have experienced being over-qualified for entry roles and overlooked for roles that match our experience and capabilities. We’ve experienced the downward spiral of feeling like a failure, wondering ‘what’s next’, and struggling to envision what a future career that consolidates all our many years of experience would look like. We’ve felt isolated, invisible, irrelevant and frustrated.
After sharing our respective yet almost identical stories and experiences, we committed to change this experience for ourselves and for the thousands and thousands of other Australian women who have experienced the same barriers to workforce re-entry.
A seed of hope was planted and ZIPWIRE was created. Together we interviewed many women and listened to the same stories, feelings and challenges been told over and over again.
Spurred on by the commonality of these experiences, we have spent over 12 months researching global programs, government policies and workforce statistics, and educating ourselves on the many and multifaceted barriers to women returning to work. After all, how does a progressive country like Australia effectively leave behind such an enormous pool of talented, educated and highly capable workforce participants.
Our goal is simple. We want to flip the status quo.
We aim to do this by empowering and fast-tracking women on their return to work journeys whilst also working collaboratively with organisations to break down existing return-to-work barriers that are biased towards women.