Whether planned or unplanned, life happens, and sometimes it pauses career plans. When raising a family, caring for ailing loved ones, caring for themselves, or relocating to a new region or country, people can experience a pause in their careers. When these professionals are ready to pick up where they left off, many find the interviewing process difficult, and for those who do receive an offer for employment, the ramp back into their day-to-day can be even more challenging.
The COVID-19 pandemic further amplified the issue, especially for women. The U.S. has seen a net loss of 4.5 million jobs held by women since February 2020, with nearly 2 million women leaving the labor force altogether, according to a May 2021 report from the National Women's Law Center.
To address the increasing need to support those who have left the workforce, either because of the pandemic or other reasons, we are launching the Amazon Returnship program. The initiative offers a clear path to return to work for professionals who have been unemployed or underemployed for at least one year, helping them to restart their careers at Amazon.
Through this new program, we hire candidates for 16 weeks and provide a risk-free, supportive environment that eases the transition back to work. We offer coaching and mentoring that starts at the recruitment and interview process and continues every day of the program as participants work on a set project plan with clear goals. At the end of the Returnship, we extend offers for full-time roles to participants who excel and see a future at Amazon.
Amazon recently piloted a smaller Returnship program with over 30 participants completing the program in the U.S. across Operations Finance, Consumer Payments, Amazon Pay, and Search teams. With the launch of this new program, we plan to hire 1,000 returners, with plans to expand the program to additional teams and geographies.
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