Young & Rubicam Is Starting a Program to Help Parents and Caregivers Re-enter the Workforce

PowerOn is for people who've left to focus on family

The training program is aimed at people in need of a career reboot. Sources: Getty Images, Young & Rubicam
Headshot of Erik Oster

Young & Rubicam Group is offering full-time parents and caregivers a way to ease back into the workforce.

The agency on Tuesday announced the launch of its own career reboot program called PowerOn. In a statement, Y&R said the training program aims to “reclaim the untapped talent and recruitment potential” of those facing the challenges of re-entering the workforce.

“It’s time for our industry to embrace this untapped pool of talent—so often the decision to depart from the workforce to focus on family or child care unfairly impedes opportunities for growth down the line,” said Young & Rubicam Group chief of talent and operations Madeline Park in a statement. “But we know these candidates offer an incredible skill set, life experience, diverse points of view and much more.”

The challenges of being a parent in the advertising industry are widely known. Stringent parental leave policies are still a problem at ad agencies, even as progress has been made in recent years. In 2016, 11 agencies formed Pledge Parental Leave to implement a system across agencies and have since added over two dozen more shops. Another problem in the industry, talent retention, remains persistent, but programs like PowerOn could give agencies a way to keep millennial parents and other caregivers.

A 12-week training program, PowerOn is open to men and women who have left the industry to focus on parenting or caregiving and offers training, resources and hands-on experience to facilitate the transition back. Teams of mentors will support PowerOn participants as they make their way through the program’s professional workshops, speakers series, skills development and knowledge training sessions with the goal of placing participants in full-time positions upon completion.

The PowerOn program starts Jan. 18 and operates out of Y&R’s New York office. Participants include Y&R, Wunderman, WPP Health and Wellness companies, Red Fuse, Sudler & Hennessey, Grey Healthcare and Hogarth. Applications are open through Dec. 1.

@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.