#82: Wendy Padua & Tami Forman – How Returnships help Mothers & Parents Get Back Into the Workforce

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If you're a mom or you know some moms who want to know what it takes to break back into tech after you've been out of work for several years, this is a must-listen episode.

Today's guest is Wendy Padua who has been out of work for 16 years and is not part of the marketing team at Zendesk.

We also have Tami Forman on the show today. She's the Director of Path Forward, a nonprofit organization that creates mid-career returnship programs to ease the transition back to work for women and men after taking a break for raising children or other caregiving responsibilities.

Wendi and Tami share their beautiful experiences with regard to motherhood, the struggles with putting yourself out there as you try to return to the workforce, and how to ultimately set yourself up for success!

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Years in Tech10
Lives In:Bay Area, CA
Current JobMarketing & Founder
Date Recorded1/19/2018

Contact Info:

Wendy Padua


Tami Forman

Path Forward

Email: [email protected]

LinkedIn: Path Forward

Facebook: Path Forward

Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources


Path Forward

Show Notes:

[02:08] Find out what a returnship means, who it's aimed for, what they do at Path Forward and how they're able to help women who have been out of the workforce for a long time.

[05:05] Wendy illustrates the kinds of programs they have at Path Forward, how she dealt with impostor's syndrome, and how Path Forward has helped her transition through.

[09:22] Wendy and Tami talk about why mothers are perfect for startups and the importance of being able to translate those skills into the workforce.

[17:05] Being a mother of three, Wendi realized how important it was for her kids to see her as someone living up to what she also asks of them, which doesn't go without having struggles.

[21:05] Finding that balance between work and family is difficult, that's why family support is really huge! Discover how single mothers deal with it despite not having any support system like thinking of child care an an investment rather than an expense.

[25:40] Wendy describes her work experience at Zendesk and she gives an overview of their team's role. Find out what skill sets she had 15 years ago that are still applicable today.

[29:15] Acquiring new skills: Tami shares some resources you can use to keep up with the new changes in the workforce and the beauty of learning from your kids (technology-wise)

[31:50] Tami talks about how Path Forward can help those who have been caregivers who seek to return to work and how grief has become an impetus for such shift as well as the concept of returnship around mothers seeking to return to their careers.

[36:52] Hiring Basics: Find out why Tami thinks the hiring in the U.S. is so crazy and how it should stop! Learn how Tami and her team can help hiring managers drive efficiency.

[43:10] What organizations like Path Forward actually need from companies and Tami's advice to hiring managers to become champions within their companies.

[47:10] Wendy and Tami's advice to other parents looking into getting started with their careers again. They also reveal each of their tipping points that pushed them to move forward.

[55:10] How do they prepare their child for the future? Listen to their beautiful words of wisdom - something to really ponder on (for parents out there!)

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