Ashley Connell, CEO/Founder of Prowess Project, on the “She-Cession,” Standing Out in the Workforce, and More

Here’s a sobering statistic that keeps Ashley Connell up at night: 43% of women leave the workforce to have children, and if out for just 3 years, a woman loses 37% of compensation power (Harvard Business Review).

But at the same time, research shows that having women in leadership roles benefits the company in major, measurable ways. For example, firms with female CEOs often perform better in the stock market than those with male CEOs, and one study showed that female CEOs achieve up to 18 percent higher revenue per employee than male CEOs.

So why the gender pay gap, if the benefits of having working mothers on your team are so obvious? That’s what Ashley and I get into on this episode of #WeGotGoals, as we discuss the motivation behind the Prowess Project.

The Prowess Project solves for two problems: first, teams struggling to find easy-to-hire, flexible talent that “hit the ground” running, and second, educated, experienced women who paused their careers, many to become caretakers, who want to get back into the workforce but can’t find flexible, empowering jobs. By vetting and certifying these women in the latest tech tools, remote work, empathy and project management, Prowess Project matches them up with roles based on the skills needed and behavior compatibility with the new team. 

Ashley’s passion for Prowess Project and women in the workforce rings clearly with every word she says in this interview. Along the way, we’ll hear her talk about her previous big goal of working and living abroad as an adult, her advice to women entering the workforce at this moment in time, and what industries she thinks are most welcoming to women after a pause in their career.

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About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.