Home Lifestyle The latest line on resumes: Pandemic parenting gaps – Protocol

The latest line on resumes: Pandemic parenting gaps – Protocol

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More tech recruiters are seeing “pandemic parenting gaps” on resumes as people reenter the workforce.
There’s now more respect and support for people reentering the workplace.
We’ve coined a lot of new terms and phrases over the past two years of working through a pandemic. The latest to add to the list: “pandemic parenting gaps.” Recruiters are beginning to see a new type of career gap on resumes as people return to the workplace following stints of caretaking.
LinkedIn has even added new job title entries for people to denote parenting-related career gaps. Last year, to better reflect their members’ career journeys, LinkedIn introduced “stay-at-home mom,” “stay-at-home dad” and “stay-at-home parent” as official titles. It was done to recognize the challenge of full-time parenting, said Suzi Owens, LinkedIn’s director of Communications, in a statement to Protocol.
A 2021 LinkedIn survey of over 2,000 respondents revealed that the stigma surrounding career gaps is fading:
Allison Rutledge-Parisi, senior vice president of People at Justworks, also said she’s seen a shifting view toward career gaps. “I sense in the atmosphere a change from the days earlier in my career. If you see a gap on a resume, it’s no longer a red flag at all. It’s an area of inquiry,” she said. “But the inquiry is not assessing if it’s OK or not. The inquiry is more like, ‘Wow, what did you do?’”

There’s now more respect and support for people reentering the workplace. COVID-19 was the “great leveler” because everyone’s life was disrupted, said Rutledge-Parisi.
Eric Blumenthal, a father of two, was laid off from his IT job in September 2019, after a reorganization at his company. Blumenthal, who had been working in IT for 20 years, had planned to take some time off at the end of the year to spend with family, and then begin looking for jobs again in 2020. Then, the pandemic hit.
“My oldest at the time was in kindergarten, and by March they went fully remote. So basically any progress I had made looking for a job had to stop right there, because we had to have somebody home with them,” he said. “And then for my baby, he was supposed to go into a daycare once I found a job, but then I didn’t find a job, so he was at home with me full-time as well.”
By the time Blumenthal was able to dedicate himself to finding a job again, it was September 2021, and two years had flown by. He estimates that he sent out about 200 resumes by that November. When he reached out to one recruiter, he was told that gap might be seen as a challenge in IT.
“We were going over my resume, and he said to me, “You’re probably going to run into a major issue because of this two-year gap. Because in IT, the technology changes every day and you’ve been out of work for two years,’” he said.
During the pandemic, he struggled to balance parenting with keeping his tech skills up to date. For Blumenthal, being a stay-at-home parent felt like a full-time job. The job search entailed a couple months getting little to no bites at all on his resume. “It’s been tough for a lot of parents like me, they’re just not getting that fair shot,” he told Protocol.

But Blumenthal did eventually land a job. In January, he started a new role back in IT. He said when the hiring manager at his current company reached out, they weren’t looking at the gap. Instead, they asked more about what he knew rather than what had happened during the gap. For Blumenthal, it spoke volumes about the organization’s values and culture.
Some companies, recognizing that need for a shot, have launched training and reentry programs for people who have experienced career gaps. Meta’s legal group is launching the third iteration of its “Reconnect Program” for legal professionals who have had to pause their careers. While Meta partnered with The Mom Project for the program, the initiative is for anyone who has paused their career, whether that be to actas a caretaker, to pursue a lifelong passion or for any other reason. Meta’s director and associate general counsel, Nikki Stitt Sokol, said she’s seen candidates with pauses anywhere from two to 12 years.
People just want you to take a chance on them, Sokol told Protocol. She herself took a few years off to care for her children when they were younger. She said it had been an anxiety at the time, “of wanting to have quality time with my family, to take care of my family, but also feeling really passionately about my career. I was lucky enough that I ended up connecting with people who were in positions of power at firms who really understood this … and I was able to on-ramp back into my career.”
She pitched Meta’s Reconnect Program with that experience in mind. The 12-month program now offers participants a cohort for support as well as a sponsor within the organization to give them the best chance of succeeding back in the legal profession. Much like highly skilled tech roles, working within legal in tech is a rapidly changing space, causing some to easily feel left behind.

Claire Conneely, who is the talent acquisition lead at Argo Group, said she’s not concerned about whether people can catch up following a break in their careers. The insurance firm is currently hiring for a number of highly skilled tech roles. For her, it’s more about ensuring that job candidates have a desire to learn and are curious. While it is absolutely fair for a recruiter to ask about a career gap, she said she urges her team to focus more on finding the right skills and fit for the company.
“I think especially for those that took a step back, I think they’re almost more aware in terms of what it is that they want, not only for their next job, but I think what they want in terms of the intangibles from a career from a company,” said Conneely.
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Amber Burton (@amberbburton) is a reporter at Protocol. Previously, she covered personal finance and diversity in business at The Wall Street Journal. She earned an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and B.A. in English and Journalism from Wake Forest University. She lives in North Carolina.
The Great Resignation is happening for all the reasons you think.
A new Pew Research Center survey shares the top reasons people have left their jobs.
Michelle Ma (@himichellema) is a reporter at Protocol, where she writes about management, leadership and workplace issues in tech. Previously, she was a news editor of live journalism and special coverage for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, she worked as a staff writer at Wirecutter. She can be reached at mma@protocol.com.
2021 was the year Americans quit their jobs in droves, so much so that this period of time got a name: The Great Resignation. Quit rates in the U.S. reached an all-time high in November, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Now we know a little more about why.
The majority of workers who quit their jobs in 2021 cited dissatisfaction with pay, lack of advancement opportunities and feeling disrespected as their top reasons for quitting, according to a Pew Research Center survey released today.
Secondary reasons for quitting included child care issues, limited flexibility of working hours, poor benefits and wanting to relocate.
Worker sentiments aren’t off base. Despite the fact that wage growth is high, record inflation is negating any pay raises U.S. employees are seeing, with overall wages falling 2.4% on average for all workers last year.
There is a silver lining. The survey also found that those who quit are more likely to say that their current job has better pay, more opportunities for advancement and better work-life balance and flexibility than their previous job.

Despite rumors that burned-out quitters were opting out of the workforce entirely, most of the Pew respondents are employed now, especially those with a bachelor’s degree. “Not only were they able to find new jobs, they were able to find jobs that pay more and give them more opportunities,” said associate director of Research Juliana Menasce Horowitz. “They’re finding these opportunities fairly easily,” she added.
While survey responses were similar among men and women, respondents without a college degree and non-white adults were more likely to cite a desire for more flexibility, working too few hours and an employer requiring a COVID-19 vaccine as reasons for quitting.
Of the quitters, younger adults and those with lower incomes were more likely to leave their jobs. 37% of respondents younger than 30 quit, according to Pew.
The analysis from Pew was based on a survey of 6,627 American workers, including 965 who say they left a job by choice last year.
The tech sector’s sentiments largely mirror those of American workers at large, especially on the point of flexibility. In a survey of tech workers over the summer of 2021, 39% told Protocol that they strongly agreed that it’s important for their company to let them work remotely indefinitely.
“Workers really value flexibility,” and it’s even more important to them than other benefits like paid time off, according to Horowitz.
Michelle Ma (@himichellema) is a reporter at Protocol, where she writes about management, leadership and workplace issues in tech. Previously, she was a news editor of live journalism and special coverage for The Wall Street Journal. Prior to that, she worked as a staff writer at Wirecutter. She can be reached at mma@protocol.com.
Today’s job landscape is challenging for organizations looking to recruit and retain top tech talent. Recent labor trends, many of which are fueling The Great Resignation, have shown leaders across industries that their employees are searching for more. In addition to conversations around compensation and work conditions, they want opportunities to grow professionally and to level up their careers.
The tech industry continues to face a persistent talent shortage, and exacerbating this challenge is the increasing difficulty for organizations to retain their current workforce. A recent survey reported that 72% of respondents working in IT were planning to quit their jobs in the next 12 months. Additionally, another survey of technology executives shows that tech executives believe finding qualified talent is their biggest current challenge.
How can organizations keep their technology talent happy and engaged? How can they not only attract, but also retain top-level technology talent so their companies can continue innovating and delivering value to customers? Technology organizations need to look internally to find the talent they seek by upskilling and reskilling their existing tech workforce. For this vision to become a reality, organizations must focus on being creators, rather than consumers, of talent.

I’d like to share three examples of why companies must shift from simply consuming talent to creating a talent base that will carry them into the future.
Building winning teams may be the most difficult task for any business leader. This is especially true for building technology teams, where the competition for talent has never been more fierce.
1-800-Contacts is an excellent example of a company that recognized the challenge of finding qualified tech talent to fill its open tech roles and created an innovative solution to combat the problem. As the competition to hire tech talent increased, the company decided to implement a program that focused on upskilling from within the organization. To accomplish this, they created their CTAC University training program, and partnered with Pluralsight to create programs with which they could upskill, reskill and onboard technology workers with speed.
As part of the program, 1-800-Contacts created a formalized pathway for employees from across the business to join the company’s technology organization. As a result, the company has been able to create new career pathways for top performers, retain institutional knowledge and create a new pool of candidates to address tech worker shortages. The company is taking call-center employees that are brought into the company culture and turning them into software engineers and IT experts.
One of the most common themes we see when working with companies looking to develop their workforce is that technology innovation is changing so rapidly that it’s difficult for tech teams to keep pace. The most successful companies counter this by developing a culture focused on skill development that maps to their organizational goals.
Accenture recognized the pace of tech innovation and the need to build technology acumen across its organization. Accenture partnered with Pluralsight to develop its “Technology Quotient,” or TQ program, to address skills and knowledge gaps and ensure its teams had the tools to get the most out of technology. TQ helps build tech fluency across the organization and keeps all team members (tech and non-tech) engaged and up to speed on the rapidly changing tech landscape.

Since its launch less than two years ago, Accenture has used TQ to upskill more than 100,000 people. And it’s accomplished this incredible feat in a remote work environment. The program’s customized learning paths allow for collaboration between team members at different levels, helping to grow tech skills at scale within the organization.
One of the biggest lessons that we’re learning as companies vie for top tech talent is that technologists want to feel engaged and have the tools and programs at their disposal to grow. Tech workers feel more engaged when they’re given opportunities to learn and develop. Pluralsight’s recent State of Upskilling report indicated that more than half of the technologists surveyed value opportunities to grow professionally more than they value competitive compensation.
When workers aren’t engaged, companies can suffer the consequences. Workers with greater institutional knowledge are harder to replace and losing them can derail project timelines and product launches. Losing a technical or senior employee can cost up to 150% of that employee’s salary, according to Built In.
Manulife is a shining example of an organization that embraced a culture of upskilling to keep its technology teams happy and engaged while driving innovation. Manulife is working to break down the “myth” that top talent comes only in the form of the “7-year veteran engineer.” Instead, it wants to be an example: that you can hire junior talent, grow that talent within your organization and create a talent pipeline that serves the business for years to come. The company created several programs to assist its 10,000 engineers as they develop the technology acumen and skills they need to accomplish the company’s most important technology initiatives. These programs include a comprehensive upskilling program as well as an onboarding process that they call “Manulife University,” which helps get their new tech talent up to speed quickly.

During the onboarding process, Manulife measured the time it took for its engineers to get up to 100 lines of code. It saw that engineers who were able to get up to speed more quickly reported higher job satisfaction and generated more referrals for new talent.
These companies exemplify how to address one of the biggest problems in our industry. As organizations grapple with finding tech talent in a market that has too few qualified candidates to fill roles, resourceful organizations understand that if you can’t find it, you must build it. It’s these organizations that will win as we push into an increasingly digital world.
Jonathan Douglas ( @jondouglas27) is an enterprise researcher and growth manager at Protocol, based out of Washington, D.C., Before joining Protocol, he worked as a customer solutions manager at AWS, where he helped enterprise companies adopt cloud technology. He graduated from Brown University with degrees in computer science and political science.
Kevin McAllister ( @k__mcallister) is a Research Editor at Protocol, leading the development of Braintrust. Prior to joining the team, he was a rankings data reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where he oversaw structured data projects for the Journal’s strategy team.
Jonathan Douglas ( @jondouglas27) is an enterprise researcher and growth manager at Protocol, based out of Washington, D.C., Before joining Protocol, he worked as a customer solutions manager at AWS, where he helped enterprise companies adopt cloud technology. He graduated from Brown University with degrees in computer science and political science.
With the crypto industry complaining about “patchwork” regulation, the White House is showing it takes digital assets seriously.
The Treasury Department will study cryptocurrencies under a new White House executive order.
Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers crypto and fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at bpimentel@protocol.com or via Signal at (510)731-8429.
President Joe Biden will sign an executive order on cryptocurrencies Wednesday that lays out his administration’s game plan for a fast-moving and controversial technology, officials said.
The order is described as a “first-ever, whole-of-government” approach to digital assets as they are rapidly upending the global financial system and, with the war in Ukraine, have become an important foreign policy concern.
Biden is not expected to unveil any specific proposals, based on a briefing by senior administration officials. But the order will direct the executive branch to pursue a range of initiatives in areas which have already received considerable attention from federal agencies and Congress.
The executive order was the result of a series of discussions with experts within the U.S. government and other stakeholders, including sessions that the officials called Crypto Sundays, the officials said.
Kristin Smith, executive director of the Blockchain Association, a major crypto lobbying organization, called the executive order “a major milestone for the crypto industry,” which has had to deal with “a patchwork of rules from multiple agencies, with guidelines that are sometimes vague or contradictory.”

With the order’s directive to study digital assets in depth, “the U.S. has the opportunity to set clear and consistent rules of the road that nurture crypto innovation while protecting consumers,” she told Protocol.
Benjamin Pimentel ( @benpimentel) covers crypto and fintech from San Francisco. He has reported on many of the biggest tech stories over the past 20 years for the San Francisco Chronicle, Dow Jones MarketWatch and Business Insider, from the dot-com crash, the rise of cloud computing, social networking and AI to the impact of the Great Recession and the COVID crisis on Silicon Valley and beyond. He can be reached at bpimentel@protocol.com or via Signal at (510)731-8429.
Plus, the pros and cons of a $1,600 monitor.
David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol’s editorial director. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.
On this episode of the Source Code podcast: Apple’s latest launch event turned into something of a Mac showcase. And featured much more chip discussion than your average launch event. Protocol’s Caitlin McGarry joins the show to talk about the new Mac Studio, iPad Air, iPhone SE and everything else Apple announced on Tuesday, plus what it all means and why laptops and desktops are suddenly the hottest gadgets on the market.
For more on the topics in this episode:
Subscribe to the show: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Overcast | Pocket Casts
David Pierce ( @pierce) is Protocol’s editorial director. Prior to joining Protocol, he was a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, a senior writer with Wired, and deputy editor at The Verge. He owns all the phones.
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