The course is the brainchild of Prof Myra Hart, who had already been running short, two-day courses for women who were keen of maintaining their skills whilst out of the loop. New Path, however, sets out to give a leg-up to women ready to get back into work.
"New Path is a combination of deep dive into yourself, a look at who you are and understanding what is really satisfying you," says Hart. "What's the best utilisation of your skills that will really make you happy?"
The course, which first ran this spring, featured sessions on updating skills in marketing, accounting, finance, IT, negotiations etc. Hart also organised sessions with the library staff on research skills, and meetings with the career service to develop a strategic action plan. "Interestingly enough, they [women] also asked us for a session on a bit of fashion, hair and makeup, kind of like 'I've been out of this game and I don't know the right way to present myself physically for this'."
The course has been offered exclusively to HBS alumni but Hart is considering opening it to a wider public. "I think in terms of numbers, the programme has to reach out, or we won’t be able to sustain it. I also think we have a responsibility as an organisation to make this available."
Source: Women Find New Path To Work
HBS Working Knowledge, May 15 2006
Review by Emilie Filou