PayPal makes a play for top female talent
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PayPal makes a play for top female talent

Over the last month, a light has been shined yet again on diversity in Silicon Valley. This time, the spark of controversy was lit by a Google employee who penned a memo questioning the extent to which inherent differences between men and women may explain the relative lack of diversity amongst engineers in the tech sector.

PayPal is one company, however, that is definitely not on board with these views. The company has unveiled a new initiative designed to protect and cultivate career paths for its female employees, called Recharge, that should make it easier for women returning from maternity leave to slot back into the company without being penalized for their decision to start a family.

PayPal’s share price is up by 51% so far this year


SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

The goal of the program, which will accept “returnee” internships for 18 paid weeks, is to transition as many capable women as possible back into full-time employment. PayPal’s executive sponsor of Recharge and senior director, product manager, M. J. Austin, describes the initiative as follows:

“We wanted to address the drop-off of women in the workforce at the midpoint level and head it off. We started by holding focus groups about women leaving; if it was to start a family, we don’t want to change that, but we found there were too many barriers to reentry once they decided to pick their careers back up. With programs like Recharge, we are trying to build a system to address these blocks to reentry and help get these women to come back.”

PayPal no doubt hopes to foster a public image that embraces the liberal culture many of its consumers and top executives share. But it will also hope that this program results in the poaching of top female talent, giving it a competitive edge. Austin is clear that this second goal is what drives the program, saying:

“Great talent can sometimes come from unexpected places, and implementing a returnship program can help organizations tap into a new source of diverse, skilled, and highly-motivated professionals.”


Dominion holds PayPal in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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