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(Photo via Shutterstock).
(Photo via Shutterstock).

Retention is one of the biggest obstacles to gender equity in the workforce. Far more women than men take time off to care for children and elderly relatives and then struggle to pick up where they left off.

Seattle area women facing those barriers will soon have new resources to help with the transition back to work. ReBoot, a Silicon Valley training program that helps women re-enter the workforce, is launching in Seattle this month.

rebootBeginning Sept. 21, participants will meet once a week for three hours at the University of Washington’s CoMotion Labs. The eight-week program will include training in tech tools and trends, social media, presentation skills, resume building, interviewing, and productivity. It kicks off with a PreBoot session to help women get their computers and phones up-to-date with current apps and software.

Those tools are vital, but they don’t come cheap with ReBoot. The regular cost of the program is $1,295 but ReBoot is offering a special inaugural price of $795 to women who register by Sept. 21.

Bellevue, Wash.-based Expedia is sponsoring ReBoot’s Seattle expansion and offering scholarships to help with the cost. So far, the travel giant has provided five full scholarships to candidates who go through a short application process.

“We’ve received some compelling essays and want to consider as many qualified applicants as we can,” said Cindy Harvey-Benzing, a member of the ReBoot Seattle team.

After staying home with her son for several years, Harvey-Benzing chose the ReBoot program as a more cost-effective alternative to hiring a career coach.

“Deciding to work with ReBoot Seattle was an easy decision because of our dedication to helping bring more women into the workforce, specifically into leadership roles,” Nikki Krishnamurthy, Expedia’s Chief People Officer, said in a statement. “We are excited because this program will benefit not only Expedia but all companies in the Puget Sound region.”

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