Ivey and CIBC announce second year of helping accomplished women step back into their careers with ReConnect(TM): Career renewal for returning professional women

    LONDON, ON, Sept. 8 /CNW/ - When highly qualified women take a number of
years away from their careers for other pursuits, many find it challenging to
step back into their careers with confidence. This challenge is magnified by
the current level of unemployment in Canada, which is the highest in over a
decade. Where can they turn for help?
    Now in its second year, ReConnect(TM) is a uniquely designed program that
helps accomplished, professional women who have taken time away from the
workforce to re-enter at a leadership level.
    This annual seven-day immersion program is taught in the fall at The
University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business. As the
program's founding sponsor, CIBC provided $1 million over five years to fund
the program and offer assistance to ensure access to the program for women
with financial need.
    ReConnect does more than help rebuild women's confidence as they restart
their careers. In addition to giving women the updated skills and knowledge
they need, it also gives them the toolkit required to re-enter the workforce
    ReConnect renews critical business knowledge, provides leadership skills,
and serves as an important stepping stone for professional women looking to
return to the workforce.
    "ReConnect was an exceptional program and true to its name. The faculty
members and everyone else involved in the program were first class. It
provided women like me with a unique opportunity to refresh and hone our
skills so that we would be prepared to enter and make a real difference in the
corporate world. Thanks to Ivey and CIBC, I am now re-energized and re-focused
on my career." - Sangeeta Chopra-Charron, 2008 ReConnect graduate
    "This program reinforces Ivey's commitment to women in business.
Inspiring women to reconnect with their chosen career path - or to explore a
new professional path - positions them to support Canada's long-term economic
growth. Reaching out to successful, yet overlooked, groups is crucial as
Canadian companies struggle with an increasing talent gap," said Carol
Stephenson, Dean of the Richard Ivey School of Business. "We're delighted that
our partnership with CIBC is helping women to successfully reconnect with
their chosen careers."
    "Canadian businesses benefit from having a strong complement of talented
women in their ranks," said Jacqueline Moss, CIBC's Executive Vice-President
of Human Resources. "ReConnect provides a source of professional women for
employers looking to reinforce their management teams with highly skilled
leaders. We are pleased to be the founding sponsor of ReConnect, and to have
business leaders from CIBC play an active role in sharing knowledge, business
experience and views on leadership."
    The 2009 program will take place at the Richard Ivey School of Business
in London, Ontario from October 26 to 30, followed by an intensive two-day
extension and graduation in Toronto on November 16 and 17.
    "We've been very pleased with the success of the graduates from the
inaugural program," said Mary Heisz, Faculty Director, ReConnect. "It's a
privilege to work with and help fulfill the ambitions of women of this
    It is expected that participants in the program have a post-secondary
education and possess professional experience at a managerial or executive
level. Candidates come from a range of fields, such as business, law, finance,
accounting or not-for-profit and are motivated to reconnect with their careers
after having taken a leave of absence to focus on other activities like
raising their family, taking care of aging parents or pursuing their own
business aspirations.
    For more information and to apply online, visit
www.reconnectyourcareer.ca or call 1-800-948-8548.

    About ReConnect

    ReConnect: Career renewal for returning professional women is focused on
professional women who have taken time off from their careers. The program
renews their leadership, business and technical skills; builds their peer
network and personal brand; and helps participants develop an action plan to
return to work. ReConnect is similar to successful programs at Harvard
Business School, Tuck Business School at Dartmouth and the Wharton School of
the University of Pennsylvania.

    About CIBC

    CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11
million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of
products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network,
branches and offices across Canada, in the United States and around the world.
You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press
Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

    About the Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western

    The Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario
(www.ivey.ca) offers undergraduate (HBA) and graduate (MBA, Executive MBA and
PhD) degree programs in addition to non-degree Executive Development programs.
Ivey has campuses in London (Ontario), Toronto, and Hong Kong. Ivey recently
redesigned its curriculum to focus on Cross-Enterprise Leadership - a holistic
issues-based approach to management education that meets the demands of
today's complex global business world.

For further information:

For further information: CIBC: Doug Maybee, (416) 980-7458,
doug.maybee@cibc.com; Ivey: Mary Weil, (416) 203-0664, mweil@ivey.ca

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