Wharton Executive Education and UBS Launch ''Career Comeback,'' A New Program for Women Reentering the Workforce: Women Returning to Work after a Career Hiatus Face Obstacles; New Program Supports Women in Career Transition

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The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and UBS have partnered to launch a new executive education program for women returning to the workforce. Career Comeback: A UBS Fellowship Program for Professional Women Reentering the Workforce, led by Academic Director Monica McGrath, PhD, adjunct associate professor of management at Wharton, will enable participants to update their business knowledge, develop transition strategies, and network with business leaders.

We continually face the challenge of talent shortages in certain business areas

The executive education program is designed to train women, who often face a number of obstacles when returning to the workforce, including a diminished network, challenging family policies, technological advancements, regulatory changes, and the effects of mergers and acquisitions. These challenges, as well as personal and family responsibilities, are hurdles that can be overcome with the right preparation.

This program, which will be underwritten by UBS, will be held March 3-4, 2007, with the first two days at Wharton's campus in Philadelphia. On March 5, participants will attend an additional day of training at UBS in New York City, during which they will be paired with UBS peer coaches.

A 2004-2005 study by McGrath and two Wharton alumnae (Marla Driscoll and Mary Gross) found that 43 percent of the women surveyed stayed out of the workforce longer than they expected, and 87 percent of those who initially never planned to return to work changed their minds. Many reentered by joining smaller companies and often shifted industries or functional roles. McGrath found that the women often faced a difficult transition.

"Female executives who leave the corporate world when they hit a glass ceiling, want to raise a family full time, or decide to focus on other interests encounter frustrating roadblocks in their attempts to reenter the workforce," McGrath said. "To overcome these obstacles, women must update their skills and stay on top of general business trends."

At the same time, employers are looking at flexibility and work-life balance as ways to recruit and retain employees. To that end, UBS is committed to developing programs that help women transition back to work in many of its businesses around the globe.

"We continually face the challenge of talent shortages in certain business areas," said Mona Lau, global head of diversity for UBS. "To that end, we are always looking for good people -- and we think there is a huge, untapped talent base in women who have left the workforce for different reasons. Many of them are ready and willing to come back but not exactly sure how. We feel we have an obligation to help ease the way for those who have the interest in coming back to the workforce."

Career Comeback is a highly-selective program designed for women with a minimum of 5 years of professional experience who have taken a career hiatus of between 2 and 7 years. An MBA or other graduate degree is also required. The program, with the support of UBS, will be provided to participants at no charge. To prepare for the reentry process, participants will:

-- Update critical business knowledge, with a focus on finance, marketing, and strategy

-- Receive career coaching to hone their skills

-- Create transition strategies and action plans for reentry into the workforce

-- Benefit from faculty research and corporate perspectives

In addition, the program also focuses on networking. "Leveraging the participants and faculty to provide a learning community for one another is an important part of the program," McGrath said.

"At UBS, we know from experience that talented women can successfully relaunch their careers," said Lau. "We're confident that the Wharton faculty will give them the cutting-edge information they need so that they can hit the ground running."

About the Wharton School

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania -- founded in 1881 as the first collegiate business school -- is recognized globally for intellectual leadership and ongoing innovation across every major discipline of business education. The most comprehensive source of business knowledge in the world, Wharton bridges research and practice through its broad engagement with the global business community. The school has more than 4600 undergraduate, MBA, executive MBA, and doctoral students; and an alumni network of more than 81,000 graduates.

Each year, Wharton Executive Education works with more than 8,000 business leaders on its campus in Philadelphia, at Wharton West in San Francisco, and at sites around the world. The Wharton Learning Continuum is Wharton Executive Education's model for delivering Impact Through Education(TM) -- supporting companies and individuals in a 9- to 12-month learning process that is designed collaboratively with clients, delivered by Wharton faculty, and monitored to produce specific outcomes.

Wharton at 125

About UBS

UBS is one of the world's leading financial firms, serving a discerning global client base. As an organization, it combines financial strength with an international culture that embraces change. As an integrated firm, UBS creates added value for clients by drawing on the combined resources and expertise of all its businesses.

UBS is one of the world's largest wealth managers, a top-tier investment banking and securities firm, and one of the largest global asset managers. In Switzerland, UBS is the market leader in retail and commercial banking.

UBS is present in all major financial centers worldwide. It has offices in 50 countries, with about 39% of its employees working in the Americas, 36% in Switzerland, 16% in the rest of Europe and 9% in Asia Pacific. UBS's financial businesses employ around 75,000 people around the world. Its shares are listed on the SWX Swiss Stock Exchange, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE).

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