General Motors Company | Business Roundtable

General Motors Company

Mary Barra

CEO

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Summary of Initiative

GM’s Take 2 Program is a 12-week internship program for experienced technical professionals—primarily women—eager to relaunch their careers after being out of the workforce for two or more years.

The Need

GM has one of the largest workforces in the U.S., with nearly 100,000 direct employees. Empowering unique and diverse perspectives keeps GM on the cutting edge of technological innovation. Many talented individuals—including a number of women— exit the workforce during their professional careers for a variety of reasons. These individuals, who have strong technical skills, personal maturity, and historic knowledge, can face challenges when trying to later re-launch their careers.

The Solution

To help these talented individuals re-enter the workforce, GM launched the Take 2 internship program in 2016. Take 2 has been an effective and popular program for helping parents, caregivers and trailing spouses return to the workforce after taking two or more years off from their careers. Participants receive technical training, professional development and personalized mentoring with GM leaders that prepares them to pursue opportunities in engineering, IT, finance, customer care and other critical functions in GM’s global workforce, with the potential to join the company full-time at the end of the program.

With more than 400 applicants, GM’s first Take 2 cohort included 10 individuals with career gaps from 4-24 years working in two functions. Afterwards, nine participants received and accepted full time employment (FTE) others. Based on that success, GM moved quickly to scale the program to new U.S. and international cities and to expand the number of participating business departments. For the Fall 2017 cohort, GM received more than 3,600 applications for 60 positions in seven departments.

Partnerships and Enabling Public Policies

Partnering with the Society of Women Engineers and iRelaunch, GM is a founding member of the STEM Re-entry Task Force, which aims to create a structural change in the STEM sector by increasing the availability of re-entry internship programs for women with technical expertise.

While Take 2 was initially targeted toward women in STEM careers, the company was so encouraged by the initial success of the program that it expanded Take 2 to include other business functions and participants of all genders.

Outcomes/Benefits

Workforce diversity fosters innovation and increases competitiveness. Without incorporating re-entry programs as part of their corporate recruiting strategies, organizations risk ignoring a valuable source of talent.

Today, more than 65 individuals have completed GM’s Take 2 program, working in  elds ranging from Engineering and IT to Finance, with an overall FTE acceptance rate of more than 98 percent. Based on strong feedback from hiring managers, team members, and the participants themselves, GM plans to continue expanding the program and increasing the cohort size.