It’s no secret the pandemic took a toll on women’s participation in the U.S. workforce. Increasingly demanding family and childcare obligations fueled by the pandemic forced many women to leave their jobs. The National Women's Law Center reports 2.1 million women left the workforce between January 2020 and December 2020. As COVID swept across the globe, women lost 11.9 million job positions. Although Labor Department numbers show a gain of 528,000 U.S. jobs in July 2022, women are 100,000 jobs shy of their pre-COVID employment level. The news isn’t all bad, though. Research by the Brookings Institution shows women with at least a bachelor’s degree who are 25 to 44 years old had returned to their pre-COVID labor participation levels. As we begin to put the worst of the pandemic in our rearview mirror, Forté is focused on helping women move forward in their careers. Our fall programs and events — many of which are free — will help you move forward in your career. 1. Explore Your Career Options The pandemic may have inspired you to consider a new career, a new industry, or a new way of striking work-life balance. Forté’s free Conquer Your Career webinar series connects you with MBA alumni who share personal experiences, offer advice, and answer questions. Mark your calendar for our upcoming webinars: Finance Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022, from 1 – 2 pm ET. General Management Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, from 1 – 2 pm ET. Brand and Product Management Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, from 1 – 2 pm ET. Entrepreneurship Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023, from 1 – 2 pm ET. International and Global Careers Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023, from 1 – 2 pm ET. We record these webinars and will make them available on demand afterward, but why not join us live? Bring your questions because each session includes a Q&A with the featured guests. 2. Remember What You Bring to the Table If the pandemic left you feeling particularly isolated, you may be craving some interaction with your peers. Forté’s 30-minute Women Lead: Coffee & Careers webinars (available exclusively to our Access Pass members) will help you recognize and maximize your personal strengths. Take a coffee break with Forté and Diane Fennig, a consultant with the Human Capital Group who has more than 25 years of career development and management experience. The Power of Your LinkedIn Profile Monday, Sept. 19, 2022, from 12:15 – 12:45 pm ET. Forté’s Women Lead webinars are designed to make you a better leader. Each live, online event is an opportunity to learn directly from leading experts, authors, and senior executives from top companies and business schools. These insightful and inspiring 30- to 60-minute webinars explore leadership, career advancement, and improving your job performance. New webinars are added regularly. Register in advance to join live. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022 Women Lead: Georgetown University - McDonough School of Business, “Leading and Working with Diverse Teams” Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022 Women Lead: University of Chicago - Booth School of Business, “Lessons from the Science of Motivation with Professor Ayelet Fishbach” 3. Put Yourself Out There (Virtually) At Forté, we love bringing together top companies and talented women of all backgrounds. If you’re looking for a new job, it helps to communicate directly with people at the companies that interest you, and you can do that at our upcoming Virtual Career Fair. This is a free opportunity to meet with representatives from Forté partner companies, find out what they’re looking for, and learn about their current openings. Save the date for the Forté Virtual Career Fair on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022, from noon to 3 pm. 4. Undergrads, Prepare for Your Future For undergraduate students, the future could mean a strong career, professional development, and a well-built network of peers and colleagues, but what about an MBA? Forté’s new MBALaunch for Undergrads program was created for students who want to save their seat in a future MBA classroom and save money on the GMAT. Want to learn more about deferred MBA programs and how to build your best MBA application? Enroll now: First Round Deadline: Aug. 28, 2022, 11:59 pm ET. Second Round Deadline: Sept. 11, 2022, 11:59 pm ET. Final deadline: Oct. 2, 2022, 11:59 pm ET. 5. Early Career Women, Discover the Value of an MBA The decision to get an MBA is a big one. If you’re unsure how to even begin the process, Forté can help. Our free virtual MBA Forums connect you with top business schools and gets your questions answered. Choose the event that works for your schedule: Virtual Forté MBA Forum on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022, from 11 a.m. – 2 pm ET. This event is focused on full-time MBA programs. Virtual Forté MBA Forum on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, from 11 a.m. – 2 pm ET. This event is focused on full-time MBA programs. Virtual Forté MBA Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2022, from 11 a.m. – 2 pm ET. This event is focused on part-time and Executive MBA programs. Forté MBALaunch, an eight-month personal and professional development program, provides a structured road map for building your best MBA application. You’ll receive step-by-step application guidance, access to supportive peer groups and a network of hundreds who are business school bound. Applications are open for the 2023 cohort. Learn more and apply today. Want more? See our list of Forté’s upcoming events. That’s also where you’ll find links to video recordings of our previous webinars.