‘Untapped Potential’ helps stay-at-home moms return to the professional world

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CANTON -- "I did take myself out of the workforce - I resigned from my job," says Vicky Harris of Farmington.  A demanding job in pharmaceutical sales - which included travel - was too much after the birth of her sons, now ages 9 and 10.  But, she always felt that "itch" to return to the career she loved before.

"You start to feel like you're not marketable anymore," she said, honestly voicing an emotion felt by many stay-at-home moms.

She turned to Candace Freedenberg, founder of Untapped Potential, helping moms return to the workforce.

"Many lost their network when they opted out.  And confidence and lastly, skill currency," said Freedenberg, noting that Untapped Potential, a for-profit business with a social mission, hosts networking events.  "We’ve connected women who knew each other for twelve years on the sidelines of soccer or the dance floor and didn’t know they were both lawyers."  She also approaches companies about creating "flex returns" and "mid-career internships".

Freedenberg, a mom of three and former optical engineer, was inspired after meeting Kelley Biskupiak, a woman's leadership coach who often works with former stay-at-home moms.

"They’ve forgotten the confident woman they came out of college as," says Biskupiak.  But, she believes the dialogue in the professional arena is changing:  I think we are in real time, defining having it all. I believe we are in the time of the woman right now."

Untapped Potential is having another women's networking event on October 13 in Hartford.  Click here for information.