Julia Melin

Department of Sociology

Mid-career Internships and Labor Market Re-entry Outcomes for Opt Out Workers


Research has shown that mothers and fathers who temporarily “opt out” of the workforce for caregiving face penalties when they seek to return. Mid-career internships, or “returnships”, have recently emerged to address this form of discrimination by encouraging employers across the private sector to hire opt out professionals through trial employment programs. However, it remains unclear how these programs translate to employers in the broader labor market if the returnship experience does not convert into full-time employment. Thus, my project examines the short- and long-term career consequences of participating in a returnship program, and whether receiving this form of re-entry assistance differentially shapes the evaluations of opt out mothers and fathers re-entering the workforce. Data from this series or original survey experiments will shed light on the gendered implications of receiving career re-entry assistance, and provide valuable research evidence for organizational policies and programs designed to attract and reabsorb workers back into the labor market. .

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