More mothers want full-time employment, according to a new report from Pew Research Center.

These women represent a valuable and potentially vast talent pool.  In 2010, more than 10 million with children under 18 were not in the labor force, according to research reported by Catalyst.  Many are highly skilled with the potential to be a valuable asset to an organization.

Employers that take advantage of this untapped talent resource will have an edge as competition for talent tightens in the years ahead.  But reaching this talent pool means changing the hiring mindset to look beyond the “up-and-comers” to broader sources of talent.  It means creating onboarding programs that help women returning to the workforce get back up to speed as quickly as possible.  And it means taking real steps to help all employees improve work-life balance, a struggle that affects women even more than men, according to the Pew research

One hopeful sign has appeared in the reaction to Sheryl Sandberg’s new book.  For all the backlash from critics who feel Sandberg is blaming women, the book also may encourage corporate leaders to do more.  The Wall Street Journal’s ” All Things Digital” website reports that Cisco CEO John Chambers has asked his top managers to come up with new women-focused initiatives.

Here’s hoping other CEOs follow suit, and that some of those initiatives focus on women re-entering the workforce.

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