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Crowdfund campaign to fund women returning to work

Prowess Project crowdfunding campaign – Breaking down the barriers for women to return to the workforce.

Thank you for contributing to our campaign and spreading the word.  See our rewards here


According to Harvard Business Review, if a woman is out of the workforce for just three years, she loses 37% of her total compensation power for the rest of her life.

We were shocked and furious at this statistic, so we decided to do something about it.  And Prowess Project was born. 

Prowess Project provides expert talent by certifying accomplished women who have taken a pause in their careers and now want flexible, empowering work. Our technology matches the underutilized (wo)manpower with companies based on skill, experience and behavior-style providing a natural fit at a lower cost.


Prowess Project’s goal is to solve the problems for both the women returning to work and the companies who would be hiring them. With that in mind, we interviewed 100 “returners” and 100 hiring managers to better understand their challenges.

For the returners, the #1 barrier that was holding them back was confidence. Second, was the uncertainty of the re-entry path. There were 4 different destinations to access resources, training, a community and a job pool which ultimately proved daunting. 

For the hiring managers, they dreaded the process because there were too many resumes to sift through, lengthy hiring cycles, and onboarding was slow and painful. When asked why they hesitated to hire women who had a résumé gap, we heard the hiring managers feared the women weren’t up to speed on the latest technology and they didn’t have the time to train them.



Prowess Project created a mandatory 16+ hour certification for our talent to complete before entering the job pool. The certification covers confidence, emotional intelligence, communication, and managing team dynamics, as well as project management best practices and the latest tech and remote work.

Once candidates are in the job pool, we match based on skill and experience, but also behavior-style compatibility. This optimization cuts the interview time from an industry average of 24 days to as little as 3 hours. We’re also seeing that a typical candidate’s onboarding shrinks from six weeks to two.


Returning to the workforce is overwhelming. One barrier is the financial investment needed to upskill. For many women, that investment is impossible. Whether it be the financial fallout from a divorce, chipping away at mounds of medical bills or simply the lack of autonomy of finances, Prowess would like to help whenever possible.

The funds from this campaign will go toward providing scholarships to 60 women throughout the year who otherwise would not be able to pay the fee like Jodie here.

“Without the scholarship I received from Prowess Project, I would not have been able to take part in this life-changing training and be matched with the great job I have now. As a single mom, it means the world to be self-sufficient. Thank you, Prowess Project!”

– Jodie S., Project Manager


Prowess Project’s CEO & Founder Ashley Connell (on the right) was inspired to start Prowess Project because of the story of Leah Steinkirch, our Chief of Development (on the left).  Ashley was always anxious about what having children would do to her career. Leah, educated and experienced, had a three-year gap and could only land unpaid internships.

Together, they teamed up to take on this massive social impact problem. 



Thank you from the bottom of our hearts in helping women access the upskilling they need to begin their journey to financial independence. 


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