Former Fortune 500 Executive Launches the Reserve Squad to Close the Workforce Gender Leadership Gap

As the pandemic puts life as we know it on hold, businesses have never been more challenged to find innovative ways to retain female talent and achieve gender equality in leadership roles. To enable companies to strengthen their female employees’ loyalty and facilitate a seamless return to the workforce after unanticipated career interruptions, a Cincinnati-based female executive is launching the Reserve Squad.

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Teresa Tanner created Reserve Squad to offer companies a way to preserve women in the talent pipeline and ultimately increase gender representation, by helping an organization create a new workforce of reserve talent that can be accessed for temporary or project work.

“Companies cannot afford to lose talented women, and the unprecedented challenges of today’s work environment only exacerbates the issue,” said Teresa Tanner, founder and CEO of Reserve Squad. “Reserve Squad enables companies to stop talent pipeline leaks that disproportionately affect women to achieve the important goal of gender parity.”

Once embedded in an organization, the Reserve Squad manages the new “reservist” job classification for women who need flexibility when caretaking or during other life circumstances. Instead of watching women leave the workforce in record numbers, employers offer women a new way to work while also creating and leveraging a robust pool of reserve talent that can deliver high quality on-demand work. Reserve Squad keeps the reservist community ready to contribute at all times through continuous access to developmental training, company updates, and opportunities to serve as brand ambassadors and company advocates.

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Seven months into the pandemic, women are facing choices that could upend the advances they have made in the workforce. A new study by McKinsey & Co. shows that about one in five working mothers say they are considering leaving work, compared with about one in 10 men.

When women leave work – regardless the reason or length of the absence – they not only lose income, but also forfeit seniority, forgo promotions and miss making retirement fund contributions. Companies suffer, too. Lost talent means costly recruiting, on-boarding and productivity diminished to the learning curve.

“We simply cannot allow this to occur,” said Tanner, who has served as an operations and human resources executive. “Companies are seeing valuable talent leave and losing these women cannot be an option.”

Teresa Tanner has been featured in interviews with the Wall Street Journal, the TODAY show, Fast Company and Bloomberg. Her innovative programs to help companies retain women have been honored by the Bank Administration Institute and American Banker.

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