Ready. Set. Work!

Integrating & Including

Women get more than advice at this job seminar
  • 5 Gender Equality
  • 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 10 Reduced Inequalities


When the more than 100 women show up for this seminar each year, many of them are a little apprehensive and nervous. And why not? Each one has been out of the workforce for various reasons. While they come with the promise of leaving with a professional resume and some advice on job searches and networking, they leave with something they didn’t expect—a level of confidence they hadn’t felt in years. If ever.

Since 2006, ManpowerGroup’s global headquarters has hosted the annual Ready. Set. Work! Women’s Job Seminar. The goal is specific—to help women who live in areas of high unemployment, underrepresentation, and other social and economic challenges get the tools, skills, and confidence, to close the gap in their employment history. The reasons for the gaps include everything from taking time off to raise a family or a lack of transportation, to being a victim of domestic abuse or incarceration. But on this day, each woman comes with the motivation and ambition to succeed.


During the day-long event, the ManpowerGroup team, community partners, and previous participants share their job searching skills and knowledge, as well as empathy and encouragement—all so that the participants have a chance to reach their full personal and professional potential. Each woman gets coaching on realistic job opportunities, help finding their strengths, and guidance on potential career paths. All of the women say they get a perspective from the employer’s point of view that they have never seen—one that will help them land a job in the near future.

How the attendees view the Annual Women’s Seminar

  • 98%
    gained skills to create a resume
  • 99%
    increased knowledge on getting a job
  • 97%
    expressed confidence going forward


Creating a resume after an employment break or career change can be intimidating. Throughout the seminar, participants interact directly with professionals in their desired career field, and they become well-versed through real-time feedback. By the end of the day, women have created a resume that speaks to their skills and experiences, practiced mock interviews with prospective employers, and received advice from a professional mentor. Everything is geared toward making each individual stand out for their own merits and abilities.


The seminar is invaluable for women to get back on their feet—with community partners giving them access to resources they may not have even known were available. Programs including food sharing, mental health, transportation, medical benefits, and childcare services—among others—remove friction and judgment from the steps everybody needs to take to care for their basic daily needs.

“I grew up in Milwaukee; I was raised here. Being able to give back to these women—to empower them—it makes me feel like I'm doing something right.” — Nafessa Burdine, Community Investment and Sustainability Leader ManpowerGroup


In addition to the tools, skills, and resources the women take away from the seminar, they also leave with tangible reminders of the day to use in networking and interviews. Each gets professional headshots taken at the event, as well as fashion advice and their choice of an accessory to wear to interviews. And courtesy of ManpowerGroup, every participant gets to carry away a leather padfolio for their resume—a physical reminder of the confidence they’ll carry with them for the rest of their life.


After the event, attendees have a hard time keeping the generosity they’ve received—from ManpowerGroup and others—to themselves. Few moments of the day are as meaningful and inspiring as when previous participants return to share their experiences and knowledge and provide hope to the next generation of women. While some return, others use their success to fuel others—like one past participant, who utilized resources she learned about through the seminar to secure a car loan. She not only purchased a car, she started a carpool to help other women get to work.

“Women helping women—that’s what the day is all about.” — 2018 Volunteer

The success of the seminar is evident every year, as it quickly fills beyond capacity. And as each woman experiences growth, so the community grows—and the barriers to education, mentorship, and meaningful employment shrink.

  • 4 Quality Education
  • 5 Gender Equality
  • 8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 10 Reduced Inequalities
Challenge Accepted