PROPEL – Current Situation Allowing Women to Focus, Assess, and Obtain Skills


Alissa Shams and Randi Eisenstein, Co-Executive Directors of PROPEL

It doesn’t take an expert to discern that life has become more challenging. Our children are attending virtual school at home, which requires monitoring by parents. Chores, including preparation of meals and laundry, are taking up a significant amount of our days. Family members are carving out their own work spaces in their homes. But despite the current challenges, the advent of social distancing has allowed people to take more time to focus on those things that, under normal circumstances, wouldn’t have been a priority.

“Listening” is the first thing that comes to mind. For the last few years, many people found it hard to be fully attentive while being addressed by a peer. Whether it be in the classroom or at the dining room table, life’s many distractions usually made attentiveness an impossibility.

Nowadays, however, life has obviously slowed down. Although news of the virus keeps pouring in, most of us find ourselves surrounded by only one cohort: family. With nowhere to go, we are now able to spend real, quality time with our families. We have heard from many that they actually feel calmer being surrounded exclusively by loved ones.

Resilience is another thing that comes to mind. In the documentary Defiance, a group of Jews flee into the forest during the Holocaust and wind up becoming partisans. They ultimately survive the Nazis – and yet they did so not only by fighting, but also by building a community. Everyone in the forest contributed their skills for the sake of the wider community. Consequently, they were able to survive and thrive.

Now, more than ever, individual, family, community, and organizational resilience will be tested. We must all reflect and assess our own abilities in an effort to help those around us. Likewise, we should take it upon ourselves to acquire new skills to advance and become more productive to help our families and our community.

PROPEL is proud to report that many of our clients are taking the time to do just that. Women involved in technology careers are now taking online courses in web development, while graphic designers are now taking advanced courses to finesse their skills. Additionally, PROPEL clients are taking online classes in interior design, bookkeeping, and Microsoft Office certification. Women are moving forward!

This past month, PROPEL launched a “Let’s Chat” Zoom evening series connecting with our clients and other community members. It is heartwarming to hear young mothers describe their achieving a new balance of working at home while caring for their children and maintaining their households. It has not been easy, but they are appreciating some accomplishments and quality family time.

Ellen Ades, our career coach, has been speaking with multitudes of women in a variety of circumstances.  Ellen advises, “Be kind to yourself and to each other. Each household is like its own small company; there must be organization and cooperation. Everyone has to contribute.” Strongly believing that there is greatness inherent in each individual, Ellen further advises women to “navigate one day at a time, and try practicing gratitude regularly.” Ellen says, “I have nothing but admiration and respect for the women managing so many responsibilities at once.”

PROPEL understands that home demands have increased for everyone, but we nevertheless have confidence in the ability of women to continue balancing those obligations with their professional lives.

The team at PROPEL is here to listen and advise. Whether it be for a new client or an old friend, we are waiting to help you figure out your next steps professionally.

If you are interested in a career, please reach out to PROPEL and we can help you fulfill your professional goal.

PROPEL 646-494-0822 |