Carol Fishman Cohen

Carol Fishman Cohen

Chair and Co-Founder, iRelaunch

Carol Fishman Cohen, builder of corporate career re-entry programs and leader of the iRelaunch #returntowork community (now over 80,000 strong) is a pioneer in the career re-entry space. Her viral TED talk “How to get back to work after a career break,” has over 3 million views and is translated into 30 languages. She is the host of the popular 3,2,1 iRelaunch podcast and is the author of the seminal Harvard Business Review article “The 40-Year-Old Intern”which was recognized as an “HBR Article That Changed the Way I Think” as part of HBR’s 90th anniversary recognition of HBR articles that made the biggest difference in readers and contributors lives, and was the subject of a TODAY Show segment. Her recent HBR article “Should You Accept a Lower-level Job After a Career Break?” garnered over 1200 reactions and almost 400 comments on LinkedIn when it was featured by their editors, and topped the HBR weekly “Hotlist.” Cohen’s articles have been published in HBR, Fairygodboss, Forbes and Next Avenue. Regularly quoted in the national press as a subject matter expert on career re-entry, and a sought-after international speaker, Carol has addressed over 500 audiences.

Carol received the Target Storyteller’s Award on the main stage of the 2019 Massachusetts Conference for Women before 11,000 attendees. She was named to the 2017 Thinkers50 Radar list of 30 leading management thinkers and was shortlisted for the 2017 Thinkers50 Distinguished Achievement Awards in the “Talent” category. She received the 2017 “Enterprising Woman Award” from the Women’s Enterprise Development Center and the Society of Women Engineers President’s Award in 2017 for co-founding the STEM Re-entry Task Force. In October 2018 Carol received the National Military Spouse Impact Award for her significant contributions in the arena of military spouse employment. iRelaunch was a finalist for the 2017 MassTLC Building a Better Workforce Award.

Cohen and the iRelaunch team produce the iRelaunch Return to Work Conferences and work with over 100 global companies on return to work programs of all kinds. iRelaunch co-leads the STEM Re-entry Task Force with the Society of Women Engineers, which has 32 corporate members, representing leading companies in industry sectors including technology, defense, aerospace, pharma, automobiles, industrial equipment, oil and gas, and more. Hundreds of relaunchers have participated in Task Force company return to work programs to date, and over 80%  have been hired. Cohen is a relauncher herself, having returned to work at Bain Capital after an 11 year career break before co-founding iRelaunch. A graduate of Pomona College and Harvard Business School, she lives outside of Boston. Website:, Twitter: @iRelaunch

My Sessions

Returnships and other corporate return to work programs have been around since 2005 and are currently proliferating at unprecedented rates. The reason for their popularity is threefold: the conversion rates are impressive, they are a vehicle for engaging with a population that has previously been considered risky to hire, and they are attracting a high […]

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