This past week, the mainstream media reported unemployment is down. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, it’s at 5.3% – the lowest since 2008 when Wall Street nearly brought down the global economy with its antics. Companies hired around 223,000 workers in June.

It sounds like great news – but it’s not telling the whole story. And it’s not good news for everyone. The major reason the unemployment rate is down is because many have simply dropped out of the workforce. They’ve either given up looking for work, or – in the case of many women – have simply dropped out of the workforce.

Many of these are mothers with limited education and skills. They simply do not earn enough to pay for childcare, or otherwise feel they must choose between family and work outside the home. However, thanks to the miracle of the World Wide Web, it isn’t necessary for women to have to make this choice.

Telecommuting and working remotely online has been around almost since the beginning of the Internet Age.  However, finding a steady, reliable source of income can be tricky. There are a lot of scams out there. Two women entrepreneurs, Katherine Zaleski and Milena Barry, recently launched a website with the purpose of helping home-bound women to find legitimate, well-paying careers. All that is required is a high speed Internet connection and the ability to teleconference.

In an interview with CBS News, Zaleski said, “We’re telling women that they need to be in the office all the time…that’s clearly not working.” Her company, Power to Fly, matches women wanting jobs in various fields to companies with openings that are open to employees working remotely.

Power to Fly is definitely living up to its name. So far, almost 1,000 companies have signed up to post openings at the website. They are currently openings in social media, sales and customer service, web design, software and dozens more. Zaleski says she’ll need to hire an additional 60 employees herself to help manage her growing operation.

One happy client, who got her current job as a product manager through Power to Fly, says “I love that I get to be such an intrinsic part of building the product even though I am thousands of miles away in my bedroom!”

Women may be disappearing from the brick-and-mortar workplace, but with the help of Power to Fly, they’re reappearing on the World Wide Web – and are happier, less stressed and more productive for it.

 

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K.J. McElrath is a former history and social studies teacher who has long maintained a keen interest in legal and social issues.