NYWICI launches #womenheard initiative to research, reverse trend of women leaving workforce


The number of women in the workforce dipped during the pandemic, and a local organization leader is hoping a new initiative will explain it — and reverse it.

Ashley Miles has spent her career helping build major media brands like Refinery 29 and Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global. During the pandemic, she launched her own company, Franklyn West, a business growth collective committed to helping businesses create sustainable growth. 

The business is about “really reimagining their businesses through a growth mindset and unlocking their full potential,” Miles explained.  

She is also helping women unlock their full potential in her role as the president of New York Women in Communications. She’s leading the non-profit’s new initiative: #womenheard. The initiative focuses on examining how the pandemic has forced an alarming number of women out of the workforce and how to reverse that trend.  

“Out of all the people who left the workforce, 80% of them over the age of 20 were women,” Miles said. “So that’s five million jobs; that’s four times the rate of men leaving the workforce.” 

Miles said #womenheard is all about shining the spotlight on these statistics. 

“We will be doing our part to conduct this heavy research on a national level, communications level, which will then result in incredible programming all throughout the year,” she explained. 

The program initiatives will include a “Roadmap for Success,” a student boot camp and much more.  

“We’re launching a #womenheard podcast this spring, we’re going be launching a digital symposium speaking to these women,” she explained, “also hearing from men across the industry and male CEO’s, to hear their point of view and what they’re doing about it.” 

New York Women in Communications will present a report of their research at the organizations 51st Annual Matrix Awards this fall, where they celebrate the leaders, visionaries and innovators of the communications industry.  

The hope is that the report will shed light on how women can reclaim their professional roles, personal roles and create sustainable growth in their life.  

“We’ve got to stop and listen and figure out what’s going on,” Miles said. “There’s a lot of nuance to unpack, because it’s multidimensional, it’s not one thing.” 

Visit the New York Women in Communications website and Instagram page to learn more about the #womenheard initiative.  

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