Transitioning Back to Work After a Career Break

If you’ve taken a career break to raise children, reentering the workforce can be a challenge. Though motherhood is arguably the most difficult—and important—job on the planet, it isn’t a paid position. And the gap it leaves on your resume often seems to erase the experience you had before becoming a mom.

How do you rebuild your confidence as a competent and capable career woman? And how do you prepare yourself emotionally for the transition back to work?

Rita Kakati Shah is on a mission to support women in returning to the workforce through Uma, a startup that gives mothers the tools to rediscover themselves and find jobs that match their credentials—and their lifestyle commitments.

Today, Rita joins me to explain how her own frustration around going back to work served as the inspiration for Uma. She shares Uma’s mission to empower women with the confidence and emotional readiness to reenter the workforce, offering advice around developing your swagger and scenario planning for childcare. Listen in for Rita’s insight on how entrepreneurship is just a different kind of motherhood and learn how society benefits when moms are supported in returning to the workforce!

The Startup Pregnant Podcast Episode #075

Some quotes from the episode

  • “My benchmark was the UK, where I would have gotten up to a year off, paid leave, and mentored going back to work again. But instead, I was offered six weeks leave, unpaid, and I’d have to file for disability to get it.”
  • “I thought I was working hard when I was in investment banking and traveling all the time, but that’s nothing to being a mother.”
  • “[Motherhood is] 24/7. You are sleep-deprived. You are arguably the best cook, cleaner, housekeeper, nanny … everything in the word, but you do not get any recognition for it because you’re not paid for doing it. It dampens your confidence after while. I lost my confidence.”
  • “I realized that I missed me, and that during my journey of motherhood … I’d forgotten who I was.”
  • “People are almost denying that motherhood is an actual job … and arguably the hardest job on the planet. I want to do something about that.”
  • “We’ve given birth to a new human being … and we are learning so fast and so quickly, there’s nothing we cannot take on as mothers. Just remember that you are doing something incredible.”
  • “It’s something we do as women: We’re experts at doubting ourselves.”
  • “One of the reasons women get the reputation of not being 100% focused on the work is because suddenly if school shuts down … you disappear off the desk.”
  • “All they care about is, can you get the work done at the end of the day, and you just have to convince them—yes, you can.”
  • “Companies that do have a level playing field in terms of equal amounts of men and women—and not only that, that have women in senior positions in the workforce—actually benefit themselves and have a better impact on the bottom line.”
  • “Being a founder, you are not just the visionary, the ideas person, the creative person, you’re also the doer.”


Rita Kakati Shah is the Founder and CEO of Uma, a professional training and coaching firm that empowers women to reenter the workforce after taking time off to raise children. Rita began her career as an investment banker, working for Goldman Sachs in London for a decade before transitioning to the healthcare industry. She is a fierce advocate for diversity and equality issues, earning the prestigious Excellence in Citizenship and Diversity Award for her outstanding contributions to diversity initiatives at Goldman Sachs.



This podcast is made possible by Alavita Nutrition, a tremendous resource when it comes to food, health, and wellness. The Alavita team is on a mission to make eating good food and understanding nutrition easier for busy moms. Head to and use the code ‘startup pregnant’ for 20% off their self-paced programs or a nutrition consultation.

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