About Us

About Us

Some basic misconceptions stand in the way of women rejoining the workforce. Employers often believe that time away from a career means lost ability or skill, or that the need for flexibility means a desire for less responsibility. Women often fear that without 100% of the skills listed in a job description, they aren’t qualified to apply. All of these add up to the very real challenges for women, the most significant of which is the gender pay gap, otherwise known as the “Mommy Tax”.

Today, 43% of highly-qualified women leave the paid workforce, yet only 74% of those who leave will rejoin the workforce in any capacity, 40% with full-time jobs.

With a growing job market, aging workforce and lower work participation, greater opportunities for women are within reach. But sometimes finding them is a challenge.

As one expert put it, “There’s this industry that says, ‘We don’t have enough talent,’ and there’s this talent that is just waiting to get back to work.”

So now’s the time to get started!

Our Community

Why are we focused locally at NextGroup? You. That’s why!

In Chicago, 2/3 of women hold bachelor’s degrees or higher, and at least 2/3 of public officials and individuals in leadership positions on boards, nonprofits, and civic initiatives are women.

Chicago has a greater percentage of women-owned businesses and self-employed women, with a greater degree of diverse career and educational experiences than neighboring communities.

What does this translate into: a highly-qualified, diverse, leadership-focused workforce!

We’re Chicago moms. We’ve worked together for years, on PTAs, at fundraisers, raising kids and driving carpools. We also put careers on hold, professional lives we worked hard to create.

Ready to return to the workforce, we didn’t anticipate the challenges we would face. And looking around, we recognized we weren’t alone. In sharing the stories of our own journeys, the unexpected obstacles and setbacks, we realized our greatest resource was each other.

Harnessing the wealth and strength of the community of women we’ve build over the years, we founded NextGroup. At NextGroup, we’re committed to making things easier for you.

By connecting women relaunching or pivoting careers to businesses searching for talent, we want to ensure that a career break or a new chapter chapter doesn’t need to be the end of a career.

Our Story

Awards & Recognitions

NextGroup was awarded BMO’s 2022 Celebrating Women Grant to help U.S. women-owned businesses make progress. Read more about this award here.

In 2023, NextGroup was recognized as a Top 100 Finalist for the Chicago Innovation Awards, highlighting the most innovative companies in Chicago. Learn more here.

Additionally, NextGroup was recognized by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) as a Certified Women’s Business Enterprise (CWBE) in 2023.

Our Team

Our Cofounders/Advisors