At Zoox, we recognize that caregiving and family responsibilities are an essential part of life. Statistically, caregiving also disproportionately affects women – with women making up 75% of the nation’s caregivers. Faced with dual responsibilities, many leave to focus full-time on caregiving or raising young children. For those who decide to return, it can feel like an intimidating and challenging process to jump back into the workforce.

In 2022, Zoox partnered with Path Forward, a non-profit that supports people reentering the workforce after a career break, to launch our first-ever returnship program. The placements are designed as an ‘on-ramp’ experience back to the workforce, with an emphasis on learning, development, and gaining (or re-gaining) of skills. Crew members joined our inaugural placement over a period of 16 weeks on our IT, procurement, and technical program management teams. At the completion of their returnship, 100% of returners were hired as full-time crew members.

Given the success of the initial launch, we are once again partnering with Path Forward to expand returnships at Zoox. We are increasing the number of returnship hires and adding returnships across several new teams, including software.

Here, you can find testimonials from several of our returnship graduates.

  • Raquel - Strategic Technical Buyer

    When my twins started kindergarten, I realized I wanted to refocus on my career. I spent six years out of the workforce. I joined the Zoox PathForward Returnship Program as a Strategic Technical Buyer and ultimately converted to a full-time employee. 


    I wanted to work for a company that had a great mission, while also providing a great work-life balance (especially for moms). The mission of Zoox really drew me in; I am excited to see how our fully electric and autonomous vehicle can help reduce environmental impacts on our planet! 


    My advice is to not overthink it! Put yourself out there, don’t be afraid to get uncomfortable. The returnship is a trial run for you and the company to understand if it’s a good fit. Don’t worry, you still got it!

  • Susan - Strategic Sourcing Manager

    When my daughter’s school opened back up after the pandemic, I decided to pursue a professional challenge and meet new people as well. After a three-year break, I knew I wanted to be part of something innovative that would have real-world impacts, and also work at a company that aligns with my values and goals. I’ve always been interested in urban street design, transportation, and street safety. After seeing a company like Zoox as a part of the solution in preventing traffic accidents and other transportation issues in urban areas, I knew we would be a great fit for each other! 


    My advice is to learn as much as you can in the first few months. Ask lots of “stupid” questions. People are generally excited to talk to you about what they do and will bring you up to speed.

  • Juana - Technical Program Manager

    I was out of a full-time job for five years while working as an Adjunct Physics Professor. Although teaching was a very social job, I missed working on ambitious challenges and leading teams to work together synergistically. Here at Zoox, I am loving the group learning process!


    My advice is to just do it! Companies that offer returnships are actively trying to diversify their workforce. One thing to check is that companies don’t use the term returnship as a synonym for internship. While internships are meant to bring into the job force someone starting out in a field, returnships are meant for onboarding people that have extensive experience. Previously, these people might have been ruled out because of an employment gap. COVID has made it evident that gaps don’t erase people’s experience and know-how.

If you are interested in applying to one of our Zoox returnships, you’re in luck! Our applications are open, with the 16-week program beginning in March 2023.