Path Forward

The Path Forward Story

Path Forward

In 2014, Return Path, an email analytics company run in part by the team who went on to start Bolster in 2020, was focused on diversifying their engineering team, who was largely white and largely male. They focused on a lot of different initiatives - connecting with membership organizations, revamping interview processes, leveraging blind hiring and auditions, and creating a return- to- work program to create a smooth onramp back into the workforce for (primarily) women who have taken a career break to raise their kids or take care of elderly parents. The return-to-work program, which was led by Return Path leaders including Cathy Hawley, Shawn Nussbaum and Matt Blumberg (all Bolster co-founders), was so successful that we helped six other companies stand up similar programs. One day, Matt received a call from PayPal, asking us to run their return-to-work program. That was the trigger for spinning out an independent company, Path Forward, as a 501c3 nonprofit. Path Forward enjoyed a strong relationship with Return Path - including Matt as board chair and Cathy as board member - until Return Path’s sale in 2019.

Matt and Cathy have maintained their board roles with Path Forward, and Bolster is proud to count Path Forward among our Charter Clients and also our Membership Partners. In fact, the Path Forward business is much more closely related to Bolster’s business than it was Return Path’s. We look forward to a long and fruitful relationship!

If you are interested in partnering with Path Forward or looking for roles through their partner companies, please visit their website at