These Two Moms Are Making the Workplace More Flexible For Women

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These Two Moms Are Making the Workplace More Flexible For Women

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“Half of all college-educated women between the ages of 30-40 years old will leave the workforce for some time. This was our call to action.”

In the summer of 2014, we were both in pivotal career transition moments. (Jenny was a broadcast journalist looking to transfer her skills and experience to new opportunities; Gina was a freelance marketing executive who was fed up with constantly networking for new gigs.) We knew we were not alone in this conversation, and that all around us were talented, educated friends and colleagues—women with bright careers ahead of them, but who could not find a “fit” in what was essentially an inflexible workforce. What we saw in our own lives was true on a bigger scale too: half of all college-educated women between the ages of 30-40 years old will leave the workforce for some time. 

This was our call to action—the problem we teamed up to solve—and the reason we launched The Second Shift. 

Women leave the workforce for many reasons— they have a family, a sick parent, exorbitant child care costs, unequal pay, lack of flexibility. But, the bottom line is that too many talented women are on the sidelines because, for whatever reason, we can’t (or choose not to) work a traditional full-time job. For this reason, Gina and I created The Second Shift as a place where companies who embrace the evolving nature of work can find incredible talent to support their staff and strategy needs.

The Second Shift is, above all else, a solution. Our business serves as a retention tool for both female employees and employers. It enables women to stay in the workforce in a manner that works for them at different points in their lives. Companies retain female talent by working with us to provide flexible job options for those who have exited, or are in the process of exiting, the field.

Our solution isn’t altruistic. It’s actually very important to our country’s economy.

Janet Yellin, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve, recently cited a study that indicated that raising women’s participation in the workforce to the same level as men’s could increase the nation’s annual economic output by 5 percent. And how can we get there? In Ms. Yellin’s own words, what is needed are “reforms such as flexible work arrangements, affordable child care, and paid family leave.” 

There is still a lot of work to do to keep women in the workforce, and we are confident the company and community we built is an important tool to help women stay engaged professionally throughout their career cycles and continue to climb the ladder of success. We know we are making a real difference when we hear from members like Carolyn Dub, an experienced digital media marketer, who recently emailed us saying how her daughter’s face lit up when she arrived at her recital one weekday afternoon. Carolyn has been hired for projects and long-term, part-time work through The Second Shift, which means that she has the flexibility to work on-site in the morning and be back home in time to attend these special moments with her daughter. She feels relevant and fulfilled and we are proud that The Second Shift helped another talented woman make work “work” for herself and her family. 

Jenny Galluzzo and Gina Hadley are the co-founders of The Second Shift. To learn more, go here

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