The Mom Project: Bringing Moms Back to Work

Author: Allison Robinson, Founder & CEO, The Mom Project

Three years ago while I was at home with my newborn son on maternity leave, I vividly remember reading that more than 40% of American women leave the workforce after having children. Having just had a child myself, this statistic struck a nerve. It was a stat I just couldn’t get out of my brain, and I saw in it a problem that I thought I could fix. That was how The Mom Project was born.

Our mission is to build a better workplace for women, their families, and the businesses they support. To deliver on this mission, we’ve built a double-sided marketplace that matches talented women with companies that need their expertise. Our professionals are highly skilled — over 90% have bachelor’s degrees, over 40% have secondary degrees, and an average of 8-10 years of experience. More than half of the participating companies offer remote capability and our platform works with enterprise-level contingent staffing programs.

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I’m proud of what we’ve already been able to accomplish. To date, we’ve onboarded over 75 of the Fortune 1000 and 2,000 SMBs as clients and raised over $11 million in venture funding. We support ten MSPs/VMSs, including a recently announced game-changing partnership with SAP Fieldglass.  Our technology, most specifically our AI match engine, is written by women for women. The predictive match evaluates work structure and behavioral considerations in tandem with technical fit-–ultimately creating a more comprehensive view of the professional and mom. Today there are more than 150,000 women and men in our community, and the community is growing approximately 10%  month over month; most of that growth is organic and word of mouth.

That said, we still have our work cut out for us. One of the biggest hurdles facing women returning to the workforce is discrimination and bias against moms. Unfortunately, there’s no silver bullet and any solution requires a comprehensive approach.

Our main objective is to help women connect with companies that value and respect meeting them where they are in their career journey. This can come in many forms (flexibility, parental leave policies,
benefits, etc), but ultimately we help drive the connections that result in these professionally rewarding work experiences. The likelihood that a person will love their job is directly related not only to the job itself, but also to the company and how it values its workforce. We are specifically addressing how women and companies perceive gaps in employment due to caregiving by reframing the conversation, and also how each side articulates and values the flexibility required to get great work done. By tackling these significant barriers, incredibly talented women are being placed into strong companies to drive bottom-line success.

One of our biggest challenges is to maintain the integrity of The Mom Project marketplace
and keep it a thriving community that both supports and adds value to the women professionals on it. To address this, we vet every client opportunity based on criteria that keeps our “Moms First”. We ask for clients to “pitch to us” on why their role is a good fit for our community. We also help women
understand the “flex factors” that are most important to them, which facilitates matches to companies that take these important bits of data into account (and helps drive our algorithms under the hood).

Maintaining the integrity of the marketplace

Oftentimes, when someone sets up their The Mom Project profile, it is the first they have been coached through these elements and how they impact job happiness. Professional moms are only matched to roles that take these factors into account. We think it’s a great way to be clear on what works for each person — commute time, travel, working hours per week, days per week, etc. — and a powerful way to create successful matches. There is truly nothing better than receiving a note from a mom who felt discouraged by her lack of career options and found success through The Mom Project, or a business owner who grew his business through our talent. These notes will never get old, and they validate what we are trying to do.

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