It's been said that 2020 will be known as "The Death of The Working Mom" as many find it is not humanly possible to manage distance learning, a career, and life at home. A digital marketplace for working mothers aims to make sure that women remain in the workforce and stay supported.
As a single mom of three, Chandra Sanders does it all. And all was fine until the pandemic.
“Due to COVID-19, my most recent project that I accepted was in commercial and retail, and that industry was seriously impacted from COVID-19 and was the first to shut down. Due to that shutdown, my project was shut down along with my income,” Sanders said.
She refused to be negative though. And while stressed and anxious about her income, she turned to the internet.
“I found the Mom Project doing a regular Google search online,” Sanders recalls.
When she found it, The Mom Project happened to be hiring for its own team. She landed a job and couldn't be happier.
Chief Community Officer Colleen Curtis says The Mom Project has now served over 2,000 companies and connected thousands of moms with employment.
“People are coming to the realization that this can’t be how it is for everyone, forever,” Curtis said.
The Mom Project was born in 2016, by you guessed it, a mom. Who, while on maternity leave, read a statistic. It said that 43 percent of skilled women leave the workforce after becoming mothers. Founder Allison Robinson didn't want moms like her to choose between a career and a family. Four years later and the digital marketplace is seeing change.
“We’ve seen an incredible response from both sides of what I would say the marketplace, as a mom, we knew that the pain point was there for moms and it was really that we were feeling the tensions between being a great mom and being great at work but what we’re seeing is the incredible demand from companies,” Curtis said.
When we asked what challenges women face now, as they navigate through the pandemic, Curtis says The Mom Project is noticing some tough things.
“It's been disproportionately difficult for moms, specifically moms of color, but also, just moms. The emotional labor of adapting to new situations: work from home, kids are now home, all the way from babies to college kids, and your village has been stripped away,” Curtis said.
Chandra Sanders says part of her new role at The Mom Project is to help other moms. Specifically, to help moms of color find and achieve her same success.
“I must say it's the first job that I’ve had that I’ve felt welcome as a mom, as a woman, I didn’t have to hide that and as woman of color I didn’t have to hide that either,” Sanders said.
Sanders says her former roles in commercial and retail industry were challenging.
"Being a Black woman in an industry where I’m the only Black woman you have to be very careful about what you say, how you dress, the tone of voice that you’re using and you have to be careful about everything that you do,” Sanders said.
Now she's on a mission to both change the workforce and pave the way for others.
“Many companies now have these initiatives, want to hire a diverse workforce they really want that- their human resource departments are in charge of reaching out to the mom project and to candidates to ensure their workforce is diverse.”
And she says, she's been there. Laid off, struggling as a single mom. She wants others to know, focusing on the good and the positive will help propel you forward.
“I can do it, and I did it and we’re going to make sure other people can do it too,” Sanders said.
As for 2020, The Mom Project aims to make sure it will in no way be the end of the working mom.