TAMPA (FOX 13) - Life takes a huge turn for career women when they become moms, and making the decision to go back to work can be tough.
Studies show 43-percent of highly qualified women with children either scale back or leave their careers completely after they have kids, and not necessarily because they want to. They’re forced out either by time constraints or the high cost of childcare. That’s half a potential workforce, lost. But does it have to be that way?
There are two new companies offering to pair moms with family-friendly employers. One is setting up shop in Tampa, and FOX 13 News invited local moms to give them both a try.
Stacey Street was in property management and is looking for a job after taking a year off to manage her first baby.
“Prior to staying home, I worked a 60 hour plus week,” she said while chasing her son around the kitchen as he scoots along on a plastic dump truck. “And that's not something I can do anymore. I want to be there to put him to bed.”
Beth Thomas is also a first time mom, and works in customer service.
“I've always been a work horse worked three jobs, not because I needed to but because I wanted to,” she said.
She said her old 6 a.m.-6 p.m. hours aren’t going to fly anymore.
Like most moms, Beth is a multitasking woman.
“Finding childcare that I can afford, plus being able to work full time, right now it's not going hand-in-hand,” she admitted.
That’s why these two moms are ready to try out two companies that aim to match parents with the right flexible work opportunities nationwide.
The Mom Project is based out of Chicago and The Mom Source Network has just opened a Tampa branch. Kevin Hooks is the manager. He has an HR background and was inspired by his fiance’s struggle when she was a single mom. He thinks Tampa has the right culture for the idea to take off.
“The work climate here is a great opportunity in terms of flexibility for attorneys, CPA’s, bookkeepers, and in the hospitality industry. There are lots of opportunities,” he said.
Allison Robinson is the founder and CEO of The Mom Project. She said they go through an extensive interview process to make sure the matches are solid and no one’s time is being wasted. They ask questions she says, like, “are you looking for 100-percent remote or would you like to go into the office a few days a week? What are you looking for in terms of a time commitment and salary?”
Both the Mom Source Network and the Mom Project charge the companies, not the moms. The Mom Project said only that it was a percentage. Mom Source was specific and said it’s 25-percent of an employee’s first six months of salary, saying the industry norm is higher than that.
It’s likely with that in mind that the salary a mom using the service is offered could be lower to make up for that fee. Mom Source says many moms aren’t looking to be the primary breadwinner, or need benefits and that’s why they’re attractive to employers even though their availability in terms of hours is less.
Carlene Carrabino Vital with Momsource marketing explains, “people aren't productive 8 hours a day, so why don't you hire someone for 6 hours a day for the same expectations and same deliverables and save 20 of your payroll cost?”
But many mothers have their doubts about employers embracing part time workers.
“I feel like in that corporate world, not that it's frowned upon, but it holds you back,” Stacey says.
And for now the moms using the service far outnumber the jobs. Mom Source has placed more than three hundred employees over the last three years but they have over three thousand looking for work. The Mom Project is new on the scene and already have one hundred companies on board, but about four thousand job seekers.