By Lexy Amaral
Guidepost at Home is lucky to have an incredible partnership with Fairygodboss. Their mission of improving the workplace for women ties directly into Guidepost at Home’s mission to make the transition back to work easier for new parents by ensuring they have reliable, trustworthy childcare. We connected with their CEO and co-founder, Georgene Huang, to discuss childcare and learn more about the important work that Fairygodboss is doing.
Georgene Huang, CEO & Co-founder, Fairygodboss
Where did the idea of Fairygodboss come from?
The idea for Fairygodboss came to me after what I describe as “a very bad day at work.” On that day, I was suddenly fired from my executive role at a major company as part of a management shakeup. At the time, I was two months pregnant and hadn’t yet told anyone. So I was in this position of looking for a job and going on interviews—and feeling quite pressured to hide my pregnancy.
While interviewing, I wanted to ask certain questions around benefits and policies like maternity leave and work-life balance—but feared being judged as less than fully committed to my career if I asked those questions. I also wanted to hear directly from other women about their experiences and how they overcame similar challenges So, I turned to the internet for answers, and was surprised by the lack of information I found, which is why we’ve formed the FGB Community.
Tell us about the magic of Fairygodboss. What is this community doing for women?
Our mission is to improve the workplace for women. But we don’t want to just touch the lives of a small group of women or help employers in any one industry improve their culture and benefits. We want to reach the hundreds of millions of women around the globe who are in the workforce and working for hundreds of thousands of employers.
The Fairygodboss platform supports women throughout their careers with free resources like company reviews, job listings, virtual recruiting events and a community where users can be honest about their triumphs and failures either as themselves or anonymously. The FGB community allows women to connect with other career-minded women and ask questions that they may not feel comfortable asking elsewhere.
What are the biggest challenges that working moms are facing today?
I like to think about it in terms of being a “working parent” because it shouldn’t just be a mother’s responsibility to take care of the child, and a lot of companies are coming to that realization as well.
I don’t think people without kids always understand how raising children can be a full-time job. This is true even with help from family or a nanny, so having a flexible job can be really important. If a sitter has to cancel or a child gets sick, it will make the parents lives much easier if they have the ability to work from home or take a day off.
Have you seen the challenge of finding and keeping reliable child care?
I have had the fortune of having our nanny truly become a member of our family. She’s been with us for six years and seen us through a lot of changes. I’m writing this as she’s currently enjoying a well deserved two week vacation, and I’m definitely very conscious at the moment at how dependent we are on our care-givers and how anyone can get sick, have a family emergency or simply need to take time off!
How do you believe having reliable child care can impact a mom’s ability to succeed in the workplace?
Knowing your child is safe with a responsible and trustworthy individual allows working moms to stay focused at work and eases any doubts or worries they might have about returning to work. I like to give my full attention to whatever I’m doing. It’s important to me to be present wherever I am, so at work I try and stay focused during my calls and meetings and when I’m home I give my full attention to my kids and husband.
If you have an important meeting and a nanny cancels, knowing that a company like Guidepost at Home would be able to replace your care-giver with another qualified and trustworthy person helps to alleviate some of the stress of being a working parent and allows you to stay present which will help you succeed.
How can companies provide more support for moms in the workplace?
For one, I think companies need to start thinking about it in terms of paid parental leave, rather than just paid maternity leave, because every family is different and we shouldn’t assume it’s only moms that need support. I also think it’s important for companies to offer flexibility in the workplace when it comes to hours or working remotely. Allowing working parents to have the ability to work their preferred hours or work from home in case a sitter cancels or a child gets sick makes parents’ lives easier and less stressful.
What is one dream that you and Fairygodboss have for working moms in the next five years?
When I was looking for a job while I was pregnant, I couldn’t ask important questions without feeling like I would face bias, assumptions and judgment. Women shouldn’t have to choose between building a family and a fulfilling career. By creating a supportive community that bands together to share information and a platform that encourages employer transparency, I hope fewer women have to make that choice, but instead can have and succeed in both.