“I always knew I wanted to build a business – most likely in my 40s when I had older kids, but while out on maternity leave at Procter & Gamble with our first child, my dream quickly came true due to a harsh reality”, Robinson tells UNLEASH.
This was because “I read the staggering statistic that…43% of skilled women to leave the workforce to become mothers. Imagining a future where women wouldn’t have to choose between their family and their career, I founded the Mom Project”.
Robinson explains that tech platform that aims to help mothers succeed and “discover their economic potential”. It does this by providing opportunities and “connecting our community of more than 500,00 talent professionals with more than 3,000 companies”.
Examples of employers who partner with The Mom Project are Dropbox, Etsy, Accenture, and Nike.
These employers are forward-thinking and prioritize hiring mothers and providing them with “support and flexibility they need and require”. This is even more crucial during the pandemic where women have been forced out of the workforce at higher rates than men, primarily due to caring responsibilities.
The Mom Project does much more than connect mothers with jobs. It also has programs, including RISE and ResumeRev that help to upskill mothers for free, as well as help them to supercharge their Resume and “put their best foot forward when applying for roles they not only need, but want”, according to Robinson.
The community also supports one another to get back to work and their personal development. This is based around the idea that “when one mom wins, we all win”, explains Robinson.
The Mom Project’s $80m Series C
The Mom Project has not just attracted the attention of leading employers, but also investors.
Over the last five years, The Mom Project has raised $116 million in funding, including a $80 million Series C in October led by Leeds Illuminate.
“We are beyond proud to have raised the largest global investment ever made in female workforce development,” notes Robinson.
She continues: “As a female-led and founded company ourselves, having our latest funding round led by Leeds Illuminate, which…is also a female-led and founded company [with] more than three decades of partnering with exceptional high growth companies in workforce development and access sectors, we couldn’t have asked for better supporters of our mission.”
Etsy VP of people Toni Thompson noted in release: “At Etsy, we firmly believe that strong caregiver offerings are not only good for families, but also good for business.
“While flexible policies are critical for creating an equitable experience, retaining employees, and attracting talent, having the right support systems in place is equally important – and that’s where The Mom Project comes in.
“Through our partnership with them, employees can take their leave while knowing their teams have the resources necessary to continue serving our customers.
“We congratulate them on their new round of funding and look forward to our continued partnership.”
Further to attracting investor interest, The Mom Project has managed to attract top talent into its executive team. For instance, it attracted chief marketing officer Kristen Salvatore from Cloud9, chief product officer Saana Rapakko Hunt from Instagram and chief people and equity officer Rocki Howard from SmartRecruiters.
It also recently appointed tennis superstar Serena Williams as its strategic advisors.
In a statement. Williams wrote: “I’m calling on CEOs, heads of people, and business leaders big and small. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a team of 1 or 100,000; if you’re hiring, are you considering hiring moms? Together, we can influence how work gets done and build a better workplace for the future.”
The future for The Mom Project
According to Robinson, The Mom Project is planning to use the funding to “make significant investments in our team growth and product as our community of professionals continues to grow”.
She continues: “We are planning on building out new teams and functions like data science and customer support, as well as more long-term investments in product and research and development that will greatly impact the company’s trajectory as we continue to execute our mission on a global scale.”
This will help the company to “better deliver on connecting moms with $1 billion in economic opportunity over the next three years” for the mothers it works with.
While The Mom Project currently primarily focuses on the US, Robinson says it is looking globally as it knows “women and moms across the global struggle with similar issues in the workplace – a lack of flexibility, support, childcare and more”.
It particularly wants to focus on growing it upskilling program Rise to reach 10,000 women in the next three years.
Robinson concludes Rise can particularly “elevate women of color by providing scholarships to highly sought after certificate programs to enhance her career without compromising authenticity”.