Like many women, the birth of Courtney Jones’s children challenged her to re-evaluate and prioritize her life and her goals—both the personal and the professional. In doing so, she came to the common recognition that many new mothers do – she wanted to be as available for her children as possible, but she also had unfulfilled professional aspirations.
In her own personal pursuit of work-life blend, she found that negotiating for flexibility, understanding her value and connecting to progressive potential employers was challenging.
So she built MomSource Network, which works to create a gateway between women and the future of work.
We sat down with Courtney to dig more into what got her here.
What are the crucial pain points you’re trying to solve with your company?
A woman who takes a two year career break will sacrifice 30% of her potential lifetime earnings. Simultaneously, companies are recognizing that diverse teams outperform all other teams by more than 15%!
By working to connect talented women to the organizations that value them, we are creating new talent pools for companies while helping women maintain their professional identity!
Do you have any success stories from the platform?
We have members in 42 states and have worked with over 200 hundred companies.
We helped a woman named Jackie return to work after her 20 year career break to raise children. That’s almost unheard of! We’ve helped Melissa negotiate a job offer that allows her to work remotely 30% of the time.
Right now, we have more 100 opportunities available on our platform that offer everything from full-time hours and benefits to 10 hours per week of data entry. The goal is to provide a platform that provides a variety of options, because every woman must define work-life blend for herself.
What’s been your growth strategy so far?
We raised a small seed round led by the JumpFund and a couple of other seed funds and angels. Interestingly enough, all of our investors are women! The JumpFund’s mission is to seed and grow strong, female led ventures in the Southeastern United States.
We have an incredible team of eight passionate advocates for women and work. All of our team members work results-oriented schedules from their home offices, which means that we have team members spread across the country.
We definitely practice what we preach with our structure.
You talk a lot about work/life balance, flexible employment options, etc. Tell us a few things we need to know about this in terms of a career?
Women need to know that technology is allowing us to consider the widest variety of career options and work schedules in history but that you must be your own best advocate.
A good way to identify your own work-life blend is to write down your ideal scenario, including a list of your aspirations, skills, flexibility goals and ideal company culture. Use this list to guide your conversations, negotiations and job searches.
You deserve to be successful as a parent and professional. You can do it.
What tips do you have for working moms who value both their career and their family?
Do not allow yourself to believe that you should be limited to the binary career versus mom options. There is a huge spectrum between “Traditional Working Mom” and “Full-Time Stay At Home Mom.” Each season of your family life will require a different blend of personal priorities and professional goals and with planning, you can navigate them all.
Anything else we should know?
Many of our early successes have been a result of the budding entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Southeast and in Tennessee, specifically. LaunchTN has been a great advocate for our startup, because they are intentional about diversity and inclusion.
For example 36|86, a large innovation conference held in Nashville every summer, over-indexes for diverse speakers; in 2018 half of all speakers are from under represented groups, compared to 17% for normal tech conferences! The JumpFund sponsored a Women’s Lounge for women to have meetings, support female-led initiatives and share experiences. Tennessee is a great place for female founders because of all of the resources that are being created specifically for women.