Mission Propelle: Helping Parents Stay In The Workforce
October 5, 2022
My name is Annie Warshaw. I'm a 2010 Chicago alum, and I have a five year old, a three year old, and a one year old. And over here is my amazing, incredible talented co-founder.
So I'm Jill Carey. I used to be Jill Clausterman when I was in the 2008 core and I've got three kids, a six year old, and twin three year olds.
And we met one hot-hot day in the classroom where we taught.
So in 2020, everyone really quickly realized that women are the fail safe for our economy. So when childcare went out the window, who took on the majority of the child rearing and housekeeping, it was women. So much coverage about this, but what Jill and I weren't seeing were solutions. We were seeing our friends struggle and we recognized that we had a skillset that we had obtained over years due to being in the classroom, also, because we had this company that we had taken leave after leave after leave during with kids in tow and so after doing an extensive amount of research, not seeing solutions, we decided we were going to be the solution.
“So we founded Mission Propelle to keep parents in the workforce and strengthen companies by addressing the inequities that they have that ultimately cause attrition and giving them the tools to create sustainability for their employees so that their employees could get up, do work, feel good, get dinner on the table and not feel like they couldn't keep going and giving the companies the tools so that their work culture matched their values”
So we founded Mission Propelle to keep parents in the workforce and strengthen companies by addressing the inequities that they have that ultimately cause attrition and giving them the tools to create sustainability for their employees so that their employees could get up, do work, feel good, get dinner on the table and not feel like they couldn't keep going and giving the companies the tools so that their work culture matched their values. We do this through coaching, through policy evaluations, through leadership coaching, and through creating community for different organizations.
Obviously, inequity anywhere is propping up unfairness everywhere. And we feel like if we can move the needle on gender equity, and in particular, if we can focus on helping women and moms who want to stay in the workforce stay in the workforce and help to safeguard their wages in the goal of also creating wage parity, then this trickles down to children and that yields a lot of dividends for children. Obviously, it'll improve their academic outcomes and their social and emotional outcomes. But when they see and they witness gender equity, even in their own household, that translates to them being advocates and allies for fairness elsewhere.
It has greatly impacted our ability to grow both of our businesses. 10 years ago when we first started our first company, the first place we went TFA and the great folks that were running the entrepreneurial accelerator made so many contacts. I could list a bajillion names of folks that have worked in that office that have been instrumental in our growth in terms of growing our company, growing our network, and have always provided us whenever we've needed to hire anyone or outsource some thought thinking or whatnot, we can always rely on the alumni network work to make that happen for us.
So women's role in the workforce at this moment is at a 30 year low, right? And that transpired over the past two years. And while the conversation has shifted over the past two years about what women need, there is still a gap in terms of solutions out there.
So as we look to the next 10 years, we want to help companies bring back women into the workforce full time with equal pay, if they so choose to go back to the workforce. And we as the organization be considered indispensable and the standard of how you create an inclusive culture for your parents at your workplace. We've expanded our work to not only work with large nonprofits and corporations, but now we've been working with a lot of startups and early stage ventures to help them think strategically about how they want to create the culture for their organization as it grows. So they're getting off on the right foot and the more we invest or more organizations are equity focused, the more we can truly change what it means to be a working parent in this country and what it means to create sustainability as we go forward in our careers and think about gender equity in our society.
Yeah. And to just build off that a little bit, one thing that we found in our data is that offering coaching to parents is typically one of the most impactful forms of professional development. So it's unprecedented historically up until now, companies have not considered PD for parents to be professional development. They consider those struggles that you have on the home front to be your personal problem. And employers are beginning to understand that the wellbeing of an employee at home and their ability to parent well, and to feel on top of things has a lot to do with their retention, their engagement, and their investment in the organization that they're serving. And so if we're able to help parents in this way, then we can also help and strengthen companies. And then of course, on the policy side, we know that when we shift policies within organizations, it becomes more sustainable for parents to stay as well.