You are the Co-Founder and President of Fairygodboss, a “community of women helping women.” Tell us more about your company.
Fairygodboss is a business with a social mission: We want to help improve the workplace for women everywhere. Our goal is to engage a conversation between women about their careers and jobs, and get candid information about the challenges that women face.
Often, we find that there is a cone of silence around the daily workplace challenges that women confront. We want to open the dialogue so women can find camaraderie in their experiences and companies can get a more accurate picture of what women experience.
What challenges did you see for working women, that you are seeking to address with Fairygodboss?
We hear from our users that they face challenges in terms of unequal promotion, unequal compensation, and unequal evaluation. In addition, we hear often that they face “microaggressions” (a word I’d never heard before)—meaning, the struggle with lots of small cultural and institutional slights that add up over time. We hope that by allowing women to share their experiences, they can draw strength and support from our community. And we hope that by highlighting these challenges, we will help support companies to make effective change.
What is the range of information and insight your site provides to women seeking professional positions? How do you get women to contribute?
We ask women lots of different things: We ask them to evaluate their employer and we ask them to give advice to other women. We also crowdsource data about maternity leave policies and salaries. To get women to contribute, we use a lot of social media—and we ask our users to share us with their friends. We’re so excited about how viral we’ve gone!
How is this information relevant to women in midlife and older?
Since starting out with Fairygodboss, we’ve come to realize that there is something that we call “The Aha Moment.” Often, younger women are not aware or subjected to gender bias in the workplace. Yet when they reach midlife, become mothers, or achieve more senior positions, suddenly their experience changes. They have a harder time getting promoted, face discrimination, and have to manage work/life balance in a different way.
Fairygodboss is a site for women at all phases in their career. But we certainly find that it’s women who’ve reached “The Aha Moment” who most often seek us out.
How does this work? Is this a membership program?
Anyone can access most of the data on Fairygodboss, but we do ask users to register and leave a review before they access our user review content. There is no cost to join.
What resources do you recommend?
We love Ellevate. They are a great organization and they publish highly useful articles every day.
One of my favorite books is Personal History by Katharine Graham. She was such a brilliant lady who achieved so much and broke a lot of barriers. I highly recommend that every woman read it at some point in her life.
And Allyson Downey recently published a great book called Here’s the Plan.: Your Practical, Tactical Guide to Advancing Your Career During Pregnancy and Parenthood.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Romy Newman is president & co-founder of Fairygodboss, a business with the mission to improve the workplace for women everywhere. Previously, Romy ran digital advertising sales and operations for The Wall Street Journal, and working in marketing at Google and Estee Lauder. Romy is the proud mother of 2 children, and spends her precious spare time doing yoga and crossword puzzles. She is motivated by helping other women have the same wonderful workplace experiences she’s been lucky to have.