Looking for a job is a full-time job in itself. Weeding through the vague job descriptions, the sketchy HR guy, and trying to get honest answers about things like work-life balance and maternity leave. Now imagine doing that while already pregnant.
That was business mogul Georgene Huang’s lot in life as she hunted around New York City for the perfect job—all while two months pregnant. “I was hiding my pregnancy and going on interviews, wanting to ask about maternity leave policies, the culture for senior women, whether a company had Facetime or was flexible,” she confessed. “I felt it was nearly impossible to ask these questions directly without fear of being pre-judged as less committed to my career and job.” A former executive who ran the enterprise business and product development division at Dow Jones, she decided to take matters into her own hands.
So she created Fairygodboss with partner Romy Newman. This digital goldmine is a free, anonymous job review site for women, by women.
“Our vision for Fairygodboss is to support women in finding the best jobs that fit their lives,” Georgene revealed. “To do that, women need information about what it’s really like to work somewhere—straight from the mouths of other women who’ve been there.” The site offers info about company culture, open jobs, and the best strategies for landing new positions. It really is like a fairy godmother for working women!
Now that Georgene is pregnant with baby number three, we asked her about women in the workplace, how she juggles all her babies (not literally), and how she’s changed as a mom since baby number one.
MINDING THE GENDER GAP
“Romy and I used to work together as executives, and we’d both been in corporate America climbing that proverbial ladder. As single women, married women, and then as new mothers. Each of those stages of a career poses unique challenges to women (e.g. for younger women it may simply be trying to find a sponsor or be taken more seriously by management).
We’re a marketplace where women who want the inside scoop on jobs and careers meet employers who believe in gender equality. One thing that I didn’t quite understand as well when we first started is how much and how many employers really care about making improvements in gender diversity and equality. One of the most rewarding things about my job is seeing women who believe so much in what their employers have done to invest in making a change or improve their workplaces for women.”
WORKING LIFE IN THE BALANCE
“Well, I will soon have four babies—my three little ones at home and my company, which is also toddler-aged. I will take some time off to physically recover, but as a founder/CEO of a startup, I’m realistic about the fact that it’s impossible to truly unplug completely. Just as it would be impossible to disappear from the lives of my other two children for more than the few days I’m at the hospital. That’s just the reality of life as an entrepreneurial mom!”
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM
“Kid number one was life-altering. I was not very clued in to what it meant to be a mother, and it was just a total shock to my system. Kid number two was much easier because I had expectations going in about what it would be like. Someone once told me that you only have two hands, so kid number three learns how to take others’ hands if yours aren’t available. I liked that idea a lot and think my older children will be great role models and siblings.”
“I had huge anxiety about being late for bedtime with my first child. I felt like it was as important to get home to tuck him in as it was to be on time for a very important meeting—I found myself running (literally) home a lot to make it home on time. I am more relaxed now and no longer believe any one event is that important. But that feeling has never left me in terms of empathizing with new (or even not-so-new) moms and how they feel their priorities change after having children.”
ELUSIVE “ME” TIME
“I never get time to myself…so it honestly is all good! I do miss reading a physical paper or flipping through a physical magazine from time to time. I think it’s the fact that I spend so much time online.”
Three words that describe you today?
Determined. Excited. Optimistic.
First app you check in the morning?
Slack. Part of our development team is offshore, so I check in and see what they need from me first thing in the morning.
Any pregnancy cravings?
For a few weeks all I wanted to eat was pizza, but that’s passed (thankfully).
Favorite little luxury?
Having breakfast at a quiet restaurant all by myself.