Georgene Huang is one of the co-founders of Fairygodboss, a marketplace where professional women looking for jobs, advice, and the inside scoop on companies meet employers who believe in gender equality. Connect with Fairygodboss on their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
What inspired you to start your company?
We were founded based on my personal experience when I was suddenly let go from my executive role as part of a management shakeup. At the time, I was two months pregnant and hiding it. I hadn’t told my family yet, let alone my employer. In my job search, I found it difficult to find information about those hard-to-ask questions like maternity coverage and face time vs. flexible working schedules, and whether women really advanced into senior management positions. I turned to the internet to see if I could find that information, and it just wasn’t there. Now, two years later, Fairygodboss is able to engage with hundreds of thousands of women a month and provide invaluable resources (like our maternity leave resource center) to help find the answers to those hard-to-ask questions.
What does your company provide?
Fairygodboss is a marketplace where professional women looking for jobs, advice, and the inside scoop on companies meet employers who believe in gender equality. Our community crowdsources hard-to-find and hard-to-ask information from each other ranging from maternity leave policies to corporate culture around pay and promotion for women. Fairygodboss works with Fortune 500 employers such as Apple, Dell, Deloitte, General Electric, and Johnson & Johnson to create transparency about workplaces and to support their efforts to improve the workplace for women.
What company benefit would make the biggest difference to you as a mom?
I would say that flexible working hours is extremely important to me. Moms (and dads) who have care-taking responsibilities often find themselves pulled in unpredictable directions when children or family members fall ill, have school-related events, or even routine doctor appointments. Workplaces that want to keep working parents need to understand that.
What company culture practices do you feel most benefit moms?
We have a very flexible office, both in terms of hours worked and where you work. I trust my team to get their work done, and when you’re trying to balance work and life, flexibility is the most beneficial practice for any employee.
Is there any coding or technical knowledge that helped you to create this business?
I took some basic computer science classes in college, which has made me feel more comfortable working with developers later in my career when I worked closely with technical people in product roles (including in my job today). I believe that while you don’t necessarily need to be technical in order to start or run a tech company, you do need to be pretty comfortable with technology and interested in it.
How do you balance all the different commitments of life, between being a mom and founder?
I think the hardest thing is to prioritize your time. You also need to go easy on yourself and not judge yourself too harshly when any given day doesn’t go exactly how you hope it will.
What is your favorite founding mom moment?
My four year old recently taped one of my business cards to the kitchen trash can and called it the “Fairygodboss trashcan”. I loved that.
What advice would you give to fellow women who are looking to start their own company?
If you want to do it, just go for it! There are no guarantees, but there’s no way to know whether it will work out until you try.