I co-founded The Second Shift because I support working women, and I believe the modern workplace has to be flexible, adaptable and accommodating. I learned this the hard way-- from my own personal experience. Like many women in our network, my career path has been long and circuitous. I discovered firsthand that when it comes to building a professional life, it's a marathon, not a sprint.
For the better part of a decade, I worked as a television producer/booker and on-air reporter for outlets including Good Morning America, News 12 The Bronx and Plum TV. As a side project, I started a clothing line called Mayer Studio based on my passion for vintage caftans. Then, in 2009, my first son was born and, all of a sudden, the reality of my new life as a mother didn't fit into the structure of my career. I realized what I wanted from my career had changed and I needed to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up.
My second son was born two years later and that's when I had an epiphany: women need a way to engage or re-engage in the workforce that provides them meaningful, well-paying, flexible jobs. So I launched The Second Shift with my friend and business partner Gina Hadley. I could not be more excited about the company and the movement we have started. As all women know, we are the best at effective, creative efficiency and our skills should not be sidelined because, for whatever reason, we don't work a traditional full-time job.
When I co-founded The Second Shift, I knew there had to be a better way for professional women to work at all stages of their careers. In my pre-kid days, I was a worldwide creative coordinator at Ogilvy & Mather working on IBM. When I became a Mom, it was time to shift gears professionally, so I said good-bye to the structure of a traditional workplace, and hello to the flexibility of entrepreneurship.
I jumped right in helping tech start-up Ads.com connect with advertising agencies, then went into labor with my daughter. I launched and sold Urban Monkeys in Seattle while wearing my son in a Baby Bjorn. My company, Gina Hadley Consulting has worked to expand the footprint of luxury and lifestyle brands including Flywheel Sports, the Novogratz design firm and glassybaby, all while moving our family back and forth across the country four times in five years.
Having walked the project-based walk, which I began while pushing a stroller, I know first-hand that hustling for projects is a full-time job in itself. Jenny and I launched The Second Shift to simplify the process for freelancers and businesses alike, and with the convergence of three distinct movements—the growth of the gig economy, the increase of women leaving the workforce and the rise in technology for immediate connection- we will make work work for you.
Prior to joining The Second Shift, I spent 15 years working at Allen & Company LLC holding senior roles in investment banking, venture capital, and investor relations. I advised companies ranging from early-stage growth enterprises to large global public companies with a particular focus on education, media, e-commerce, and publishing.
Beginning with my first financial analyst class out of college, and throughout my years working in financial advisory, I got to know incredibly talented women working in senior roles across the corporate spectrum. I have considered myself fortunate to be a part of this cohort. However, as many of these women were hitting the heights of their careers, they were also entering the next stage, complete with spouses and children. As they struggle to balance work and family, it has been disheartening to watch these brilliant, ambitious women leave the workforce en masse--much to the detriment of their employers and the business world at large.
I joined the Second Shift to continue doing what I love which is helping companies realize their business goals, while also creating options for my peers in the workplace. I spent many years at Allen & Company working with mission-driven entrepreneurs in the education sector who worked hard to both build companies, and improve the lives of others. Today, I am thrilled to come home to my young children every day knowing we are working hard grow our business and to improve their options for work in the future.