Focus on what you can do as a mum
Anita and Jess are two founders wanting to change the stat that mums are three times more likely to leave the workforce during their 30s due to the demands of motherhood with their unique marketplace helping mums follow their dreams, MumbleMe.
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.Please can you give us your 30 second elevator pitch?
“So MumbleMe exists to give every mum in Australia access to the career opportunity she chooses when she chooses it. We know the statistics, mums are three times more likely to leave the workforce during their 30s due to the demands of motherhood. And the motherhood penalty can last up to a decade, impacting career progression, the gender pay gap, and superannuation.
Our solution is MumbleMe. It's an online marketplace where mums can go to find their next job or to simply understand what sort of career options are available to them when they're ready to make the next move. So essentially, MumbleMe is a separate laneway for mums when applying and interviewing for jobs. When hiring managers, host jobs through our platforms and mums apply for those jobs. We give them the opportunity to then have a more meaningful conversation about how their skills can benefit the business and it's more about what mums can do and not what mums can't do.”
How has psychological safety been important to you in the journey of MumbleMe?
“We launched quickly in April 2022, so just a bit over a year ago. Jess and I met for coffee and this idea that I had brewing for a few years, pun intended, came up. And then by the end of that catch up, we were in partnership. We planned to launch by November and somehow did that to simply test this idea in the real world.
And I guess at the time we didn't really think through like maybe the emotional impact or like the fact that we face failure a lot very quickly. And somewhere in that time we met Mums & Co. So we launched, did a soft launch in November and then by February we launched a little bit harder and it became very apparent that we were going to need to align ourselves to more established business network.
Mums & Co kind of got me with that line ‘Australia's most caring business networking community.’ And so I just sort of laid out the dream to Lucy in that first meeting. And her response was, you know, basically, okay, well, we're here to support you, get there. She's just started letting me try a few ideas, which I would say at the time, like they didn't really go anywhere substantial, but it allowed me to put myself out there and sort of, be faced with having to pivot quickly even when it didn't work. So for example, we did a colouring competition and I guess, you know, in the past something like that would have landed but it didn't land the way I thought it would. And what I actually found from that experience was a technology solution in our current technology, you know, tools that we had that allowed us to actually develop a mechanism to partner with advocates to get this marketplace going. But if we didn't sort of have Mums & Co saying like, ‘hey, you know, like just put it out there and let's see what happens’. I don't think I would have like stepped back from that experience and thought, well, even though this is not working, you know, like Mums & Co has developed this community literally for this reason for us to test and learn. So what is it that they're saying about what I'm doing that I can take and sort of apply it to my own feeling failure in this point and step back and go, okay, how do I make this better? How do I learn from this? What did I get out of it? And something completely unrelated, a solution completely unrelated to a colouring competition actually came out of that. And I just don't think I would have been able to do that mentally if I didn't have a safe space to just test something.”
How has technology allowed you to grow at MumbleMe?
“We've learnt a lot about how our technology solutions can grow with us. We sort of picked our technology solutions sort of carefully, but we picked ones that basically sort of structured us in a certain way, but with enough flexibility for us to do some custom things. And we've learned that whenever we come up with a new idea for our marketplace, we go back to the technology tools that we've already picked and go, what can we test with our current technology solutions that are going to get the desired effect for what we're thinking? And a lot of the time, you don't actually need to look at new softwares tech solutions and we were doing that a lot at the start, but we've realized now we just go back to the few we've picked and go, how can we actually achieve a test version of this with what we've got? And a lot of the time it is simply just going back to your developer or designer and having a 20-minute chat and going, I'm thinking this, can this do it? If it can't, we have this other tool, can it do it together? And if not, am I thinking about the solution incorrectly? And a lot of the times, instead of going and searching, you can paint the new tools and technology and building things. When we've done that, we've been able to pivot really quickly. And the other thing I'd say about it is, you know, don't be afraid of backend technology, like just get in there and learn it. A lot of things I've been able to build myself when chatting to a developer, and it's actually not that difficult. So be brave and just get in the backend.”
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