By Crystal Faris, Director of People Development and Culture
In celebration of International Women’s History month this past March, I had the opportunity to sit down with members of Personify’s mom group, PersoniMoms. PersoniMoms was created as a resource for new moms and has been such a good support network and community that it has grown and become a valuable group for all moms to share stories, offer support and encouragement, give recommendations and advice to one another and of course share cute pictures of their kiddos. This group is just one of the many awesome ways Personify continues to foster an inclusive, growth-minded and supportive culture, and it’s one of the multiple reasons women choose to start and further their career here.
A few of the group’s members – Kristen (SMB Account Executive), Ashley (Customer Success Team Lead), Mary (Brand and Communications Manager) and Jasmine (Manager, People Operations) – took the time to share a little more about what this supportive bond through work means to them.
Why do you think someone would want a group like this at work?
I came from an industry where there were a lot of men; there were few women and even less women with children, as many left prior to motherhood. When I joined Personify, my direct manager and a number of colleagues on my team were all in the same stage of life. When I was accepting the role, I told my boss that knowing there was a moms group was a big motivator for me: women with children have a level of empathy and support they can provide that others can’t. You don’t have to explain why you are tired, frustrated or having a hard day. They understand it’s because of sleep regression, a sick child, teething or just the insane amount of effort it takes to get a toddler dressed. – Mary, Brand and Communications Manager
Why did you choose Personify, and why do you stay?
My previous job was at a start-up that was acquired by a big corporation. Someone in my network was already working here and recommended I apply. Based on all of the amazing things she shared about the culture and my interview experience with the People Operations team, I knew this was the place for me. I was 12 weeks pregnant when I interviewed (15 weeks when I joined), and my future manager was extremely supportive, knowing I’d be going out on maternity leave just five months into joining. She went so far as to share information on maternity leave and benefits before interviewing, knowing that would be important to my decision. The upfront support of my manager, and knowing this group of moms existed, was incredibly welcoming. I’m now back from maternity leave, and I wake up looking forward to working with my team. With the flexibility and support of my team and this group, I feel engaged in my role and confident in the balance I have with my mom-life. After leaving a big corporation, it’s so nice to feel like I’ve found a work family in Personify. – Jasmine, Manager, People Operations
One of the great things about Personify is the culture we had pre-Covid has continued to flourish while we are all remote. Being part of the moms group was an added layer of connection to work and the world outside my home when we weren’t really seeing anyone. There was, and continues to be, a blend of work and personal conversations and celebrations. The friendships, personal life announcements and professional milestone celebrations have just moved online, but we are always there to cheer each other on. – Kristen, SMB Account Executive
Do you have any mentors or role models who are successful at work and as moms?
My direct boss, Laura Sanders, and I have worked together for six years. I saw her transition into motherhood and working; her daughter is 15 mos older than my oldest. It’s beneficial for me to ask her questions and hear her insights. At the same time, she’s a Director on the leadership team, so I can see that it’s possible to balance everything and to play an impactful role at Personify. – Kristen
My manager, Kathy Marshall, is a mom of 12-year-old twins and an incredible HR business leader. Not only is she super focused on being an HR female executive and making Personify an even better place to work, but she also still finds the time to do fun activities with her kids. She always tells me that “kids come first.” It’s a great feeling to have that support and flexibility when I need it and to know you can accomplish great things in business while being a mom. – Jasmine
What advice have you received as someone building a career and balancing parenthood that’s made a difference?
“You are replaceable at work but not at home.” I’ve been at jobs where I was burnt out; but now, my priority is my family. The culture at Personify doesn’t make me feel guilty for that, and as a result, when I’m working, I’m all in. – Ashley, Customer Success Team Lead
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.” Whether going for a walk or taking a few moments to collect myself, I refill my cup before I start my day or turn back to my family in the evening. In my one-on-one meetings with my boss, there’s a scale to weigh in on how I feel. That’s vital for everyone during these trying times but even more so for moms as we are carrying so much. In addition, we have things like company-wide wellness days where we are asked to prioritize ourselves. It’s a huge commitment for a company like ours to offer that, and I know we all appreciate it. – Kristen
“Do what works best for you as a mom and always put your child first.” I’ve been more productive and happier at work following these mantras and this is always my advice to other mamas now. – Jasmine
Was there a turning point or “aha” moment in your career- if so- what was it?
When I left my previous job, I knew I’d achieved everything I wanted to in that industry. But, the cost was working a lot of nights and weekends. That’s time you can’t get back. My daughter learned to walk at an arena during a basketball tournament that I was producing. When I was home when the pandemic started, I realized I would miss out on more milestones. So, I found a role and a company where I could make an impact, feel challenged and still be here for all the crucial moments. Working at Personify, I can be both the attentive mom I want to be and a contributing professional. I appreciate the support to do that. – Mary
Why would you encourage someone to join the group?
We are all part of other mom groups outside of work, on social media or in our neighborhoods. There is a lot of politics and judgment. But, we genuinely don’t see that here. It’s just a lot of celebrating and no holds barred support. There’s more diversity with an employee group with people located all over, bringing different backgrounds and opinions. There is obviously the shared experience of motherhood; there’s the common company culture that solidifies our bond. – Ashley
Personify deeply appreciates and promotes the contributions of the women on and leading their teams. It’s just one of the many ways we live our values and support our teams. If you are looking for an opportunity to transition your career or re-enter the workforce, we’re hiring for a number of remote and hybrid opportunities. You can explore them on our Career page here. Or, follow us on LinkedIn to stay in touch with what’s going on.