Women in the workforce often feel tremendous strain between their jobs and caregiving obligations. This conversation discusses the benefits moms can bring to businesses and their communities. When businesses offer some type of flexibility, women can achieve professional and personal goals without compromise.
Below are selected excerpts, just a taste, but both employers and those seeking jobs will want to listen to this fun and informative conversation in its entirety! You’ll enjoy the conversation.
Topics covered on Podcast:
- How Boulo Started
- The Fear of Never Being Able to Return to the Workforce
- Micro-Testing the Concept
- Divine Intervention through Sleepless Nights
- Talent Onboarding Process
- Benefits to Businesses, Benefits to Women
- Four Ways to Create Flexibility
- Roles Boulo Offers
- What the Companies Look like
- Moms and Work Struggles; How Women Can Stay in the Workforce
- Quality, Not Compromise
- Small Business Benefits, Community Benefits
- True Stories of How Delphine and Sirena make it work
- Spray Paint in the Driveway
- Don’t “Should” All Over Yourself
- Pinterest Moms
- Finding Rhythm
- “Unbecoming” – the Journey
SM-T (Host Sirena Moore-Thomas): Hello and welcome to another exciting episode of the B.M.W. life. That’s boss life, mom life, wife life, and I am your host, Sirena Moore: Destroyer of Comfort Zones, Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur, and Homeschooling Mama. Yeah, doing a little bit of this and a little bit of that. But guess what? I want to show you how to find your rhythm and how to discover your God-given purpose. How to do this thing called life with less grind, girl, and more grace. I promise you; you are in for a treat…
I am so excited to be here with my newfound friend Miss Delphine Carter… we’ve been friends for like 5 minutes, but let me tell you, I do believe that this is a divine match. I am so excited to share her and her information and her business with all of you that are listening. You know, here at the B.M.W. life, we are always looking to encourage, empower, inspire you, push you forward and give you the hope that you might need right now…
Micro-Testing and Productive Embarrassment
SM-T: I am so ready to dive into the conversation on so many levels. One, because I’m looking for people for my own company. Two, because we’re constantly helping women to understand their value and get back into the swing of things, so this is just going to make it all the way around the list.
… Let’s dive into Boulo and how and why you started it.
DC (Delphine Carter): We just leaned on our network of women and our network of companies and started testing it. And the result was that companies felt that moms performed more in the amount of time that they spent working on that job than any other person in their business. They (employers) thought that having the mom as part of their team built cohesiveness and just added value to their culture. So, we’ve just kept growing off the premise that we can bring you very talented women as long as you are willing to offer a flexible work culture that helps them continue to be the caregivers they want to be.
SM-T: Another thing we talk about here for those trying to move into action, micro-test. What would it hurt? What would you lose by trying?
DC: Yes, I became so curious. Why can’t this change? Starting it small helps you to change your messaging.
There’s something that they say in Product: if you can look at your marketing collateral that you created six months ago and not be ashamed, you haven’t evolved enough.
You should be able to look back and be like, “Oh, that’s embarrassing, but look how far I’ve come!”
Serving and Success of Women in the Workforce
SM-T: You are serving at such an incredible level. You are serving a group of women that have been waiting for you to show up. I’m so glad that you answered that call. Look at the lives of the women that you are able to impact now because they are doing what they are supposed to be doing. But that didn’t happen before you did what you were supposed to do. So how awesome is that?
DC: When you’re going through it, it’s a lot like what you read in the Bible. Like, you picked me? You want me to do this? But eventually, you get past that fear and say, I’m going to try it, I’m just going to keep trying it…
We start every meeting by talking about a success story. An email that we got from a woman. Or an email that we got from a company, who is trying to find diverse talent but couldn’t figure out how to reach them. Someone trying to find people who didn’t look like everybody else on their team because they knew they would not be the great company they wanted to be unless they added diversity.
Roles and Levels
SM-T: Wow…But these are not just why you know Virtual Assistant or Administrative Assistant jobs.
So, talk a little bit about the type of positions you are filling for your clients.
DC: Glad you brought that up. Yeah.
This week we filled, for example, a C.F.O. role. So, it runs the gamut. The majority of our women have over eight years of experience. It is in marketing, project management, bookkeeping, customer success, sales. Those are our key five big ones. And the level can go anywhere from the Administrative Assistant level all the way up to the C-Suite.
So, our original goal was to help women stay in the workforce. If we can help those working full-time and have zero flexibility, so they don’t feel like they have to get on that “off-ramp,” we can get more women into the C-Suite.
We’re giving that opportunity to women who are in mid-level management roles to find a company willing to embrace their caregiving side so that they can stay in (the workforce). And then some of these women eventually start looking for that CFO role right that offers that flexibility too. And so, we’ve been able to grow it to all levels of a career.
The Businesses – What they Gain from Women in Their Workforce
SM-T: The other side of this is your companies, the companies that you’re working with. Are these all small and mid-sized businesses? Are these Fortune 500? Tell us a little bit about what that side looks like because we have many listeners that are business owners.
DC: We typically work with small to medium-sized businesses with under 500 employees. And the reason, this was part of our testing, right. When we were testing the market, I was going to the Regions and the Alabama Powers, and we’ve got a wonderful community. So, I was getting access. But what I realized is those corporate cultures, and it can change after Covid, was that they weren’t quite there yet to offer women the flexibility they needed.
And so, we pivoted to go with small to medium-sized businesses. They really embraced the messaging and what we’re talking about. A good many of our companies are tech startups or people in the startup space. I think that’s because they’re willing to be more nimble and agile.
We offer companies (varied ways to hire). But we vet all the women for them. Before we hand somebody over to you, we vet the people, and then we say okay, here’s three to five profiles that we think are a great match for your role. Tell us who you want to interview.
We work with a business to really understand what that profile looks like, and that’s where we get to be the advocate for the women.
What we also do is work with them on their culture. It’s not just women that have to have the flexibility. We need them to start understanding that males in the office, anybody who’s a caregiver, needs to have that flexibility. If men still get the side-eye when they decide they’re going to take a paternity leave, it’s not going to help the women move further. So we need the men to be able to be the parents that they want to be, just like the women need to be the caregivers that they want to be.
No Ma’am, You DON’T Have to Give Up Your Professional Self
SM-T: Love it. This is so good. There are a million things going through my head right now. In my homeschool community right now, there are women who have completely left the workforce because they felt called, compelled, led to educate their children through homeschool.
And all over the homeschool boards is, “How are you guys making money? You know I’m new to homeschool. What do I do to earn income besides driving Uber a couple of hours or doing the grocery delivery thing?”
You would be so surprised. There are, again, accountants, bookkeepers, marketing folks. I mean people who have had amazing careers and feel like they have to totally abandon that and come down a lot of notches and just accept whatever, so that they can continue to homeschool. And through your service, you’re saying, no ma’am. You don’t have to give that up.
DC: No! Oh my gosh, yeah! I was about to use a bad word; that’s what frustrates me so much. I feel like a woman’s only way of earning money is you have to be in a full-time role, or you’ve got to fall for a pyramid scheme.
And it’s okay, like I’m glad there are people out there selling my skin products. I’m glad there are people out there with these great clothing lines. But that’s just not that’s not me.
I think there’s a lot of women who, that’s not how they see themselves maintaining their career side. So what we’re able to do for the bookkeeping is just such a perfect example… We’ll match you with a company because we work with smaller companies. That’s a great solution for them (businesses). You know, that’s how I can scale.
And so, we’re giving communities the opportunity to have small business growth by accessing top talent, which is these women who made a very conscious decision to homeschool but don’t want to lose their professional side.
Powerful Solution for Women, Small Businesses, and Communities
SM-T: I love the fact that you don’t have to compromise on quality as a small business…and what you’re offering is such a powerful solution to the small business community.
DC: I think that’s the part that I under-estimated until I started hearing my peers, who were like, “Oh my gosh, I can afford, I can actually afford somebody to do my Quickbooks! It doesn’t have to be me; I can push that off!”
SM-T:… that’s not understood in the larger Marketplace. And here with you, that’s the culture, like that’s exactly what you can get, and get high quality at the same time. It’s brilliant!
DC: It’s also that a small business owner doesn’t have the time to sift through 150 resumes of people that may or may not be qualified and may have actually forgotten they applied and not care to be in the pool anymore.
So yeah, we hope to save (businesses) time, money and get them the quality they need on the women’s side. It’s just a perfect ecosystem of two people helping each other.
And then our communities get stronger. I think the last count, there are still 1.4 million women that are out of the workforce. Our communities, our economies, they cannot survive with that many people out of work not earning money. Unless we find a way to help these women get back into the workforce, where they still feel like they can protect and guide and be with their kids, our economies are going to suffer.
How Do You Manage?
SM-T: I want to switch gears just a little because on the other side of this awesome baby business that is growing fast is Ms. Delphine Carter and all of her dreams, goals, ambition, and things and kids and family, and you’re a real boss and a mom in your own right. So let’s talk about you and how are you managing it all, my dear?
DC: By the minute. Have you ever heard of that style of work; they call it managing your life in 15 minute increments? That’s my personal life…
Finding Rhythm and Knowing Who You Are
SM-T: So when it comes to trying to find your rhythm, that’s all you’re doing. You’re finding your rhythm. It’s not a permanent place, especially when you’re talking about the kids. There they’re going to change every six months. Sometimes they’re changing more depending on what age they are.
DC: I create sticky notes that I put up on my computer screen and one of them is know who you are and act like it…
“I’ve got to know who I am and act like me. I cannot try to be anybody else.“Delphine Carter
About The B.M.W. Life™ (Boss Mom Wife Life) Podcast
Host Sirena Moore-Thomas shows women in “high demand” aka BMW’s, how to find their rhythm, discover their God-given purpose, and do this thing called life with Less Grind and More Grace! The Podcast is totally unscripted and shares real-life experiences (both triumphs and defeats) along with practical advice, tools, and resources.