At I Want Her Job we love a good startup story, and we like one that involves two friends destined to meet and create a business even more. One day in early 2016, Annie Dean called her friends – asking them to direct her to the smartest women they knew. As fate would have it, a few friends directed Annie to Anna Auerbach, a woman described by mutual friends as a “force of intelligence” and full of energy. Over a phone conversation, Anna shared her thoughts on a business that would help create a marketplace for women seeking flexible job opportunities. Annie was instantly hooked on the idea, and this first phone call ignited a passion and partnership between the two dynamic women.
The idea became Werk, a business dedicated to helping women thrive in the workforce and find flexible job opportunities. Since launching earlier this year, Werk has received funding, created a marketplace for flexible jobs with over 60 companies – including Facebook, Uber and Samsung – and has hired a staff of four and developed a new product.
Anna’s Harvard MBA and McKinsey background, combined with Anna’s experience in practicing law, they say, has given them a distinct advantage during their research, analysis and business planning phases for Werk. As self-professed data geeks, Annie and Anna knew that data was showing them a business opportunity for a site like Werk was there. And as ambitious young mothers to toddlers with demanding professional careers, Anna and Annie understand firsthand the challenges women face when they don’t want – or cannot take a break – from working. In fact, research shows more than 30% of women end up leaving the workforce after having children. And, of those that left, 70% say they would have stayed in their jobs if they had been given more flexibility. Furthermore, a Bain research study has shown that women value flexibility more than titles, location and pay. The data, as well as common sense, shows the supply is there, and from a business perspective, flexibility lowers costs and helps companies recruit and retain top talent.
We’re thrilled to share episode 33 of I Want Her Job: The Podcast with you. We hope the story of Annie and Annie inspire you to shift your own thoughts on the work/life culture.
In episode 32 of I Want Her Job: The Podcast, we speak with Lauren Collins, staff writer at The New Yorker, and author of When In French: Love In A Second Language. The book, which is a memoir of falling in love, learning a new language and adjusting to a new culture, was recently selected as a “Notable Book of 2016” by The New York Times. And it’s easy to see why.
With plenty of humor and fascinating details on linguistics and French culture, in the book Lauren recounts her journey of learning and adjusting to a life in France. In her interview, she shares the story of the one decision that changed her life. Weeks before her 30th birthday, Lauren decided to shake things up, requesting to work for The New Yorker from London. It was during this fateful trip that, in a decidedly American way, Lauren walked over and introduced herself … to her future husband!
Eventually moving with him to Paris, When In French chronicles the cultural adjustments and clashes of living in a new country. Listen in to hear more about Lauren’s journey, details on her sought-after job at The New Yorker and more.