When Stacey Brooks Delo had her first child in 2010, she also had two college degrees, more than a decade of work experience and a successful career as a reporter and producer for The Wall Street Journal Digital Network in tow. But she found that in order to be a good employee and a good mom, she needed more job flexibility. So, she was able to negotiate her work hours down to three days a week. While it was an ideal situation for her family, she wondered what other working moms do when faced without an answer to this work-life balance issue. After searching for resources and coming up short, she decided to leave her job in 2012 and launch Maybrooks.com: an online community where smart moms find flexible jobs, get inspired and connect with each other. To find out more about Maybrooks.com and how Delo juggles her work and family commitments, LN recently spoke via phone with her from her San Francisco home—where the tiny voices of her almost 4-year-old daughter, Rory, and 2-year-old son, Toby, could be heard murmuring in the background as she worked.
Describe how Maybrooks.com works.
Our goal is to be the go-to resource for women looking for high-end, meaningful, flexible job opportunities. The site is organized into three main sections that allow for that to happen and also allow for employers to find qualified candidates. On our site, 50 percent of women have graduate degrees and six to 20 years of work experience across all industries and expertise.
How can moms navigate the site?
The site is easy to navigate: You can search for flexible jobs, and you can get inspired by other working moms—we spotlight lots of great moms who have very interesting careers. It also encourages women to connect, and share ideas and resources. It’s all about finding jobs, getting inspired and connecting.
What other tools does the site offer moms?
We created an interesting tool where, if moms who are looking for jobs and know it to be a good, flexible job for another mom, we post it so another mom can see it. It goes back to our tagline: Where smart Moms help each other find flexible careers. We want women to have the power to help each other and this tool allows them to do that.
What is the significance of the Maybrooks name?
The company is named after my great-grandmother, who went to work during the Great Depression out of necessity, and then worked for 35 years because she loved working. We wanted to name the site after someone inspirational because some women work because they want to, and some women work because they have to.
What challenges do today’s working moms face, and how does Maybrooks help?
In many cases—for women who want to work—it’s being able to find the right fit at the right time, where they are able to contribute in a meaningful way to companies without feeling the guilt of not being at home as a mom. The guilt is the biggest challenge we see, that’s why every company on our site has to answer the question: What makes this job mom-friendly? It creates trust between the person and those looking to hire. We know a lot of (mom-friendly) companies exist, and we want to be able to tell that story on our platform.
How do you personally juggle a career and motherhood?
It’s really about defining the boundaries that work for you and holding true to them. So, I schedule meetings between drop-off and pick-up of the kids—I call it the bus-stop gig. And I’m back online at night after everyone goes to bed. I think that the juggle is really about being very clear about what works for you and your family.
Did you have a working mom?
I feel like I grew up with a great working-mom model. From the time when I was 10, she worked, and I grew up with that being what I knew and understood was possible. She was a flexible role model for me and my sister, who also works a full-time job. Probably a large part of why I wanted to start the site was because I’d seen how it could work. (Editor's note: Delo, who grew up in St. Louis, is the daughter of Sherry Delo of Delo Advisors.)
What is your advice to working moms and those heading back into the workforce?
Have comfort in knowing that there are companies that want to hire you, and want to benefit from the experience and talent that you bring to the table. There are great opportunities out there for you. What we’re finding is that women are so highly educated, really want to contribute—and sometimes need to financially contribute—to their families, and they also want to be good moms. There’s a way to do that, and Maybrooks can be a resource to help you get there.