It all started with a spin class.
On summer vacations in New York, Seattle‐based marketing consultant Gina Hadley enjoyed taking classes at Flywheel Sports, and eventually became fast friends with the founder of the popular cycling studio, Jay Galluzzo, and his wife, Jenny. Hadley, a marketing consultant, began working together with Jenny, who headed up the exercise studio’s retail and merchandising initiatives, to launch Flywheel on the West Coast. That experience led them to ask: How can they help other women continue to do meaningful work but have it fit into their schedules as moms?
The answer: The Second Shift, a placement agency that pairs mothers with deep business world experience with companies offering part‐time, short‐term and flexible positions so women can still spend time with their families. Hadley and Galluzzo tapped into their vast personal networks of women and companies. Their finding? “The biggest need was at the intersection of marketing and finance, and we focused our attention there,” Galluzzo says.
Since launching in January 2015, membership (which is free but requires an application) has grown to 600 women and about 75 different companies. The Second Shift's services are in high demand—not unlike the women they’re helping to place.
“We’re very careful about curating jobs. We have a very highly skilled and experienced membership base, with an average of 15 years in their respective industries. The jobs we post need to offer a salary matching that,” Galluzzo says.
The driving force
“We are a mission‐driven company. At the end of the day, our job is to create job opportunities for our membership, whether that’s a part‐time position, maternity leave fill‐in or 10 hours a week indefinitely. I feel a huge responsibility for helping hundreds of women find a way to work. We’re trying to change the way people think about flexible work and about women in the workplace,” Galluzzo says.
“Our biggest issue is that we have more members than we have job postings,” Galluzzo says. “I interview each of our members as a part of the application process. Some are commuting an hour and a half each way and want to change that. Some just need to figure out a different way to accommodate their schedules as moms. They don’t want to stop working.”
The Flywheel effect
“We don’t advertise, so The New York Times piece profiling us in December was a great turning point in terms of getting the word out about our company. It’s all word of mouth. The first time a job was posted from a company we didn’t know personally—not through a friend nor their husband nor a sibling—was a really exciting moment for us,” Galluzzo says.