FIRST THOUGHT: Moms to the Rescue
If you’re at the mall and in need of some aspirin or a snack or a pep talk, look no further than the nearest mom. Doesn’t it seem like they somehow have extra arms and eyes in the back of their heads? They’re wiping their kids’ noses while driving, and they somehow know when little Tommy is flushing socks down the toilet. It proves to me that most of the mama bears out there are pretty dang unstoppable.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 550
If you’re at the age when you’re considering having a child in the next year or so, maternity-leave policies could make or break a job offer for you. But here’s the thing: It’s often difficult to even track down these policies, and it’s awkward to ask for them before you accept a position. What are you going to say? “I might get pregnant soon, so, how much time can I be away from this place?”
Georgene Haung and Romy Newman found a solution. They created the website Fairygodboss, where women can search through at least 550 companies and read real, anonymous reviews about those companies’ maternity-leave policies. Fairygodboss also crowdsources other key items women should consider when job hunting, like salaries, bonuses, flextime and health care.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Jennifer James: Founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good
One of the most powerful characteristics of the Internet is that if you’re determined enough, you can gather a lot of people together for a shared cause. Jennifer James did just that. She started the largest and oldest social-media network of mommy bloggers, called Mom Bloggers Club. Its 23,000 members can learn about blogging trends, and get advertising, parenting and helpful online how-to advice.
When Jennifer was blogging about digital media website Mashable’s Social Good Summit in 2010, she was struck by the power a group of good-willed people can have. Soon after, while on a trip to Kenya that changed her world perspective, Jennifer challenged herself to spread good deeds and do more to help others, and about a year later, she created Mom Bloggers for Social Good.
What sets this site apart is the “social good” part. Jennifer started the organization in 2012 with 400 founding members. They used their social-media platforms and blogs to talk about children’s issues, environmental and health issues, charitable causes and about the site’s many nonprofit and non-governmental-organization partners. Partners are chosen based on whether they fit into the site’s key action areas, like health issues affecting girls and women.
Bloggers also travel to learn firsthand the great work these partner organizations are doing, and take readers on their journeys. Some 3,000 members in 30 countries are part of Mom Bloggers for Social Good. And their blog posts have reached more than 50 million people throughout the world.
This industrious lady received a National Press Foundation Global Vaccines Fellowship, and Fast Company named her one of its 10 Most Generous Social Media Mavens.
Jennifer’s advice for writers and moms who want to make a difference with their words is to be consistent and passionate. She believes one reason this collection of writerly activists makes such a difference is because of the “we’re all in this together” sentiment. They feel stronger when they’re standing next to other women—even if it’s only in the digital world—and, together, they’re bringing awareness to worldwide issues that matter the most.
QUITE THE QUOTE
These mothers are making a difference beyond raising happy and healthy kiddos. But moms have long been difference makers, as this age-old Jewish proverb notes:
“God could not be everywhere, and therefore, he made mothers.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.