Emmy-winning and Golden Globe-nominated standup comedian, actress, writer, producer and director, Amy Schumer returns to the road for the first time in four years and makes a tour stop at The Ridgefield Playhouse for a sold-out show on Friday, September 30.
Her show at The Ridgefield Playhouse, sponsored by FoundHer – Recruiting with Purpose, will be a special opportunity for ticket holders to see her perform in an intimate 500-seat theater. FoundHer – Recruiting with Purpose is filling the void in the workplace for mothers who are eager to return to work and seeking a work-life balance.
Co-founded by Runa Knapp and Jasmine Silver, they are modernizing the hiring process by connecting talented, professional mothers seeking flexible opportunities, as well as commuters looking for local or flexible new opportunities, with many modern companies who are seeking increased diversity and efficiency on their teams, but lack access to highly experienced candidates outside their core network. FoundHer will be in the lobby prior to the performance, ticket holders are encouraged to stop by their table for more information. They were inspired by Amy Schumer’s return to the road as a working mother and chose to sponsor her performance. The Ridgefield Playhouse sat down with Runa and Jasmine to find out more about FoundHer.
RPH: FoundHer LLC is sponsoring Amy Schumer’s sold out performance at The Ridgefield Playhouse on September 30. This is Amy’s first time back on the road as a working mother. How did your own experience with taking a break to focus on motherhood inspire you to create FoundHer?
JASMINE: The intense hours I was working as an attorney in New York City coupled with my husband’s hours which were significantly longer, no paid maternity leave, and no provisions for flexibility upon my return, all factored into my decision to leave the corporate world when I started my family. After I left the corporate world, I vowed to work towards addressing inequities for women in the workplace in my next role. Runa and I co-founded FoundHer in 2019 and in just three years, FoundHer has become an industry leader and one of the few full service recruiting firms in the country focused on female talent and flexible opportunities.
RUNA: My company allowed the flexibility I needed and I spent the last four years at my firm in a part-time capacity. However, between my husband starting a demanding job in New York City which required him to travel frequently and my two young kids in daycare picking up colds/flus throughout most of the winter (peak season for my line of work), I made the decision to leave the consulting firm to focus on my family full-time after my final busy season in 2016. During the break from work, I met Jasmine and realized there was a void in the workplace for mothers like us, who were eager to return to work and seeking a work-life balance. We knew there were countless other talented, professional mothers seeking flexible opportunities and we wanted to help them. We also knew of companies who were seeking to increase diversity and efficiency on their teams so this all led to us forming a white-glove recruiting company.
RPH: What do you think are the biggest hurdles facing working mothers and how does FoundHer help?
Working mothers need increased support and equity at home in order to truly succeed equally in the workplace. This goal requires a monumental societal shift in priorities and can’t be solved solely by one company trying to make a difference. However, there are other tangible hurdles that working mothers face, that FoundHer seeks to remedy, including: (1) balancing home and caretaking responsibilities with work, (2) navigating the various layers of workplace flexibility with enhanced communication and logistics, and (3) pushing back against the negative “working mother” stereotypes.
When it comes to balancing home and caretaking responsibilities, FoundHer seeks to work only with companies that value work/life balance and offer its employees some form of flexibility. Our candidates can hopefully feel confident that when working through us, they are matching up with a company that shares their values and recognizes the merit their unique background brings to the team.
As for navigating the various layers of flexibility, including the need for enhanced communication and workplace logistics, FoundHer’s role is twofold:
- First, we encourage and facilitate initial, upfront communication and one-on-one or in-person meetings between candidates and employers about the agreed upon work arrangement. This ensures that everybody is on the same page when starting out, nobody feels surprised or blindsided, and new employees feel a sense of connection with their team members and any supervisors or managers.
- Second, FoundHer works with its clients to help them implement different forms of flexibility that go beyond traditional work from home or hybrid options, including allowing in-person employees to structure their workday as it makes sense for their schedule, or allowing flexibility for daytime appointments.
We encourage companies we work with to interview “out of the box” candidates, with the idea that if they want a diverse team they have to be willing to consider candidates who do not have the exact same background as every other employee on their team, including mothers who have taken a career break or who are pivoting from a parallel industry. FoundHer prioritizes working with employers who see the value in this kind of untapped talent and are willing to do a little extra training in order to bring a diverse perspective on board.
RPH: How has the pandemic changed the landscape for working women?
In many industries and companies, the pandemic and its resulting “work from home” revolution actually worked out well, and changed the landscape for working women in a positive way. Employers noticed that employees who were afforded certain kinds of workplace flexibility during the pandemic that they had not had before, were more productive, efficient and happier without having to commute, and achieved more work/life balance in terms of home and family responsibilities. Of course, some employees felt isolated by not seeing coworkers in person or overwhelmed by not having a dedicated work space, and many parents struggled to take care of their home and children without support, while simultaneously working from home.
While not perfect by any means, I think the global work from home experiment proved that the workplace does NOT have to stay the same as it has for decades in order to be effective. As such, many companies now are continuing remote work indefinitely, or at least implementing a hybrid structure where employees work some days remotely and others in-office.
According to industry experts, many companies are now also investing in a “culture of care” for women that includes hybrid and flexible work models. While public and private sectors need to continue to work towards advancing policies designed to overcome long-standing, unfriendly policies towards women, particularly mothers, in the workplace, the pandemic pushed the movement forward and actually changed the landscape for working women in a positive way.
RPH: How does FoundHer differ from other recruiting agencies?
The caliber of our candidates and our hands-on attention to detail are what make us successful. We have a wide network of highly educated professional candidates, many of whom are not seeking jobs through avenues outside of FoundHer. 57% of our candidates hold an advanced degree, and many of our candidates are working women and mothers returning to the workforce after a brief career break.
We modernize the hiring process by helping both candidates and companies look beyond job titles and buzz words, and focus on finding the best fit for your team based on skill sets, personality and values. We offer companies experienced candidates outside the typical candidate pool and we help women find career opportunities that align with their passions and priorities. The great news is that we’re growing rapidly because more women are ready to get back into the workforce after taking time off during the pandemic, and are seeking out our services as their go-to recruiting firm.
RPH: What do you see for future generations of women in the workforce?
Flexibility and inclusion! Fingers crossed that in the future, flexibility and the conscious inclusion of women are the workplace norm rather than novel concepts, as both are crucial to an organization’s long term success. We are very encouraged by the effort we see so many companies making now to ensure that these concepts are a reality in their workplace. Whether it’s offering a local satellite office space to an employee, work from home or hybrid opportunities, or even creating more part-time or flexible senior level roles, companies are now realizing that if they want to attract top talent and elevate their companies above the rest, offering employees this necessary flexibility and encouraging diversity of thought is the way to adapt to the changing world.
Are you interested in sponsoring a performance at The Ridgefield Playhouse? Visit our website for more information!