We’re on a mission to connect mamas to job opportunities that appeal to every aspect of their lives. All mamas should feel professionally fulfilled, empowered + freakin happy. We deserve it.
JESSICA GAFFNEY, FOUNDER
First and foremost, Jessica is the mama to a sassy and sweet four year old little lady named Gray and a one year old boy named Graham. She lives in Austin, TX with her kiddos and husband, Seth but she still considers herself a New Yorker. This translates into a badass attitude. Just kidding. Sort of.
Jessica has 14 years of experience working in marketing and development. She spent the first 8 years of her career in the for-profit sector before transitioning to nonprofit. It was a big decision for her but one she is super proud of and happy to talk about ad nauseum. Before starting Pro Mama, she served as Development Director for Sustainable Food Center, a central Texas nonprofit that helps people access, cook, and grow fresh and local food.
Jessica’s experience searching for flexible work when she became a mother was her inspiration for Pro Mama. She often asked herself “Why is it so difficult to find high quality work that fits my current lifestyle?” When she had a second child and was faced with similar professional challenges, she decided to launch Pro Mama. She loves her work of connecting companies with hard-working and highly-skilled mamas. Like really loves it.
ARIELE ROSCH, FOUNDER
There is a lot to discuss when it comes to Ariele, but let’s start when she went from plain old Ariele to Mama. The one responsible for this name change is Bodhi, her now three year old son, whose appearance on the scene was all at once exciting and terrifying. Ariele, up until that point had worked ultra-demanding, long-houred roles as an Art Director but couldn’t rectify leaving this helpless creature and heading back to the cubicle for 70+ hour weeks. Ultimately, right before the end of her (generous) maternity leave was over she put in her two-weeks notice and left a job she loved for a tiny tyrant she loved even more. She spent the next two years rediscovering herself and what was important, working part-time, freelancing and always side-hustling like a boss.
Ariele currently works at Facebook as a Creative Strategist in the Austin office.
WHY AREN'T WE CALLED PRO-PARENT?
We thought long and hard about our choice to focus on mamas instead of all parents. There are many reasons for this but what it comes down to is that until society does better at supporting mamas, they need more support than dads do. In the workplace, women are still discriminated against for having children and often take a step back in their career because of it. Men simply don’t bear the brunt of parenthood judgement.
The physical and logistical components of motherhood are also not spoken about often enough. Women need to physically recover from childbirth and they often are the sole nutrient provider (a.k.a. breastmilk creator) for a period of time. Let’s also be honest about responsibilities. Most women are also expected to cook, clean and keep up with household responsibilities. This is not, by any means, a jab at men. We love men and we’re married to two awesome ones. Plenty of men are equal partners when it comes to parenthood and household work. Some take on more than their female partners. And some women want (key word) to take the lead with these responsibilities. However, societal norms just aren’t there yet and the expectation that women will take on more of the parenting and household responsibilities is still alive and well. Until those perceptions change (and we know it takes time), we are focusing on mamas.
WHAT ARE WE CHECKING AT THE DOOR?
Our privilege. Right here. Right now. We are white, educated women with supportive partners who make nice livings. We can afford our own home and childcare for our kiddos. We can decide not to work, work part-time for less pay or full time. We have a CHOICE. We can make these types of professional decisions and it is a privilege in and of itself. One we do not take lightly. One we will not take for granted. One we are thankful for. We know that others don’t have those choices to make and how lucky we are.
Our goal is to support women in all aspects of their lives and as we grow this site, we intend to do just that. Please continue to reach out and let us know what would be helpful to you. Our virtual door is always open.