In a country where it’s not unusual for a woman to return to work just days after giving birth, maternity leave is a hot topic in America.
Despite this, the majority of women are loathe to bring up the topic during a job interview for fear of being discriminated against for having, or someday wanting, children.
There’s also precious little online information available on the policies of most companies, making it difficult to assess the attitude towards parents and the general work culture before applying for a job at a certain firm.
Frustrated by this lack of information, job hunter and former Head of Enterprise Business at Dow Jones, Georgene Huang decided to do something about it.
The Stanford grad and mum-of-one, who was pregnant with her second child, teamed up with former Dow Jones co-worker and fellow mum Romy Newman to launch Fairy Godboss, a website specialising in “company reviews for women — because everyone could use a guardian angel for their career.”
A combination of company statistics and real stories, the site allows visitors to see how their company compares to others, seek advice and potentially get the inside scoop before approaching an interview or accepting a role.
In the Confessions section, users share their experiences of juggling careers and families. One user says: “I always went above-and-beyond (weekends, nights, making tight deadlines, etc). After I announced my pregnancy, I get the cold shoulder in subtle ways (even though I worked just as hard). Infuriating!”
The site has proven a hit with users (all anonymous) and is being compared to Yelp, but for maternity leave and office culture reviews
“It’s about the experience of being a woman in a company,” Huang told the New York Post.
“I thought there were going to be a lot of haters, but there aren’t,” Newman adds. “Even where they’re critical, they’re textured, very thoughtful. We’ve gotten very few angry rants.”
While the site is proving invaluable to women, its founders hope it will also serve as a resource for businesses eager to improve their policies and even the playing field for female recruits.
Have you ever stopped yourself from asking about a company’s maternity leave policy? Join the conversation on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.