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  • This Mom Of 6 Helps Highly Skilled Moms In Canada Find Companies That Get Their Needs

    She has founded a recruitment agency that matches moms to companies that offer flexibility.
    by Loraine Balita-Centeno .
This Mom Of 6 Helps Highly Skilled Moms In Canada Find Companies That Get Their Needs
PHOTO BY courtesy of Yael Benarroch
  • For 17 years, Yael Benarroch had everything a working mama in Canada could ever wish for: A career in a multinational company that happens to be one of the world’s biggest consumer goods corporation. The job offered her flexibility, which was convenient because she had six kids.

    “I could leave the office at 4 p.m. to pick up my kids and continue my work after they went to bed. I was able to work from home a couple of days per week so that I could have my lunch break with my toddler before she started preschool,” she shares.

    But it was after she contacted a headhunter that Yael, who has two degrees from a top Canadian business school, realized her work setup wasn’t the same for everyone else.

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    The struggle is real when juggling motherhood and a career

    “I contacted a headhunter to get a pulse check and see what other options are out there for me professionally,” Yael recalls. “He told me that I was very lucky to be where I am and that he wouldn’t advise asking any company what flexible arrangement they are willing to offer before I was even given the job,” she shares.

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    “Earn your stripes, and then you can ask for some accommodations,” the recruiter told her. Perplexed, Yael asked a few more head hunters only to be told the same thing.

    Yael realized her options were limited. How do you apply for a job, accept it, work a while there and only know then if you may or may not have the option to still be there for your family, she wondered. So she conducted a survey by asking 40 of her mom friends about juggling work and family life.

    “Within 48 hours, I got 250 responses!” Yael shared. She discovered what many women know: The struggle is real when juggling motherhood and a career. Many have had to step away, even from high-profile, high-earning jobs, to take care of their children because they felt they had no other choice.

    “Many others had to launch an entirely new career that was more conducive to being a parent, throwing away years of academic and professional experience,” Yael says.

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    Yael has made it her mission to get moms back into the workforce and forming partnerships with Canadian companies that offer flexible work arrangements.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Yael Benarroch
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    Passion project by a mom for moms

    Others like Yael felt like they couldn’t get a job from a different company because they wouldn’t know if this new company will offer flexibility that will allow them to still take care of their children. They felt uncomfortable asking questions about flexible schedules or work from home options during the interview process.

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    Fueled by this need to cater to these mothers who she felt needed a way to have career options, Yael started MOMforce as a passion project in 2019. It was a recruitment agency specifically for mothers.

    “I had just given birth to my twins, and as I was talking to mothers, meeting companies, and speaking to industry experts who validated the problem that needs to be solved. I knew I had to start the company,” she says. And so in November 2019, she officially incorporated the agency.

    “We had thousands of moms contacting us,” Yael shares. After merely three months, her pool is now composed of hundreds of highly-skilled, talented mothers from across different fields looking to be matched with a company that offers some level of flexibility.

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    Finding the right fit

    Yael acts like a negotiator between companies and moms looking for work. Some of the jobs she has in her listing are management jobs that offer the chance to work from home a few days per week. “We also had great traction from some world-class companies. However, the demand for jobs far outweighs the supply of job opportunities,” she shares.

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    Yael knows there’s still a lot of work to be done. She believes there’s a need to convince more companies to ditch the antiquated work setup. It has driven away many talented, highly-qualified professional moms and encouraged them to instead adopt something more flexible like the opportunity to work remotely or more flexible work schedules. Even something as simple as the opportunity to work from home a few days per week will allow a mom to still be there for her children while being productive at work.

    Yael hopes her company becomes the most trusted by both companies and mothers in Canada. “Companies will know that we will provide them with top talent, and mothers will turn to us in their job search and trust that we will connect them with employers that will allow them to advance their careers while being there for their kids,” she shares.

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    Hopefully, we can see more and more companies around the globe abroad can follow suit, and we’ll see more opportunities that will allow mothers to stay and thrive in the workplace. Maybe someday mothers won’t have to feel they need to choose between being a mom and having a career.

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