The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic includes 2.5 million women being forced from the workforce in what US Vice President Kamala Harris calls “a national emergency.” In other side effects, we are all familiar with the unique combination of pressures on staffing departments in the past year. The skills shortage remains acute, with companies struggling to fill the gaps. Meanwhile, the nation’s racial reckoning has pushed diversity to the forefront for many businesses.
Unique opportunity. “The Mom Project was purpose-built for this moment,” says Gregory Robinson, CFO, COO and co-founder of The Mom Project. “Covid-19 has actually accelerated a lot of the trends that we had been working hard to elevate. And so, in a moment when women are disproportionately disadvantaged and companies are open to that paradigm, we have a unique opportunity to advocate with knowledge and data.”
That’s where contingent workforce programs play a critical role — working with companies like The Mom Project to help get women back to work as well as meet their companies’ diversity hiring goals. And that’s where the diverse talent cloud comes in.
Contingent work is uniquely suited to address the issues women face in the workplace as well as companies’ diversity initiatives. It can provide the flexibility that many working moms seek, and because high-quality diverse employees often come first through contingent workforce programs before being converted to permanent status, these programs are a good way for companies to change their overall workforce composition.
Contingent workforce programs can team up with The Mom Project directly to hire moms and caregivers for a variety of roles across technology, strategy and consulting. The Mom Project screens applicants and suggests candidates in its Diverse Talent Cloud platform for the open positions.
Contingent workforce programs that use the Beeline VMS also have access to the Diverse Talent Cloud via a partnership announced in December 2020 . The Beeline Diverse Talent Cloud powered by The Mom Project extends The Mom Project’s candidate community to all enterprises that use the Beeline VMS to manage their external workforces, including a third of the Fortune 500 enterprises.
The Mom Project’s Diverse Talent Cloud
The Mom Project’s online community has more than 400,000 highly skilled members — moms, dads and allies with an average of eight to 10 years of professional experience. More than 90% have a bachelor’s degree, and 40% have advanced degrees.
“Having women, and moms in particular, in the workplace is a critical strategy for business success,” says Allison Robinson, co-founder and CEO of The Mom Project. “Women lead with compassion. Moms build more equitable workplaces; they build more productive workplaces and they provide a better overall employee experience for their teams and organizations when they are in positions of power.”
To better connect companies with these top-quality, diverse job seekers, The Mom Project developed the Diverse Talent Cloud platform — curated communities of highly skilled talent who are ready to work, emphasizing gender and ethnic diversity and in-demand skill sets.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, plays a big role in helping accelerate matching, capturing a company’s culture and other requirements to find workers who will be the best fit. This reduces the time it takes to fill a position with a highly qualified candidate. The technology that The Mom Project platform uses improves match reliability and reduces bias — and is built to fit within existing workforce programs.
Conventional wisdom in recruiting often refers to the difficulty in attracting and retaining highly skilled workers. But that’s the beauty of The Mom Project’s business model, counters Greg Robinson. “These workers are here at The Mom Project, helping to build a better workplace and navigate that continuum — whether it’s in a full-time job, where they are looking for a better employer; or they’re moving to project-based work, where they’re happy to work 30 to 40 hours; or it’s a remote job.”
And this ties in with organizations wanting to give the talent what it wants. Organizations are looking for partners that can continually redefine what’s important to them and help with innovative technologies to get them there. There is a critical need for partners that can upskill and reskill talent, provide mentoring and education opportunities, and commit to providing talent with long-term career advancement. And that was the approach of The Mom Project and its Diverse Talent Cloud.
Benefits of the Diverse Talent Cloud
The Mom Project’s Diverse Talent Cloud offers numerous benefits to help contingent workforce programs quickly fill positions with highly skilled talent while meeting diversity goals:
High-quality hires. For each position a company needs to fill, the Diverse Talent Cloud platform identifies the top 10% of candidates from within The Mom Project community whose skills most closely match the position — an especially important consideration for contingent workers, who are expected to contribute on day one. The system does not screen out workers who have a gap in their job history — common for moms and caregivers who have taken time out of the workforce to raise children. Nor does the system penalize moms who have not been promoted quickly, because another way some working moms manage the demands of work and family is to not seek as many promotions as their peers.
Faster fill times. Via The Mom Project’s Diverse Talent Cloud, hiring managers can have a shortlist of candidates within 72 hours, selected from curated, active talent. Because candidates in the platform have opted in as ready to work, companies can fill positions with willing candidates more quickly.
Minority representation. Although The Mom Project community is open to anyone, its members — and thus the Diverse Talent Cloud candidate community — are 90% female and 43% ethnically diverse.
And having a diverse workforce is good for the employer brand and, ultimately, the bottom line. For example, moms foster collaboration and productivity, according to a recent WerkLabs report. Having moms on board leads to retention, as female employees are 35% more likely to stay on board for the next five years, and 27% are more likely to recommend the company to others. And companies with diverse executive teams outperform other companies by 36%, according to data from McKinsey & Co.
A check on unconscious bias. Machine learning can help automate a lot of corporate processes, including staffing. But it’s a double-edged sword: If hiring managers always choose candidates from a small set of universities that are more homogenous or with a specific experience profile, for example, the technology may learn to mimic those choices and yield homogenous results. The Diverse Talent Cloud platform uses neural net matching to remove that unconscious bias.
Frictionless adoption. The Diverse Talent Cloud fits within existing contingent workforce management programs. There’s no need to set up new processes, new logins or a separate workflow. This helps streamline the hiring process, providing organizations with faster access to diverse talent.
Community support. The Mom Project is not just a way to connect candidates to jobs. It’s a community  that provides a mentoring program, virtual workshops and other types of support. Working moms who have support tend to stay longer at their jobs – so this type of encouragement helps both the job candidates and the companies that hire them.
Now is the time to put the pedal to the metal on diversity and inclusion. Your approach to DE&I will help define the current and future state of your organization, as well as your company’s brand. If you want to create a space for all workers to perform at their best while drawing top talent, the time is now.
The first step is to work with The Mom Project  to define your goals — collaboration is key to a successful project.
The second step: tapping into the power that is the Diverse Talent Cloud.