That early morning spark of inspiration came courtesy of Jodi Geddes’ baby, who she was feeding at the time when she started planning an online community and list of resources for mothers taking parental leave. She quickly pitched the idea to her good friend and former colleague Kate Pollard.
Today, eighteen months later, the pair have launched Circle In, featuring a range of real-life advice pieces and case studies aiming to support women from the “day they decide to fall pregnant to the day they’re ready to return to work with confidence.”
Jodi and Kate both met in the marketing department of the National Australia Bank eight years ago prior to having kids. They’ve since had two kids each in the past five years, and have supported each other through two rounds of parental leave.
During that period Jodi also rose up to the position of GM of Corporate Responsibility at NAB, while Kate continued her career as a marketing executive across a number of large corporates.
Jodi tells Women’s Agenda that the two of them found little practical advice for women managing their careers through parental leave when they were going through it themselves.
“We realised very quickly that there was a huge opportunity to make the experience a lot better for new working mums,” she said. “When we returned to work, we had other mothers asking for our advice and tips on ‘how we did it’ and ‘how to make it work’.
“It was after the 100th coffee invite that we realised the need was real. We have found through our research and many conversations that there are two common themes: women are worried about their career when they start parental leave and lack confidence when they return to work months later.”
Their goal is to reach out to 50,000 new mothers who’re working out how to navigate their careers during parental leave. Especially all those women who have plenty of questions about their careers and their employment, but don’t know who to turn to to ask.
The content is offered for free, with the two founders aiming to support the business through a tailored offer to corporates in the near future.
You can check out the new resource here.