Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting times a person can experience, but for many women, becoming a mother can represent the end of their time in the workforce. When a woman becomes a caregiver, she often finds it more difficult to balance her career with the needs of her growing family. After watching countless friends and colleagues leave the workforce to care for their children, Mona Andrews, CEO of Stay In The Game realized that there was a need to provide resources for mothers who wished to continue working.
Mona’s solution? “Mothers are looking for balance. I created Stay In The Game to help women stay in the workforce through comprehensive training, job opportunities, and resources that can be flexible to meet their needs”.
One of the greatest assets for a new mother or someone struggling to keep a foot in work and one foot in caregiving is to know that others have helped to blaze the trail before them. This month, our female leader spotlight takes a look at Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teacher For All, who can serve as an inspiration to new caregivers and all women. Kopp is the CEO and Co-Founder of Teach For All, a network of independent enterprises that works to provide resources towards educational inequality around the world. Teach For All was created after Kopp founded Teach For America, a non-profit organization with a mission to battle education inequality head-on in the United States.
Teach For America works with accomplished young professionals that are driven to serve as teachers in underserved schools. Teach For America teachers complete training before embarking on a two-year teaching commitment in classrooms across 50 urban and rural regions in the United States. By bringing Teach For America to the world, Wendy Kopp has not only provided exceptional teachers to underserved communities but provided opportunities for young professionals to prosper in their roles. In 2016 alone, there were 19,000 Teach For America teachers in classrooms across the nation.
As Kopp said in an interview with The Economist, “The characteristics our research has shown to differentiate our most successful teachers are leadership characteristics—perseverance in the face of challenges, the ability to influence and motivate others, organization ability, problem-solving ability.”
Kopp originally thought of the idea for Teach For America while completing her undergraduate degree at Princeton University in 1989. Today, the organization employs more than 10,000 teachers. In 2007, Kopp made the decision to dramatically expand the concept that Teach For America was based on by founding Teach For All, which uses the same principles to provide a global network of independent enterprises with teachers.
“This journey has shown me the power of networks,” says Kopp. Mona agrees. “Our Stay In The Game employees are connected by their shared experiences and their ability to support each other.”
As the Teach For All website states, Kopp thought of the concept to create a worldwide organization in order to inspire entrepreneurs around the world who strived for a similar model in their countries. Over the years, Kopp has been recognized for her incredible work in education, including being named as one of TIME Magazine’s Most Influential People and receiving the Harold W. McGraw Prize, Jr. in Education.
Both women have dedicated their lives to helping people reach their potential after witnessing others in need. Like Kopp, Mona saw a group of people in need and worked to offer a solution to the challenges that they face on a daily basis. “There are over 10 million full-time stay-at-home moms with bachelor’s degrees,” says Andrews. “If we can build future female talent pipelines, we’re not just going to Stay In The Game, we’re going to win it.”
Check back soon for more female entrepreneur spotlights!