Success story: Zabeen Mirza, founder and CEO of jobs.mom

Many of us were faced with new and unexpected challenges through the Covid-19 pandemic, but Zabeen Mirza had a bit more on her plate than most.

In 2020, Zabeen was not only adapting to life as a new mother, but she was also busy launching her own business to help create a fairer, more equal world for women.  

1.  So, give us a bit of background on what makes you, you.
I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, by immigrant parents. Now, I am the mother of three young boys, an avid reader, writer, and adventurer and I speak four different languages. I am proud of my culture, my heritage, and my history, and am passionate about inspiring others to feel the same about themselves.

2. And how about your career? 
I began my career in finance, “growing up” professionally on the sales floors on Wall Street. I moved into management consulting, and ultimately corporate contract negotiations. As a woman in a male-dominated and high-pressure industry, I struggled to juggle employer inflexibility, lack of support, and unrealistic expectations with pregnancy, childcare, and maternity leave. As a woman and mother I recognised my struggle was not unique to myself, that mothers everywhere were dealing with discrimination, prejudice, and employer cultures that did not provide equitable support or basic rights to women with children. But what ultimately made me pull the trigger was the pandemic. I had my third child in 2020 at the height of the worst of COVID, and when I came back from maternity leave, I was let go from my position, being told that I was too expensive for the company. I realised that I was one of millions of women who hear the same lines from their employers, and are pushed out the same way by their companies. I resolved to break the cycle. I founded jobs.mom and today, our community is 80k women strong, across 10 countries. 

3. What inspired you to launch jobs.mom?
My own struggles in the workplace and the lack of any real platform designed to connect working mothers to employers with inclusive cultures, supportive environments, and commitment to equitable workplace practises. At jobs.mom we not only are a job board connecting women to jobs, but we are a community. For example, we work with women on their resumes and cover letters, we do interview preparation and coaching, and we provide skills training to help them get ready for workplace re-entry. On the corporate side, we work with companies to develop onboarding programmes, “returnship programs”, and a number of internal programmes designed to retain, skill, and support women and especially mothers at work.

4. What has been your biggest career challenge? 
Succeeding despite the odds stacked against me. As a woman, mother, and person of colour, it was clear to me that the world was not built in a way that truly understands, embraces, and supports people like me. I had to remain motivated, determined, and positive while working to create a world that was more inclusive. 

5. Finally, do you have any exciting plans for the future?
Yes! Our plans include continued expansion into new markets, growing our community of mothers, increasing our partnerships with companies, and we will also be venturing into the entrepreneurial space as well!

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