That’s how Speedwell & Yarrow co-founders, Ashley Lambrix and Lindsey Michaelides, were inspired to develop a career-altering solution to help busy business professionals, especially women, better manage the demands of their lives beyond work.
As former management consultants and working moms in dual-career households, Lambrix and Michaelides understand first-hand the challenges that come with managing busy careers and busy lives. They are so committed to creating a solution that they exited highly successful corporate careers to become entrepreneurs.
“Mental Load” Affects Both Employees and Employers
“We believe that most people want to have a full and robust life outside of the office while still being able to achieve their goals and ambitions at work,” said Michaelides.
“We wake up every day thinking about busy professionals, working parents, and dual-career households, and what it takes for a career professional to make all the pieces of that come together and still reach their full potential at work,” she said.
From their respective roles as corporate consultants at McKinsey & Company and Boston Consulting Group and then as strategy directors at OhioHealth Michaelides and Lambrix recognize that these challenges for employees also significantly contribute to the hurdles that employers face in recruiting, retaining, and advancing the best talent.
“Many professionals reach the hockey stick point in their careers at about the same time as they first start adding to their families,” Lambrix said. “That’s the intersection where a lot of key talent becomes at risk. The very employees that companies want most to keep, make choices that companies don’t want them to make—reducing hours, not accepting new roles or stretch assignments, changing careers, or leaving the workforce entirely.”
This ultimately contributes to less diverse leadership teams, and that’s not what companies want. As an expanding body of research shows, companies with diverse leaders and teams achieve better financial results. For example, a recent study cited in Forbes finds that “Diverse companies produce 19 percent more revenue.”
Helping Career Professionals and Companies Thrive
Speedwell & Yarrow takes the best of technology and predictive analytics, along with a touch of human service, to create a platform that helps employees overcome the mental load. Open, unfinished, or upcoming tasks in an employee’s personal life (all the behind-the-scenes work) stays in the head all day, detracting from the creativity and energy that high-achieving employees want to devote to work.
Judging by the interest Speedwell & Yarrow is getting from executives, human resources leaders, and benefit managers, the startup is on the right track. Savvy employers recognize that helping employees helps employers, too.
There’s no doubt that talent is top of mind for CEOs and C-level executives.
With the U.S. economy humming along; more than 60 percent of the companies in the U.S. reporting that they are hiring, and firms of all sizes need all the help they can get to find and keep the talent they need. Additionally, corporations are learning that today’s demographics and opportunities demand new approaches to hiring and retaining talent and the focus on diversity is gaining momentum.
Pilot Resonates with HR and Leaders of Diversity and Inclusive Initiatives
Speedwell & Yarrow is working on its first pilot program with about two dozen users at a regional law firm and a corporation frequently named to Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List to gain end-user experience and to validate the value proposition with employers.
The prototype will test a minimally viable feature set as well as the business aspects of including the service in a corporation’s benefit plan.
“Initially, we are using off-the-shelf technology and logic models that we created to gain experience in predicting the needs of our clients and to validate the resulting features that will most benefit busy professionals and their employers,” said Michaelides.
“Helping employees lighten the load of tasks that go along with managing a household, and planning and scheduling for important life events helps them enjoy the most important things in their lives,” Lambrix said, “and that includes their focus and commitment on their jobs.”
Read more about how employers can navigate the changing needs of today’s workforce.
Value of diverse leadership:
Dual career families