Job searching is hard enough. Add in being a and having a two year unemployment gap and it can make it even more tough. But for Mike Podesto, CEO and founder of , a company that manages job searches for executives, children and a career gap were irrelevant when he decided to hire Kiara Santiago.
He took to LinkedIn to share his excitement and reasoning on why the resume shouldn’t be the only deciding factor.
Unfortunately, a stark reality for many mamas (career gap or not) is that there’s a motherhood penalty that makes it harder for moms to find a job or get paid what they’re worth. So many women feel like they .
A major in 2007 found that mothers were six times less likely than those without children to be recommended for hire and considered to be 12.1% points less committed to their jobs than others without kids, or men. Additionally, the study found that mamas had a nearly 8% lower starting salary than someone without children. And that was 10 years ago.
While the conversation and landscape about this disparity is changing, we’re still a long ways away. It’s not only up to women to speak up and know their worth, but for employers to see beyond the ‘mama’ veil. And Podesto did just that. With nearly 350 applications in almost two hours, he ended up taking the posting down to sift through the resumes himself.
“In the job description, I had hidden a line that said: Bonus points if you find the typo in this job description. It wasn't that it was an extremely difficult typo to find, it is that most people did not even read the job description to find this typo,” he said. “Kiara was 1 of 5 to find it. Since attention to detail was so important for this job, I immediately eliminated the other 295 resumes. I don't care how great they look on paper. If they can't read a job description, they are clearly not that interested in the role.”
After interviewing one person who didn’t end up being a fit, Kiara was next.
“She was amazing! I knew she was a mom because on her cover letter, she mentioned that she was a mother of two children. That's awesome! I love kids. And I love helping people support their families,” he said.
She had everything he was looking for and more from her fantastic writing skills to ambition and he sent her an offer the following day.
So what’s the lesson to learn? Despite her mama responsibilities and career gap that she took to take care of her family, she didn’t lose her skills. She wasn’t less qualified than those who didn’t have families. If she , it doesn’t mean she’s not working. In fact, being a mom may even make you a .
Mamas, you’ve got this—career and family and everything in between.