Bus Stop Mamas: Helping find flexible work for families amid the pandemic

Brandi Powell
Updated: October 28, 2020 05:26 PM
Created: October 21, 2020 05:07 PM

New numbers are out about women in the workforce amid COVID-19, and the results mark the first time in six years researchers found evidence of women intending to leave their jobs at higher rates than men. A local company called Bus Stop Mamas is working to give families flexible work options in Minnesota.

The founder of Bus Stop Mamas said her husband was a stay-at-home dad during the first 10 years of their daughter's life. When he went back to work, she started doing consulting from home. For the first time, she was at the bus stop with other moms, some of whom, she says, left very promising careers to take care of their children.

Mary Kay Ziniewicz, founder and CEO of Bus Stop Mamas, said, "I thought, I have to find some jobs for these moms, the business world really needs them, so I started exploring the workforce space."

The annual Women in the Workplace study from Leanin.org and consulting firm McKinsey and Company reveals what the workforce looks like right now. At least one in four women are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce because of COVID-19. The data also shows, among senior-level women, almost three in four cited "burnout" as the main reason. Researchers suggest women with children are three times more likely as fathers to be responsible for the majority of the housework and child care during the pandemic.

"I thought, I've got the solution," Ziniewicz said.

Moms can sign up for Bus Stop Mamas for free. Businesses pay a small, flat fee. They're connected quickly, and all positions offer flexibility.

"Our population is 60% of moms who have gaps in their resume anywhere from a few months to 25+ years looking for all different types of work. Forty percent of our network are moms in high level positions, full-time positions that are looking to jump ship for the right opportunity that will honor their commitment to their family," Ziniewicz said.

Having a non-traditional workday makes all the difference for mother Brenda Henry during the pandemic.

"It has been a really huge thing to be able to bridge that gap, I mean I can't as a single mom — I can't drop out of the workforce, so to be able to have something that's flexible that allows me to pay for my home, for our food and still get my time with my daughter, it's huge," Henry said.

Local business executives that have joined Bus Stop Mamas said  this pivot means a boost for business.

Spencer Thomas, president of KLC Financial in Minnetonka said, "We do believe we have the right people, and we give them the tools and we are flexible, they're going to excel, and that'll help us be more profitable."

Bus Stop Mamas serves fathers, too. The founder says about 10% of the 3,000 parents in the network are dads and, Ziniewicz said, that keeps growing.


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