“One of the girls”
Post by Jess, our Office Manager
I have always been “one of the boys.” I was the only female percussionist in high school band, the only girl on my biking team and in my electronics classes, a junior high shop and computer teacher with 90%+ males in my classes, and the list goes on. I have always felt more comfortable talking, playing, and working with boys than girls.
So, imagine my trepidation when I found myself working for a women-run business with a staff entirely made up of women.* I honestly wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to handle it. Words like “catty” and “clique-ish” came to mind when I considered a large group of women coming together for any reason. But I really wanted that job, so I put aside my hesitations and hoped for the best.
We all work from home, so my first introduction to everyone was in a virtual meeting room. I looked around at the smiling faces on the screen and was welcomed with open arms. “Hmmm…everyone seems to get along.” Over the course of the next several months, I removed “catty and clique-ish” from my thought processes. My co-workers were kind, helpful, and genuinely concerned about my well-being and grateful when I helped them. Not what I expected.
Here I am, staring at my computer screen, asking myself why. Why is it so different than I anticipated? What has this group of women done to have such a successful and happy staff? These are just a few of the reasons I believe this women-run company is doing so well:
- Good hiring practices – Hiring well is ultimately important for any company. People can be trained on a certain software or process, but you can’t change a personality. Our staff cares about our clients and loves what they do. We are all here because we want to be. Hiring should not only involve looking at a potential employee’s credentials, but also seeing how they fit with the culture of the company.
- Owners that care – At almost every meeting we have, the owners reiterate the importance of prioritizing our families first. They frequently ask how we are doing, how our work/life balance is. And they legitimately care about the answers and work hard to ensure we are happy. Of course there are stressful days, no matter the job, but the overall goal of our management is that we be well taken care of and feel comfortable asking for help when we need it.
- Virtual offices – Being almost entirely online has led our company to become very efficient. Our time together (and the time we spend working) needs to be meaningful and productive. It also means that when we get together, we’re all really excited to see each other. It’s a treat to see these people that we work so hard with throughout the month via email and phone calls. We come together with a strong purpose and look forward to our interactions.
I could go on and on about the great reasons to work for a women-run company and having bosses who are nurturing, encouraging, and anxious for our company’s and my personal success. It has been a great experience working for and with women. We are each other’s support, a team. We have come together to strengthen each other and help our company succeed. I still love hanging out with the boys, but at work I am proud to be “one of the girls.”
*Backyard Bookkeeper tends to hire stay-at-home parents because they are a good fit for our flexible work schedule.