Later this month, my children will join around 50 million other school-aged kids in the United States heading back to school. In California, where Zūm and my family are based, there are about seven million school-aged children. And, if your family is anything like mine, you’re probably preparing for the ‘special’ kind of craziness and complexity that juggling school, extracurricular activities and work brings each fall for the full year ahead.
Thirty years ago, I witnessed my mother sacrifice her career to focus on her children and our day-to-day needs for transportation to school and activities. Many years later when my children started going to school, I realized that nothing much had changed. I faced the same dilemma of giving up my career because of a lack of safe and reliable part-time care for my children. This difficult but common parenting challenge for working families became my inspiration for starting Zūm – a trusted family logistics platform – to provide families with access to safe and reliable rides and care for children.
Addressing Time Poverty
This is not your or my challenge alone. Over 41% of women in the U.S. say they find it hard to progress in their careers due to childcare needs and over 10 million women have left the workplace completely for this reason. Melinda Gates rightly calls this a time poverty gap, and it prevents women in the workplace from investing the same time into their careers as men. Researchers have often cited this as the ‘childcare penalty’ mothers face returning to their careers after a child is born.
I believe that while as a society we are showing a strong desire to act on gender equality in the workplace and society, we still have a long way to go. It is imperative to create easy access to safe and reliable on-demand family logistics resources, designed for modern families to turn this talk and desire into action. My vision for Zūm is to bring about this change and support child development without requiring anyone in the family to sacrifice their personal and professional aspirations.