The Solution for Unemployed Women
One-line solution summary:
Working Women Winning - an 8 week course for women returning to the workforce: Technical training, interview prep, coaching & clothing/shoes
Pitch your solution.
Unemployed WOMEN in California
- April 2020: 358,000
- April 2021: Over 1 million
The Flora May Foundation is committed to help lowering California’s female unemployment rate, by offering a course “Working Women Winning or “WWW”.
WWW is a free career preparation/training course for women wanting to reenter the work force. Participants agree to attend weekly classes, schedule at least 1 interview by Week 3 and receives a certificate upon completion of the program. Our 8 week course is led by our Board of Director’s, Team & Volunteers. The WWW course includes:
- New interview clothing & shoes
- Resume creation/editing/assistance
- Tech training on popular business software
- Typing Tutor’s
- Accounting software introduction
- Interview prep/coaching/confidence-building
- Role playing
- Overcoming common objections
- Leveraging multiple job offers
- Importance of handwritten Thank You notes
If Implemented Nationally:
The Flora May Foundation can reduce U.S. women’s unemployment, significantly.
Film your elevator pitch.
What specific problem are you solving?
2021 Unemployment rates for women California are at a record HIGH.
Scale of Problem: Unemployed Females in 2020 Compared to 2021:
- March 2020: 358,000
- March 2021: OVER 1,296,000
* (Source: Los Angeles Times, March 2021)
Factors In Relation to Problem:
- Lack of job seekers with current/updated technical skills
- Lack of general office skills
- Uncertain economy
- Absence of employment assistance to underserved and minority communities
- Awareness of The Flora May Foundation’s various services
- Available funding
- Companies promoting/hiring from within
- Lack of jobs for women without a college degree
Unemployment has a trifecta impact not only to the women but to their families, communities, cities, counties, states and nationally.
What is your solution?
The Flora May Foundation’s solution is assisting our communities unemployed women in returning to the workforce. Our organization conducted Pilot Programs in 2020. The survey results were astounding:
98% of women who received a 2020 WWW certificate: are still employed with the same company we assisted them to gain employment from exactly one year after taking the WWW Certificate Course.
Our pilot programs success in 2020 caused our Staff, Board of Director’s and Volunteers to vote unanimously in offering WWW year-round. The Flora May Foundation is fully equipped and able to extend year round classes. Our only barrier is lack of funding.
Our WWW course relies on technology/hardware in 85% of our training. We’re fortunate to have a voluminous business software library (thank you SoupTech) to help train our student's on.
Currently our largest tangible need is to acquire 30+ tablets/laptops for our participants to use in class. The Flora May Foundation has 2 laptops and 3 tablets, for anyone’s use. However that leaves us with up to 25 more women who don’t have a computer, tablet or cell phone. An important goal for 2022; to have enough laptops for a class of up to 40 women. To continue and improve our program, it’s vital students have use of a computer/tablet or cell during the 2 months of WWW classes.
How Do We Measure Success:
- Number of women apply to our Program
- Number of women we’ve successfully placed in jobs
- Percentage of women w/a certificate who’ve kept their jobs for 1 year+
- Survey results, 1 year post-course
- Feedback from other non profits or affiliates
- Listening to our participants comments & suggestions to improve WWW
- Grants. Being selected would be a huge game-changer for the program and to underserved women needing employment. Winning a significant grant will be a measure of our success, not to mention and encouragement to work harder/smarter.
Our staff and Board of Director’s use Microsoft 365 for inventory tracking, account payables / receivables, volunteer profiles, donor profiles, Pilot Program participants, class forms, test results, engagement with course, marketing, employment progress, etc.
Information we track for Working Women Winning / WWW Program
- Intake interview notes
- Education, skills and career interests
- Summary of pre & post-course interviews by staff members
- Completion of course
- Current employer/if employed
Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?
The Flora May Foundation’s Target Population:
1. Underserved communities in:
- Orange County, CA
- San Diego County, CA
- Los Angeles County, CA
- Riverside County, CA
- Ventura County, CA
- Indio County, CA
- Modesto County, CA
- Kern County, CA
The women we help are mothers, sisters or ladies just like you and me. Many of them were in executive positions/C-level careers before having children, but want to return to work. We’ve taught the homeless, former drug users, those with disabilities, young women who didn’t attend college, former inmates and many other situations. The women who left the workforce and want to return need hands-on help, which we provide by retooling resumes, coaching, enhancing their existing skills and teaching new ones. Any woman who enrolls in the WWW course and wants a job; will find one through our program.
We help each participant:
- Build strong resumes
- Provide technical training and retooling of skills
- Introduction to commonly used software
- Coaching on interview skills
- Interview clothing & Shoes
Our goal is to build self-confidence in every attendee and to help them become gainfully employed.
I consider it The Flora May Foundation’s duty (and honor) to get to know and assist every participant who applies to our Working Women Winning’s course. We’re fortunate to have opportunities in giving hands-on-help to other women and in the capacities they need. The problem: Employment assistance like WWW’s has been non existent or limited to these groups:
2. Targeted or misunderstood populations
3. Hub Zones / Low income neighborhoods
5. Single parents
7. Women unable advocate for themselves
8. Immigrants with language barriers
9. People with disabilities
By offering a program specifically designed for unemployed women wanting to return to work, we’re addressing their needs head-on. We’re also helping to reduce the Communities unemployment rate. Our mission won’t be fully accomplished, not until we can fund Working Women Winning to all communities in California, year round.
Which dimension of the Digital Workforce Challenge does your solution most closely address?Prepare those entering, re-entering, or who are already in the workforce for the future of work with affordable and equitable digital skills, training, and employment opportunities
Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.
Unemployment rates for women in California have skyrocketed since 2020 to 62%.
Offering a free technical training and employment preparation course to women reentering the workforce. Possessing basic technology skills is a requirement for most jobs. By helping to improve each participants technical skills, she becomes more confident and able to transfer what she’s learned to her next career. The skills learned are portable and will make each participant more likely to be hired by potential employers.
Preparing women to gain a job, becoming dexterous in using computers, tablets and business software is exceptional and direct solution for the Digital Workforce Challenge.
In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?San Clemente, CA, USA
Is your solution already being implemented in one or more of the following ServiceNow locations (Australia/New Zealand, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, the United Kingdom, United States), or are you planning to expand your solution to one or more of these countries?
My solution is already being implemented in one or more of these ServiceNow locations
What is your solution’s stage of development?Growth: An organization with an established product, service, or business model rolled out in one or, ideally, several communities, which is poised for further growth.
Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.
The Flora May Foundation conducted Pilot Programs in 2020 of our course, with a surprisingly HIGH success rate.
Attendees Per Class: 30 women who’ve been employed for10+ years.
Pilots are indicative of future success and increase the odds of being funded and adopted. We’re positive our program is in complete unison and alignment with The Digital Challenge.
FMF mails Surveys to past participants one year from attaining their certificate. Results: 98% of participants remain employed w/the same company who hired them one year ago!
The feedback confirmed our projected rate: WWW IS 98% successful.
The Flora May Foundation made enormous efforts to impact our States unemployment. I receive calls everyday, from random women, hoping to participate in our next course. We didn’t advertise Working Women Winning; which means each of the callers were referred by former participants.
The very best advertising any non profit could hope for: Referrals/Recommendations.
Who is the Team Lead for your solution?
Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the ServiceNow US Racial Equity Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.
Yes, I wish to apply for this prize
Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the ServiceNow Digital Equity Prize to advance your solution?
How Am I Qualified for The Digital Equity Prize and will explain why: I’m a 4th generation/long term hospital volunteer; following in the footsteps of 3 generations before me. My Mother (Flora May Hansen, our non profits namesake), my Nana and Great Grandmother ALL devoted their time, what little money they had, and their lives to the service of others. I’ve always strived to be half of the women they are.
My Nana and forefathers were born Aguascalientes, Mexico. I grew up in Hispanic-dominant communities my entire life, and witnessed racial inequity. It still exists today and is the driving force in our efforts to assist underserved populations to become employed. There are challenges for people of race, color, religious or sexual orientation compared to Caucasian white people.
We understand the urgent need for advocates to assist underserved communities. The most impactful service we offer to women wanting a job, is to help in improving technical skills and teaching new ones. Those we serve need; support, encouragement, technical training, confidence, peers in a similar situation, proper interview clothing & shoes.
If we were selected to receive the ServiceNow Digital Equity Prize, we’d use funding for:
- 28 laptops/tablets students usage
- 4-6 laptops / workstations for teaching staff
- Expanding our WWW program. Offering the course year-round and extend to statewide by 5/2022.
- Marketing/Advertising WWW in print and online media
- WWW Program Materials
- Typing Tutor Software
- Big screen monitor used for WWW program instruction
- Headphones for audio courses (loaned out)
- Part time Administrative Assistant
Which of the following categories best describes your solution?A new business model or process that relies on technology to be successful
What makes your solution innovative?
There isn’t a program in existence (that we’re aware of) offering: An all-encompassing employment service for women. Below is an overview of what each woman receives in our career preparation course; Working Women Winning or WWW:
- Intake/Skill assessment
- Training: MS 365, including Windows OS, Adobe, CRM, accounting software, apps for business, internet safety (virus protection/phishing)
- Refreshing of skills (typing, email etiquette, numeric keyboarding using one hand, etc)
- Students receive a loaner laptop/tablet
- Resume Assistance
- New interview clothing/shoes
- Interview prep/coaching
- Role playing
- Interview follow-up
- Classes led by Staff, Board of Director’s and Volunteers
Participants commit to returning their survey one year after receiving a WWW Certificate, which asks:
1) If they’re still employed
2) Feedback/suggestions/comments of our course
Wardrobes for Women is a popular program offering free interview clothing. This is the closest program we know of (to WWW). However they don’t offer a full spectrum of technical training, resume assistance, coaching or job locating assistance, like WWW does. Our program is comprehensive, addressing all job-seeking needs.
What Makes The Flora May Foundation’s Working Women Winning/WWW Program innovative?
Unlike other free services, FMF provides a variety learning opportunities and more than free interview clothing:
- In person technical skills training
- In person weekly classes
- Resume assistance
- Introduction to business software
- One-on-one coaching
- Job locating assistance
“You don’t give man a fish; you teach him how to fish”... We subscribe to the same theory and will teach women how to succeed in business.
Select the key characteristics of your target population.
In which countries do you currently operate?
How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?
Currently served people: 614
People Served in 5 years (assuming we receive funding): 2,000 - 4,000
Total Number of families helped in 2020: 982
What are your impact goals for the next year and the next five years, and -- importantly -- how will you achieve them?
How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?
We conducted 2 Pilot Working Women Winning/Ww Programs in 2020.
Our Foundation is very aware of the female unemployment rate for the U. S. in 2021 and why we’re offering a “reward” or value in exchange for their prompt replies. This data is vital to our Foundation’s overall success matrix and grant seeking efforts. It’s become obvious; more help is needed for women who need their skills updated or in learning new technology. We help each job applicant, every single step of the way.
The Flora May Foundation and Working Women Winning do not have any true competitors because our approach is all-encompassing. WWW goes well above offering interview clothing; we provide tactile skills that can be used in any career. The closest company I found to Working Women Winning was Wardrobes for Women.
What type of organization is your solution team?
How many people work on your solution team?
- Full Time Staff: 5
- Part Time Staff: 2
- Volunteers: 18
- Interns: 3
How long have you been working on your solution?
How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?
Board of Directors:
The Flora May Foundation is fortunate to have highly educated businesswomen comprise our Board of Director’s. Every member of our non-profit/team and volunteers are women...who’ve been in our students shoes at some point in our lives.
We’re beyond “grateful” for attracting high-caliber volunteers, without attempting to recruit. Women who view our website/backstory have called to ask “How can I volunteer for The Flora May Foundation? I love how you’re helping and want to be a part of it”. I’m proud & thankful for our Teams backgrounds:
- Superior Court Judge / Mother of 1 / PhD, Masters, Juris Doctorate
- Criminal Investigator / Mother to 2 / Criminal Law Degree
- CEO, The Money Mailer / Mother to 5 / B.A.
- CEO, The Flora May Foundation / Mother to 2 (twins) / B.A
- CMO, Bosse & Bosse, a marketing & consulting firm / B.A.
- Photographer / Mother to 4
- Wealth Management Partner / Mother to 2 / Psychology Degree
- UCSD Law School Student
- Trust Advisor / Mother to 2 / B.A.
- Marine Corp Sargent / Mother to 2
- Business owners (3) / Mothers to 8 (collectively)
- Psychotherapist / Mother to 2 / B.A. Berkeley
- Teacher / Mother to 5 / B.A. Chapman University
- Vice President, Quilting In A Day / Mother to 2 / RNA Point Loma Nazarene
- Caterer, Mother to 3 / Saddleback College
- Software Executive / Mother to 2 / Speech Comm Degree SDSU
FMF is well-equipped to offer WWW courses, thanks to our contributing staff.
What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?
Our Board of Director’s was chosen with much thought, strategy and contemplation. We needed a culturally diverse team and accomplished this by selecting a complimentary (and willing) BOD. We still have a space on our Board of Director’s, which I hope to fill in the next 4 months. What we strive for in our overall BOD are candidates who contribute to:
- Diversify the nominating and governance committee
- Increase transparency
- Demand diverse slates of candidates. This includes rejecting recommendations from the nominating/governance committee that fall short of diversity goals the board set or fail to satisfy requests the board made.
- Refresh the board. Robust annual assessments of individual directors should determine whether board members are contributing, how effective they are and if their skills are relevant to enabling the business’s strategy.
- Sponsor or develop diverse executive talent. To increase the number of diverse candidates ready to join boards, human resource departments need to recruit more executives from underrepresented groups. Also, businesses need to institute internal mentorship/sponsorship programs in which existing board members participate.
- 40% of The Flora May Foundation’s Staff, Team & Volunteers were not born in the United States.
- 60% of Staff were born in Mexico, Ecuador or Eastern Europe.
- Our Foundation strives to represent all races, creeds and persuasions to create a diverse, equitable and all-inclusive leadership team.
Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
- Debbie Hansen CEO & Founder, The Flora May Foundation