Two years ago Manon DeFelice launched Inkwell, a recruiting agency specializing in placing high-level professional moms in positions with flexible or part-time schedules. In the past six months the agency grossed $500,000 in commissions, and is projected to hit 7-figures in 2016.
Impressive numbers for DeFelice, a 35-year-old mom of three kids ages 8 and younger, who was inspired by personal experience. The Barnard and Brooklyn Law grad spent her early career in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Office of Criminal Justice, and as executive director of the AHA Foundation, which focuses on female human rights issues. In her career, DeFelice faced discrimination for being pregnant, taking maternity leave and breastfeeding in the office, she says. She also struggled to find balance between her New York City office and three children and husband in Greenwich, Conn. She saw highly educated and accomplished women all around her dropping out, staying home full time and being increasingly frustrated and bored.
Today, she helps high-achieving women facing the same pickle:
“I’m trying to stop the brain drain,” DeFelice says. “Women are educated at the best schools, and trained at the best companies, but then they quit because they want to go to music class Tuesdays with their baby. That is bad for lifetime earnings, bad for marriages, and the world misses out on women’s contributions. Aside from staying home fulltime, or working fulltime crazy hours, there are very few third options. I’m helping moms find a third option.”