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August 4, 2023

From Maternity Breaks to Career Success: Reshaping the Narrative of Working Mothers with Angela Fusaro




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Camila Ugarte

Communications & Marketing Intern

In today’s rapidly evolving job market, one pressing issue that often remains unaddressed is the challenges faced by mothers in balancing their careers with the demands of motherhood. Angela Fusaro, founder of Every Mother Knows, recognised the urgent need to bridge this gender and talent gap. With a mission to empower moms and connect them with family-friendly job opportunities, Angela’s Amsterdam-based organisation is revolutionising the way companies approach employee recruitment and create inclusive work environments.

In this interview, she shares her inspiring journey, sheds light on the issues faced by mothers in the job market, and highlights how Every Mother Knows is making a difference for working mothers in The Netherlands. This is only the beginning. Ready to be empowered?

Talent Hidden in the Playground

Motherhood can bring immeasurable joys, but also often entails a ‘penalty’ in the job market. Women, upon returning to work after their maternity leave, often face numerous challenges. “They are not only employees anymore, they are working moms. A different type of support is required”, says Angela.

Back in 2018, the Dutch recruitment process was highly competitive and unfortunately, often overlooked candidates who had career gaps on their CVs. Oftentimes, this gap was the result of motherhood. “There was an untapped pool of talent hidden in the playground”, Angela affirms. She recognised the struggle all too well. Motivated by her own experience of feeling unsupported upon returning to work after her first maternity leave, Angela embarked on a mission to find solutions for mothers seeking to navigate their professional paths, both new and experienced.

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These are women who made the conscious decision to settle down in the Netherlands and grow their careers and families. It is important to help them connect with job opportunities.

Closing the gap

Soon enough, in 2018, Every Mother Knows was launched as a freelance career coaching practice. Clients were approached on an individual basis, providing them with tools to enhance their CVs, optimise their LinkedIn profiles, and master the art of interview preparation. As word spread about the impact of Every Mother Knows, within only three months, Angela’s workshops began to attract an ever-growing number of eager participants.

Recognising that a community was slowly being built, Angela took the initiative to organise community events that would serve as a gathering point for mothers, foster a sense of belonging and offer a lifeline in their quest to secure their next job. Angela reflects, “I wanted to let mothers know that we existed and that there was support available to help them navigate their career journeys.”

Driven by the desire to make a broader impact, Every Mother Knows has evolved into a fully functioning AI-driven recruitment platform as of 2022. This platform goes beyond traditional job search methods. First, it grants home-based mothers unlimited access to a wide range of job opportunities and freelance jobs within the Dutch job market. Second, it facilitates direct connections between companies and candidates, giving companies the chance to discover and engage with potential hires in a more streamlined manner. Lastly, they developed a bias detector which helps companies assess the inclusivity of their job vacancy descriptions. “Before job postings are published, companies can go through Every Mother Knows for feedback and suggestions on a more inclusive language,” explains Angela.

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“From the beginning, I rolled up my sleeves and focused on making it happen”

Embrace the discomfort

“At the beginning, I didn’t see myself as an entrepreneur. It wasn’t my professional identity,” Angela admits. Considering her lack of business background, to grow her business, she had to take the leap and learn all the ins and outs of entrepreneurship, even if it meant making mistakes and navigating challenges along the way.

Initially, she didn’t envision the company she is now running. Her initial idea had a different vision and focused on other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). However, looking back, Angela realises that Every Mother Knows naturally transformed and grew in a very organic way. In June 2023, Riccardo Pallaoro officially joined the company as a co-founder and CTO to help Angela with the development of their digital talent platform and will be leading their innovation and growth in tech.

They have sealed successful partnerships with renowned international companies such as Rituals and Workiva, diversifying the recruiting talent and contributing to a more inclusive society. A most rewarding experience was the implementation of the “Returnship Programme” in the Netherlands. This initiative offers a path for experienced professionals who have taken a break from work to reenter the job market. The kickoff led to successful hirings and permanent positions for several mothers, making it a significant accomplishment for the company.

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Angela and Riccardo celebrating the start of their official collaboration and cheering for a prosperous future together.

Fruits of the Entrepreneurial Spirit

Every Mother Knows envisions becoming the go-to platform for mothers worldwide, offering a diverse selection of work opportunities and freelance roles at the touch of a button. Reflecting on her entrepreneurial journey, Angela acknowledges both the joys and challenges she has encountered. She has embraced each one as an opportunity for growth, resilience, personal and professional development.

As a mother of two who has personally navigated the process of returning to her corporate job after maternity leave, Angela shares three valuable tips for mothers seeking to reenter the workforce:

1. Be Confident

Nurturing self-confidence is essential for professionals planning to resume their careers after a break. “Brush up your skills, network, and stay informed about your industry’s trends. It will boost confidence and enhance professional identity,” she explains.

2. Prioritise your well-being

Taking care of yourself ensures you can effectively manage the demands of work and motherhood. Remember you are the driving force behind your professional life. Take breaks, disconnect from socials, and invest in your own recovery.

3. Be flexible

Angela understood the importance of recognising that the market is constantly changing. She knew that being flexible and adaptable in adjusting her solutions was crucial to play a role in driving change. So, let go of preconceived notions and be open to the evolving needs of the market.

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By leveraging technology and cultivating meaningful partnerships, the team behind Every Mother Knows is committed to reshaping the future of work, where motherhood and career advancement co-exist. Discover more about Angela and her business through their educational podcast, found on Spotify. Together, we can create a more inclusive and supportive professional environment for all.

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