My Native Admission Statement: I’m a mom, an entrepreneur, an advocate and a change agent. I am constantly asking why and if there is a better path forward. I believe that women deserve better than the all-or-nothing career choices that they so often feel forced to make. I want to be known as a catalyst for change and a person who left the world a better place for our daughters and sons.
Bio: Courtney Jones is the CEO of MomSource Network, an organization dedicated to creating diverse and inclusive workplaces through targeted diversity recruiting efforts, enterprise Returnship and Trailing Spouse programs. A passionate advocate for gender diversity and a recognized thought leader on topics related to women in business, D&I and work-life blend; she's been featured in Bloomberg, CNN, and Working Mother and has worked alongside hundreds of companies to create meaningful opportunities for women.
How did you get into the industry?
After my husband and I started our family, I recognized that there was an underground pool of female talent caused by women taking a career break to prioritize family. My experience was that many women wanted to contribute professionally but lacked options to have a flexible schedule, work part-time or have the support they needed to return to work after a career break. I believed that I could be part of making those opportunities more accessible to women.
Any emerging industry trends?
More and more organizations are recognizing the opportunity to utilize structured, company-sponsored returnships to access diverse slates of talent, to close the gender pay gap and to see more women in leadership. We expect that these programs will continue to become more prevalent and that those who offer these programs will become the employers’ of choice that women and those that support women will want to join.
What's next for the Business in the near future?
We’ve recently launched a program specializing in providing diverse slates of top tier senior and executive female level talent across the country who are open to full-time opportunities with progressive employers. In addition, we’re exploring opportunities to partner with other organizations who have diversity and inclusion initiatives, progressive policies around families and a shared vision for creating a more diverse, equitable and productive workplace. We are thought leaders, consultants and advocates for those women on our tech platform.
How do you motivate others?
I hope that my team would say that I am a servant leader. I work to serve the business, to serve our teams and to create an environment that is based on shared vision and purpose. Some of the best people I’ve ever known as those that are sharing this journey with me. I make mistakes, own them and try to fix things when they’re broken. I hope that I remove obstacles and allow great people to do their best.
Career advice to those in your industry?
Don’t be afraid to do something that has never been done before. It all ends and begins with how fast we are able to learn and apply those learnings.
What do I do best?
I take pride in being able to be a “connector.” At MomSource, we work to be a gateway between women and work and personally I enjoy being a gateway to introduce people with shared interests, complementary skills or collaboration opportunities.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Resilience. Most days I have more questions than I do answers but I am always willing to walk through the challenges, recognize the value in the experience and come out stronger. I am someone who always gets up after being knocked down.
What are my aspirations?
I aspire to be someone who has impacted others. I want my children to grow up and say that I was a good mommy and someone who still found the time to follow my dreams. The legacy that I most want to leave is that we can all find the courage to pursue our passion.
“If you can stay at the table long enough, eventually the chips come to you.” I don’t know where I heard this quote but it reminds me that the most important thing is resilience because some days we win and some we lose but those things can’t make us afraid to keep playing.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
I love boomerang for gmail. For the longest time people could not understand how I always followed up on any item with details from our last conversation regardless of the length of time that had passed. It helps keep me organized but my inbox and to-do lists not cluttered.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your State?
Tennessee is the volunteer state and for me, it’s the only place that I’d want to build my start-ups. We have great resources and networks across the state to help build and incubate early stage companies and I’ve never reached out to anyone (friend or stranger) who isn’t willing to VOLUNTEER to sit down and have a conversation about how to get better.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
I never eat breakfast. Save those calories for a cocktail after work
What are you doing at:
7:00 AM – Drop my kids off at school and go to the gym for a quick workout. Sauna if I don’t have a 9a appointment.
10:00 AM – Most days I take calls or meetings until 1pm. I am a morning person and I am much sharper earlier in the day. I do emails in the afternoon.
12:00 PM - Favorite Lunch spot/meal?
Salad. I love the Southwest Salad (with Chicken) at Tomato Head in Knoxville!
7:00 PM - Read with the kids, baths and bedtime. We all lay out our clothes for the next morning and discuss each other’s plans for the next day.
11:00 PM – I check my emails one more time before bed and review my calendar for the morning.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Lots of water throughout the day. I don’t like coffee. I do love a Meiomi Pinot Noir or a craft beer after work though!
What Else to Know?
Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to book Courtney to speak to your group!