As co-founder of The Second Shift, Jenny Galluzzo lives her life committed to the empowerment of women through work. From curating member events to connecting with the larger community, Jenny’s passion for gender equity has made her a powerful agent for change in the workplace. Joylux checked in with this inspiring founder to find out how the triumphs and challenges she’s faced have driven her journey.
What first inspired you to create The Second Shift?
I saw firsthand how hard it was to shift careers and knew there had to be a way to keep women like me in the workforce and rising into leadership positions. Too many women are sidelined when family and work become overwhelming— we are seeing it playing out globally as a crisis during this pandemic and it’s something we’ve been talking about for years at The Second Shift.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started The Second Shift?
This is a marathon and there are a lot of unexpected curves in the road. Keep your head down, do the work and don’t get caught up in the highs and lows.
What is one of the biggest challenges that you’ve faced as an entrepreneur?
Understanding your own business and what it needs to grow versus following along with industry trends or what investors think is the right strategy; it’s tricky and takes a lot of mental and emotional self-awareness. I am very lucky that my partners Gina, Kemp and I are aligned in what we know our business is about and our goals for the future. It’s easy to get distracted and follow shiny objects and easy money….
What has been one of your biggest victories?
When my partner Gina and I started this business, we were ahead of the curve talking about workplace diversity and flexible remote work as a solution to retaining female talent. In some ways the post-2016 women’s empowerment movement and the pandemic pushed the corporate world to embrace the changes we were advocating. We are still in a transitional moment but it’s gratifying to hear people talking about the issue we are fighting for!
As Head of Community at The Second Shift, why do you think that intentionally bringing women together is so important?
Being a working parent can be lonely. Many of our members are consultants and freelancers and knowing there’s a community of peers that has your back builds confidence and helps our members grow and learn. Women are good at helping each other and spreading their networks— we are able to grow organically because our members bringing in their friends and pass on opportunities to their own networks. We love that!
What are the top things you think a woman can do to stand out and make positive change in her workplace?
Be an example to younger men and women of how to succeed and forge your own career path. Work hard, be professional, get your sh-t done, communicate effectively and show them that women can do it all.
What advice would you give to women about taking care of their loved ones without neglecting their own needs?
I don’t really believe in guilt—it’s not helpful and it’s a waste of brain space. Instead of allowing for guilt to eat away at your happiness and health, realize that you are not going to be able to do everything all the time and cut yourself a break. Make space and prioritize the things that are most important to you on a day-to-day basis. Some days it might be family, some days working out, some days friends but a good balance will feel like you are succeeding, if you have too much of one you will feel like you are failing the rest.