After the birth of her daughters marked some of the happiest days of her life, Yasmin Mattox fell into despair as she tried to navigate the balance of parenthood and career. Yet her frustration led to a recognition that the whole idea of "balance" might be part of the problem, eventually sparking a business idea. In 2017, she founded Arkatecht, a company that creates digital professional advancement tools tailored to the unique needs and aspirations of working parents. Raised in NYC, Yasmin has happily lived in the Rochester area since graduating Alfred University (2007) with a B.A. in Political Science. She also holds an M.S. in International Studies (2011). She’s worked in the legal, mental health, renewable energy, consulting, and higher education fields, with the common thread being her deep interest and expertise in research and its real world applications to do good. Married to her college sweetheart, with whom she is raising three daughters, ages 5, 3, and 1, Yasmin loves learning about break-neck speed discoveries, successes, and failures, in different fields, and she is always excited to learn about the various ways people and their work are interconnected.
[1:20] Previous role at the Center For Urban Entrepreneurship
(See our interview with Ebody Miller, Director of the Center for Urban Entrepreneurship: https://fortheevolutionofbusiness.simplecast.com/episodes/growing-an-inclusive-entrepreneurial)
[3:00] How the most joyful moments of her life (the birth of her daughters) led to despair as she tried to navigate parenthood and career
[5:25] Going from frustration to business idea, with pivots along the way
[8:45] The first Arkatecht solution, AtLast, a professional development matching platform
[10:20] The difference between work-life balance and work-life integration
[12:40] Possibilities for bringing Arkatecht's tools to entire organizations
[15:00] How companies can collect data and ideas on how to be more inclusive for working parents
[21:00] Beta-testing Arkatecht's solutions:
Endeavor: Helping pregnant professionals better navigate their workdays based on how they're feeling
AtLast: Professional development matching platform with recommendations for conferences, seminars, etc. paired with childcare opportunities
Affinity: Professional networking platform for working mothers (and fathers)
"Integration of your professional needs and goals and those of being parent and member of your family."
[26:00] Why Yasmin decided to start a business in Rochester, despite being NYC-born
[29:30] Benefiting from Rochester's resources for entrepreneurs, including being incubated at Innovative Solutions
(See our podcast with Innovative CEO Justin Copie: https://fortheevolutionofbusiness.simplecast.com/episodes/incubating-conscious-culture-in-tech)
[33:20] Hiring for people who connect with the purpose of Arkatecht
"Finding people who are innately intellectually curious...find problems and not be deterred by them, but get excited."
[37:00] Keeping the long game in mind to balance (or integrate?) purpose and profit
"I always think of (my daughters) and if nothing else, Arkatecht is building so that if things aren't as progressive as they should be by then, at least they'll have tools the tools to help them on their way should they decide to endeavor professionally and have children"
[41:30] Yasmin's vision for a future where technology tools can help others plan proactively for challenges like cancer or Alzheimer's disease
[43:20] The business case for inclusive cultures for working parents
"When you lose people because you haven't supported them to be their best and do their best professionally AND in their parent or caretaking role, you feel the immediate financial and nonfinancial costs, and the long-term."
"Part of the problem is that when people do their budgets, they don't have a line item for 'this is the cost for us not adequately supporting our people.'"
Learn more: https://www.arkatecht.com/
Contact Yasmin: email@example.com)