In honor of Women’s History Month this March, and International Women’s Day on March 8th, we will feature weekly stories that highlight inspiring women in our community. First up, we celebrate the women who work for rabbit.
When Monica DeVreese and Jill Deering founded rabbit, they sought input and feedback from diverse and underrepresented perspectives in the running community, including female voices. In a sport dominated by male leaders, they saw an opportunity to support underrepresented groups, including women, in running and the workplace.
As the company has grown and evolved, that’s meant a growing workforce, and Monica and Jill have provided work opportunities for many women and mothers. In a workforce historically dependent on office employees working nine-to-five, they recognized, as mothers themselves, the need to develop a company culture promoting flexibility, openness, and teamwork. This has allowed for the hiring of more women, and especially mothers, whose schedules often require a less rigid structure and more pliability. The effects of Covid-19 on the workplace has only buoyed the company culture at rabbit, allowing employees to frequently work from home and complete projects outside the typical nine-to-five work window.
“That’s one of the biggest barriers, I think, in general, in the workplace, for women–typically women are the main caretakers in the family. Not always but typically. So, having flexibility, the value that brings, is important to Jill and I. We go through that in our lives, that work-family life balance. There are a lot of women in the company that are mothers that have a lot to offer the company, and having that flexibility is important,” says Monica.
Mother Runners–mothers who are runners–have become a core component of the rabbit workforce, which includes their Director of Sales, Lora McManus. When her career transitioned to the running industry, Monica and Jill offered her an opportunity, and the ability to work remotely during the hours that best fit her schedule.
“I’ve been remote since I started with rabbit, which was pre-pandemic. That flexibility, in general, has been really valuable to my life and what I’m able to give to the company while also being a runner, and going to races, and being a parent–that flexibility has brought me to a really solid place in my life where I have a balance and well-roundedness that I never had in my life before,” says Lora.
Yael Brennan, rabbit’s Customer Service Team Lead, has also found that work-life balance, a core tenet of rabbit’s company culture that’s championed and promoted by Jill and Monica.
“It’s a place to work hard, meet deadlines and goals, but also where your life isn’t just a really soft running t-shirt. It’s also being able to be home because you have a sick kid. One of the things I really appreciate is that I feel valued. My work and input is appreciated but my outside life is appreciated, too,” says Yael.
By uplifting women in running and the workplace at rabbit, Monica and Jill have helped build a more inclusive and equitable run community. “Opportunities for women can get overlooked because of their schedules. I think we do a good job of overcoming that bias and offering solutions for women in the company,” concludes Monica.