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Six Questions with…Stephanie Scott Harbour

Jeanette Mulvey

Stephanie Scott Harbour is the owner of the Mom Corps, Inc. franchise in New York City. Her staffing franchise offers employers access to a large pool of top-tier, on-demand talent not available through traditional job channels by matching them with talented, experienced professionals who are looking for flexible work arrangements.

As a former founder of a mergers and acquisitions and private equity firm, Harbour has a unique perspective on small businesses’ need for good employees.

Harbour also balances her love of business with her love of the arts. She is a board member of the 360 Degree Dance Company in New York City and the former artistic director of the diSiac Dance Company at her alma mater, Princeton University.

She tells BusinessNewsDaily why she thinks freelancing is the trend of the future and how the economy has evolved from a ballet to a modern dance over the course of the last several decades.

BusinessNewsDaily: Freelancing/contracting is the wave of the future labor market. Is there a solution to the benefits problem it presents to workers?

Stephanie Scott Harbour: There is no doubt that the traditional benefits model is undergoing some dramatic changes at the moment. At Mom Corps, we tend to work with many candidates that are already covered by a partner’s insurance plan, so it’s not a question we tackle regularly.  That said, we – like many others – are in the process of putting together a benefits package so that our contractors can have access to reduced rate group plans if they would like to go down that path.

BND: What special challenges do women face in the job market?

S.S.H.: I don’t know that women face any special challenges in the job market. They face different challenges – for example, the decision to start a family may impact a woman’s career track differently that it does a man’s – but we all tend to struggle with the same things: desire for challenging work, flexibility and balance, fair compensation and recognition for our accomplishments.

BND: Do you see more women opening their own businesses as a way to create flexible work schedules for themselves?

S.S.H.: Absolutely – one of the really fun things about New York City in this moment is that entrepreneurs are springing up everywhere. Just the other night, I met four women who were all starting their own businesses, from skin care to financial planning. Anyone who tells you that starting a business is not hard work is lying – but starting your own company does allow you to work on your own schedule and create flexibility. It’s empowering to set your own rules and manage your own time and priorities.

BND: Why did you decide to take this job?

S.S.H.: I fell in love with the Mom Corps concept, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. I had always wanted to do something entrepreneurial, so to couple it with a role in which I would be empowering professionals to find balance in their careers was really a dream come true. I believe that all companies – from the biggest to the smallest – can improve how they leverage their employees’ talents and energies and that flexibility is a key part of that equation.

BND: Where do you see the biggest need for flexible workers right now?

S.S.H.: Most companies need them in some capacity — however, mid-size, high-growth companies that tend to have a progressive bent are where I see making the biggest impact on bottom line. Why? Because these companies are desperate for talent, their existing teams are stretched too thin, and they can’t support full-time hires because they are trying to stay lean as they grow. Flexibility is a tool they can use to attract talented women and men who are happy to work in challenging part-time, contract or consulting roles in exchange for a better work/life balance.

BND: What kind of dance most represents the today's economic/jobs climate and why?

S.S.H.: Oh boy – well, if the rigidity and structure of ballet can be equated to the early and mid-20th century employment landscape, I would say that modern dance captures the mood of today — you must be nimble, independent and quick to spot new movements to stay ahead of the curve.

Jeanette Mulvey Member
<p>Jeanette has been writing about business for more than 20 years. She has written about every kind of entrepreneur from hardware store owners to fashion designers. Previously she was a manager of internal communications for Home Depot. Her journalism career began in local newspapers. She has a degree in American Studies from Rutgers University. Follow her on Twitter <a href="" target="_blank">@jeanettebnd</a>.</p>