"Educate a woman and you educate a family." — Jovita Idar, The Women's Museum (HackDFW 2019).

As a mother of two toddlers, Adriana experiences the challenges of being a working parent daily. Taking time off to raise children creates havoc on one’s professional development. When mothers are ready to go back to work, their skills are often outdated and new technology has replaced the old. Many times these hard working women are unsure of where to begin and what skills are needed to re-enter the workforce.

After much observation, deliberation, and consulting with mentors, other mothers, and experts in the field of gender parity and the future of work, we’ve created an extensive and integrative plan to help mothers get back to the workforce. In doing so, we've discovered that not only will Off2Work positively impact mothers, but it will also largely benefit underserved communities such as veterans, homeless, refugees, and the disabled to re-enter the workforce.

What it does

Utilizing the power of machine learning and artificial intelligence, Off2Work integrates the various resources people need to update their skills, balance their lifestyle, and return to work into a single, efficient and accessible application. It saves the user time easily wasted in an endless job hunt, and it provides a clear direction for those lost or overwhelmed with amount of information available online.

One of the biggest challenges to a successful career transition is knowing where to look for resources and how to begin. After that, finding the time and affording the access to those channels can lead many to give up, and even then, a lack of community and support readily available can leave you feeling discouraged, isolated and inadequate.

By applying data science and deep learning recommendation engines, our set of targeted skills, goals, and lifestyle assessments will provide the customized roadmaps and recommended resources needed in order to upgrade or learn a new trade at scale. Implementing a gamification of the app, as you progress in your skills training you unlock certain achievements that get you one step closer to landing your next job! Our product not only sets up mothers for success, but any underserved community and willing individual looking to improve their lives as well. Off2Work facilitates and expedites the reskilling process helping aid the revolution in the future of work.

How we built it

We went through a design thinking process, developed a persona and wireframed a user journey to build a prototype using Adobe XD and Sketch.

1. Empathy

Research and data collection on stay at home moms that need to go back to work. We serve middle class mothers because they are a segment of the population that does not receive any governmental aide and to which most social programs do not target. 42.5% of moms in Dallas are Stay at Home Mothers and 52% of adults live in middle-income households. (Bureau of labor Statistics) According to the Communities Foundation of Texas’s Economic Opportunity Assessment, as of 2015, the median household income for Dallas County was $51,799. This is nearly $10,000 lower than the median household income for the Dallas-Fort Worth/Arlington metropolitan statistical area. Dallas County’s median household income is one of the lowest of nearby counties. With this program we intend to equip mothers so they too can provide income for their families. We will directly impact at least 330 moms in the first 3 years. The moms we serve will produce a domino effect in their family, economic stability and kids’ education.

2. Defining Stage

  • Selected our Persona.

Stacey Wells: Middle class mom with 2 kids. She has a graphic design degree and has been out of work for 8 years. She is looking to update her skills to rejoin the workforce in a flexible and affordable way.

3. Ideating

  • Created a storyboard to understand what the user needs, what the user experiences, and the flow of information.
  • Defined a user journey

4. Prototyping

  • Utilized Adobe XD, Photoshop and Sketch to develop an initial prototype and a defined user persona.

5. Testing

  • Reiterating different use case scenarios and modifying the flow accordingly

Challenges we ran into

First and foremost, coming to terms with what’s possible in a 24 hour window. With combined designer, developer and HR perspectives, we foresee the following challenges:

  • Integrating various third party apps and partnering to share user data in relation to progress while ensuring data privacy
  • Conducting further research to better understand user behavior, learning habits, demographics, accessibility challenges etc.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

  • Coming up with a user friendly flow
  • UX/UI design
  • Seeing an idea come to life in 24 hours
  • Collaboration with an all female group that just met

What we learned

  • How to think from a front end developing standpoint
  • how to use a design thinking and user centric approach to solve a social issue
  • Storyboarding and wireframes
  • How to delegate tasks central to our goal and receive feedback

What's next for Off2Work

  • Developing a working beta version
  • Partnerships with companies for the data relay
  • Establishing the pilot program and curating a group of users
  • Securing funding to make this tool a reality

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