Besides being able to work from home wearing your bonnet and favorite pjs, working remotely has a host of other benefits.
For some companies, working remotely has helped them improve their diversity measures by allowing them to employ professionals who may have issues with transportation or with their health, thus making working in a “traditional” office space indesirable. Also, for many people, working remotely can provide flexibility by allowing professionals to literally work wherever they please.
Despite the benefits, oftentimes finding remote work can be just as difficult as finding traditional, office setting work. After a bad experience while searching for remote work, Jaira Romero decided to launch her startup Remote Woman to help women locate full-time remote opportunities. With over 50,000 users and curating jobs from top companies like Zapier, Github, and Stripe, Jaira is building the next big thing in tech for women all over.
Recently, we caught up with Jaira and she shared more about Remote Woman and tips on how professionals can transition from working in an office to working remotely.
Who is Jaira Romero?
I’m the Co-founder of Remote Woman. Born and raised in Los Angeles, I’m 31 years old, and I’m a first-generation American whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from El Salvador. I have a career background in tech, television, media, and advertising.
What is Remote Woman?
Remote Woman has the best remote jobs at female-friendly companies.
We’re on a mission to enable professional women to find meaningful careers in a world that increasingly demands flexibility, diversity, and inclusivity in building innovative solutions. The community is growing so quickly because women can trust that every company has been personally vetted.
Every company must pass the criteria of 1) women have the opportunity for upward mobility inside the organization. 2) actual remote-friendly culture (not just remote-tolerant) 3) is a stable, legitimate business. The goal is to close the gender gap and encourage diversity & inclusion in the tech space globally.
What tips can you give women to avoid scams while searching for remote work?
Scammers are pretty good at stealing someone’s identity. The key to avoiding scams is to verify their identity – and not just by confirming their name matches a LinkedIn profile! I recommend that you insist on video calls with your main point of contact. As well, ask that you would like to do at least one video chat with another member of the company (to learn more about the organization). Typically, scammers will get scared off by this & legitimate companies will encourage you to learn more. 🙂
What experiences led you to create Remote Woman?
I was looking for a remote job last year and ran into a variety of problems.
The three main issues were 1) most of the roles that were advertised were skewed towards men 2) some companies weren’t remote-friendly 3) some companies weren’t legitimate or stable.
One of the worst experiences I had was almost getting scammed by a company that posted on the most popular remote job board. Seemingly legit, I went through hours and hours of remote interviews for what seemed like my dream remote job only to find out that they were phishing for my personal information to scam me. Luckily, I was able to spot the scam before it was too late. But this isn’t the case for other women that have been taken advantage of. This is why I started Remote Woman – to close the gender gap in tech and bring trust to remote work.
What advice would you give women who want to transition from an office role to a remote role?
It was a difficult transition for me to transition from an office role to remote – although it’s worth it!
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all sunshine & rainbows once you go to a remote company – communication can be tough. I recommend practicing communication, organization, and time management with your existing company (but without face to face communication). Prepare by using tools like Slack, Zoom, Basecamp, Trello, Asana, etc. Besides good practice, this is critical to acing your interviews with recruiters at remote companies – they want to know that you will succeed in the transition before making an offer.
How does your cultural background play a role in your implementation of Remote Woman?
My parents immigrated to the U.S. in the 80s to escape the civil war in El Salvador. I grew up visiting family there in the 90s, and I learned to appreciate the disparity in wealth between the two nations. Whether that was, as an 8-year-old, donating my favorite toys and clothes to people in need or buying chocolate covered bananas for the kids in the town of Usulután.
Remote work has created an enormous opportunity worldwide for anyone to work for top tier companies – where walls and borders aren’t a limitation. And for forwarding thinking companies, remote work means the ability to hire the best talent around the world (rather than people who live within 5 miles of their office). Ultimately, remote work means creating an organization with stronger meritocracy, unique perspectives, and diverse hiring. These are specific ingredients that create successful companies.
I can imagine this site is useful for women who are on maternity leave or decide not to return to work but want to work remotely. Have you received any responses/feedback from women who are going into maternity leave?
Yes, we see a lot of women who transition to remote work to be closer to their children. We live in a society that expects it all from women. We’re not just the caretakers, but also increasingly the breadwinners. Women in our community feel the pressure from all angles and sometimes feel overwhelmed while striking the right balance to maintain their independence.
The truth is that remote work offers the opportunity to both have a career and be close to their children. This means not having to commute two hours a day and be home when their kids finish school. It means helping them with their homework, deal with family challenges, and play a meaningful role in their development. This type of flexibility is more significant than salary raises or bonuses – it creates happiness at home that makes them better at work.
What about users who work full-time but want to take on side gigs? Does Remote Woman work for this group?
We focus on full-time work rather than “side gigs.” While we sometimes have a few freelance roles, we prefer full-time opportunities because it means more stability, steadier paycheck, full integration with the organization, promotion opportunity, and healthcare.
Where can people connect with you on social media?
You can follow Remote Woman on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/remote_woman/ or Twitter: https://twitter.com/remote_woman
Some Fun Facts about Jaira Romero.
- I traveled to over 25 countries in the last ten years.
- Top Five Countries: Argentina (Iguazu Falls, Patagonia), Indonesia (Bali Beaches), South Korea (amazing food), Morocco (beautiful textiles & history), and Switzerland (incredible nature & lakes).
- I won an Emmy for a TV show at the NFL network.
- I try to run 3 miles every morning before starting my day.
- I am a die-hard LA sports fan.