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Women of May: Here to change the world

In this employee community, women of any career path and at any level can work together, grow together and accomplish greater things together.

A collage of four photos featuring female May Mobility team members who are smiling and laughing

by Jillian Chaklos, director of accounting

It all started with an after-work women’s leadership happy hour. Surrounded by a few of the accomplished women at May Mobility, I realized that socializing was a great start, but this could be something so much bigger. I have often felt underrepresented throughout my career across projects and meetings as one of few females present, especially from a management perspective. If I felt this way as the Director of Accounting, maybe others across the organization felt the same way too.

May Mobility was missing something essential: a unified and inclusive community where every woman at May Mobility could feel safe, supported and strong. Prior to working at May Mobility, I was fortunate to have an example of a strong woman in finance to follow and serve as my mentor. That experience showed me the importance of having someone looking out for you, someone who could share their experiences to your benefit.

With that experience in mind, I was committed to creating something more meaningful for my peers and fellow MAYniacs. And so, in 2023, I reached out to the People Team to put things in motion to establish Women of May. In this employee community, women of any career path and at any level can work together, grow together and accomplish greater things together.

A woman’s perspective is critical to success

Women of May’s purpose is to make May Mobility a place where women want to work, and where they can thrive. To enact change and become better, we first need to recognize where we currently stand. So, here are the stats:

Demographics:

  • C-suite executives: 33% women
  • Director and above: 31%
  • Engineering, data science and AI employees: 14%
  • All employees: 23%

In a recent employee engagement survey (July 2023):

  • 75% of women at May say May Mobility supports their professional growth and development goals (compared to 73% of men)
  • 77% of women at May believe there are good career opportunities for them at May Mobility (compared to 75% of men)
  • 86% of women at May say their direct leader shows a genuine interest in their career aspirations (compared to 76% of men)
  • 98% of women at May say their work style arrangement (remote, hybrid, onsite) supports their professional and personal needs (compared to 90% of men)

When looking at the data we’ve collected, May Mobility has made serious progress over the years. A year and a half ago, our C-suite had no women. Seeing the shift to more women in roles of leadership, I have observed that more differing perspectives are being brought to the table than ever before. I knew that women were doing great work here and we have always had valuable input, but there is still more we can do, and that’s why we need Women of May. We need to see more women in the company: more women executives and directors, and more women in underrepresented departments (i.e., autonomy/engineering).

I firmly believe in the strength that the perspective of a woman can bring and that this added diversity is critical to improved company performance. We are developing autonomous mobility solutions for everybody. In order to provide a truly inclusive service, we also need to cultivate a workforce that reflects the diversity of the communities we aim to serve. Over the next 5-10 years, Women of May hopes that May Mobility demonstrates metrics in the representation of women that outperform our peers and industry standards.

Goals for 2024

So, how will we get there? When I polled the newly formed Women of May group in the early stages, three key elements stood out: connection, sharing experiences and mentorship opportunities. Since then, Women of May has held quarterly meetings and regular social hours throughout 2023 to build those connections and to share experiences with one another. Now, as Women of May is about to celebrate its first anniversary, I’m excited for the official launch of our new mentorship program.

We can accomplish so much this year as we come together to support the women around us. Women of May provides an opportunity to continue to foster strong connections within its community and provide a space for women to learn and grow together. Whether that is through the mentorship program or Women of May’s continued quarterly engagement activities, fostering connections remains among our primary goals.

And it isn’t just employees of May Mobility that benefit from Women of May’s efforts. Another important goal since its inception is to identify opportunities to volunteer and engage with outside communities. We actively search for ways to give back to local women, empowering the entire community.

Creating a positive employee experience

To better represent women within our industry, May Mobility must be a place where women want to work. Through Women of May, we hope to create a culture that empowers women to live life on their terms, and that celebrates who they are and their accomplishments.

Starting this year, May Mobility has added International Women’s Day as a paid holiday to help us all celebrate the women in our lives. And that’s just a small slice of the pie. A paid parental leave program for up to 3 months lets potential moms know that we’ve got their back during a big change in their lives. This also comes with a stipend to cover initial food expenses, a staggered return to work period to ease new parents back into the workforce and lactation breaks and reimbursed breastmilk shipping when required. And for those who aren’t the mom, they can still take the time to confidently support their partner and their new child too. Flexible work arrangements and schedules make it easier to appropriately balance life and work, and we encourage everyone to take advantage of the flexible vacation days offered.

Focusing on the workplace itself, all employees are required to go through annual training designed to minimize unconscious bias and prevent discrimination. This connects to our efforts to make sure every woman is able to put their best foot forward and can confidently take the necessary steps to advance in their career at May Mobility.

Get involved

Whether as a woman or an ally, everyone has the opportunity to support the women who support us every day. We are looking for women who want to change the future of transportation and are ready to help lead us to that future. If working at May Mobility seems like a fit for you, take a look at our careers page. We’re excited to see how your experiences and perspective can leave a lasting impact on people around the world.

About the Author

Jillian Chaklos is the director of accounting for May Mobility where she and her team champion the company’s financial health and credibility on its path to profitability. Since starting her career as a financial statement auditor and working at a large Fortune 200 company, Chaklos has developed a diverse skillset in accounting and finance through various leadership roles. She brought those learnings to May Mobility where she plays a critical role in the growth and stability of the company. Chaklos graduated from Michigan State University with her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in accounting and holds an active CPA license in the state of Michigan.

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