CHICAGO — Oct. 20, 2021 — The Mom Project, a platform designed to help businesses locate and retain talented working moms, is pleased today to announce Saana Rapakko Hunt as Chief Product Officer and Rocki Howard as Chief People and Equity Officer.
Hunt, who most recently worked for Instagram as Head of Core Growth, built and scaled the product team to grow Instagram at its fastest rate ever, reaching over 1 billion monthly active users.
Passionate about improving gender diversity in the workplace and is an active angel investor and advisor to early stage female-led startups, Hunt is looking forward to finding ways to assist women as they navigate the working world and motherhood.
In her new role with The Mom Project, Hunt (she/her) is responsible for the product vision and strategy, and leading teams of product managers, designers and researchers to help the company achieve growth goals while delivering impactful, joyful experiences for users.
“I’m deeply passionate about our mission and supporting moms at the intersection of work and family,” said Hunt, a mother of two. “The reality is that juggling childcare as two working parents has been really challenging. Not to mention that I really enjoy being present with my kids and want to make sure I’m able to prioritize that. There has to be a better way where we don’t force moms to make such a black-and-white decision, and I’m excited to turn that dream into reality.”
Before joining The Mom Project, Howard was Chief Diversity Officer at SmartRecruiters, where she built the only Diversity Hiring Success standards that allow companies to benchmark their ability to recruit diverse talent for free via the Diversity Hiring Success Toolkit. She also launched the 2021 State of Diversity Hiring report that shares data, trends and action items companies can take to improve diversity hiring.
In addition to hosting her own podcast, The Voices of Diversity, over the past year Howard (she/her) has been featured on multiple podcasts, including Redefining HR Podcast, Recruiting Daily Podcast, and The Pozcast with Adam Posner, and has been a featured presenter more than 40 times on the topic of diversity including at SourceCon, HR Tech, TA Week, and the 2021 CandE’s Virtual Conference.
Howard, who identifies as Black, Christian and Gen X, is a wife and mother of four. As Chief People and Equity Officer, Howard will be responsible for leading The Mom Project’s people, culture and equity work, ultimately helping unlock the greatest potential for the company’s people and business. Her team will have ownership over internal talent acquisition, employee experience, total rewards, DE&I, company policies, and company culture and practices.
She said moms of the world are needed in the working world, in addition to being needed for their families, communities, companies and our future.
“The very thought of building a high-performing and inclusive culture that enables individuals to create over $1 billion of economic opportunity for working moms while also creating opportunities for moms of color through RISE is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Howard said.
About The Mom Project
The Mom Project is the leading platform for moms to discover their economic potential. Serving over 500,000 moms and 3,000 companies through its robust suite of hiring, education and retention solutions, The Mom Project is supporting mothers in finding success on their own terms. The Chicago-based company was founded in 2016 by Allison Robinson, who serves as CEO, and has raised $116M in funding to date. Serena Williams joined The Mom Project as a Strategic Advisor in 2020 to further mobilize the mission.