Meet our Partner – Heidi Raunch, Co-Founder of Belabumbum


Heidi Rauch is about as authentically interested in and deeply committed to the well-being of expectant and new mothers as they come. Since 2002, Belabumbum has made responsibly sourced products designed to soothe and nurture a woman through her maternal journey. From pregnancy into motherhood – Belabumbum is an expression of much needed TLC. Belabumbum cares, nurtures and loves the new mother at a moment when cooing at new baby is the main event. The brand is all about reminding Moms to care for themselves. It is my favorite gift to give — one which tells the new mother that you see her, and want to send some love her way. To be candid — I still wear Belabumbum- the fabrics are that good, the cuts that kind and nothing is better for lounging, napping or the elusive good night’s sleep! 


Another reason to love Belabumbum is supply chain based. This means paying close attention to the whole of the manufacturing, distribution and promotional process. Since their start, Belabumbum has prioritized fairness and care along their supply chain and remained committed to promoting women’s well-being – from the woman who bastes those first stitches, to the mom who is anxiously awaiting her new baby


As long as I have known Heidi (which lucky for me is decades!) I have been impressed by her dedication and drive. All in the name of mother. She has been a friend to me and The It’s Working Project — including us in her mission through the years. We have enjoyed a remarkably synergistic relationship which has ranged from dog walks to biggest thinking, strategic planning and everything in between. All in the name of women everywhere. 


Recently Belabumbum grew, joining forces with Adore Me, the disruptive lingerie e-commerce company known for their inclusive size range and commitment to promoting inner confidence for all women – not a bad duo!


Now, with the new and expanded Belabumbum nearly anything is possible. I cannot wait to see what Heidi dreams up next.




Meet our Partner – Ashley Connell, CEO and Founder of the Prowess Project


Prowess Project CEO and Founder, Ashley Connell is big on the “F word” — in fact I don’t think I’ve had a conversion with her in which she does not bring and keep Flexibility front and center. She, having built the Prowess Project from the ground up, has been long focused on best practices for elevating and empowering women in an ever-evolving workplace. The punch line — Flexibility, the essential trait that is redefining the workplace in the days of Covid was where prowess began. 


Understanding that one size simply does not fit all (again, big news to those making sense of Covid-19 but a core, long-standing belief of the Prowess Project) has allowed Ashley not only to build intimate cohorts of up to five women to elevate skills and insights, she then feeds graduates of each cohort into robust communities – connecting members in ways that empower and build confidence. 


Sounds good, no? It is. And then there is the role she plays with employers. Ashley is in just the right place at the right time. Prowess Project is able to bring employers up to full speed in their recruitment and even more key at the moment, in their retention process.  This by identifying both need and cultural fit. New and nothing short of a much needed game changer, women find their best fit while employers grow to be more adept and yes, flexible. And as the Pandemic continues on – Prowess Project’s services have expanded to help fortify private sector efforts.


Ashley considers herself part conductor (so many moving parts in her orchestra) and part innovator (offering a new, ever-evolving approach that nimbly meets needs on all sides of the table). She loves how she spends her days and the impact she is able to make on an on-going basis. And she should. 


When I think of her, I think of a dedicated, motivated woman with the determination to connect in new ways and the smarts to be in the right place at the right time. She is, as her website shares a driving force :


At Prowess Project, we drive progress.  In companies, by providing flexible talent and in women’s lives, by providing more options so they can have it all – fulfilling work and time for family.


By the time this is published, more days of the Pandemic will have passed. And the further down this uncertain road we go, the more Ashely’s driving and vision make obvious sense. Workplaces are newly redefining and open to finding ways to remain both productive and populated by just the right employees – altering workplace function, expectations and definitions well into the future. This involves employees being able to describe what they need and define how it is not a risk. And this, well this is the “F-word”! Thank you Ashley!





Why Do We Do What We Do and Will You Do it Too?


These are head spinning days. With each day come new complexities and challenges. We are up to the task. Still, the It’s Working Project cannot help but wonder, what toll is getting through another day taking on men, women, children, employers, businesses and our ability to feel connected to our best selves?


So we continue to ask you to share your stories with us. And now (drumroll) – we have expanded our queries to include the myriad of impacts of Covid-19. Please join us, share your story and help make the Portrait Project much more personal.


Why?’s recent survey summary reminds us of the realities of our world, and it is not pretty.

Almost 70% of mothers are in the labor force, and about 42% of mothers are the sole or primary breadwinners in their homes3. In 2018, the labor force participation rate for all women with children under age 18 was 71.5% (for men, it was 93.3%4). That’s to say nothing of the 17.7 million individuals in the United States who are caregivers for an older adult with a health or functional limitation.

And now we know how quickly and dramatically the composition of our American workforce is changing as a result of the Pandemic. According to Women in the Workplace, Mercer & LeanIn’s most recent and rattling report, Covid-19 is impacting the lives of employees, causing struggles without an obvious elixir.  

The Covid-19 crisis has been extremely difficult for employees. Several challenges loom large, including childcare and homeschooling responsibilities, mental health, and burnout. Many employees feel like they need to be “always on”—available for work at all hours of the day. And a significant number of employees are worried about layoffs, furloughs, and financial insecurity.

Taken together, these challenges paint a picture of a workforce that is dealing with unsustainable pressure and anxiety. Almost half of employees say they have consistently felt stressed at work over the past few months, and about a third report feeling exhausted or burned out. For working parents—and working mothers in particular—those burdens are even heavier.

Join Us, Please! 

And here we are, The It’s Working Project — playing our part, doing our very best to ask and listen to the new realities of the American work and campus place. Our goal, as always, is to bring life to the data. To gather and share stories in compelling, personal ways — to move from data to experience – bringing life to the harsh realities and family-centric experiences to life.