Lifeed founder Riccarda Zezza is here to share her story of how motherhood gave her the idea to create an EdTech company centered around life based learning and transitions, much like the ones working mothers, fathers, and carers face as they add another notch to their list of roles.
Despite having been a manager in reputable companies both in Italy and abroad for 15 years, upon returning from maternity leave, Riccarda was made to feel as though her being a mother was now conflicting with her role as a manager, and she experienced this not just once but two times. This prompted her to do some research around this, and thus, Lifeed was born.
A popular Lifeed expression is “Maternity as a Masters,” implying that maternity leaves should not merely be seen as a chance for a mother to rest and look after their child, but as a person of training as well. This leads on to their principle of life based learning, which is a methodology of practicing and applying soft skills both at home and in the workplace.
In 2015, Lifeed went digital, and originally, it was made for mothers, but later on, it expanded its user base to include fathers and caregivers as well, as these groups all have to make major transitions. Today, they have a team of 35 people and are working with 80 companies to adapt and implement this new way of learning, working, and living.
Using what they call “prompts,” Lifeed helps its clients break free from stereotypes and transfer behaviors between home and work to see where it is lacking or where it can be more effective, and these help people break the barriers between their different roles.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Riccarda and her team developed the Transitions program made specifically for helping people deal with a global pandemic. Now, they have helped thousands of people manage this transition.
Riccarda’s advice when looking for clients is to not educate companies, as this is both time-consuming and resource-heavy. Instead, she recommends looking for companies that are ready and open to making that change. The three main challenges to this entire process would be finding the right people, turning an idea into reality, and finding the financial resources to make this all happen.
In 10 years, Riccarda hopes that life based learning becomes the norm in all companies so that parenthood or similar major life events are seen as an advantage in the workplace rather than a disadvantage.
Riccarda’s key lessons and quotes from this episode were: