“Balancing caregiving and work is hard any way you slice it,” says Felicia Kashevaroff. That’s why she and her best friend of more than 35 years, co-founder Aileen Kelly, recently launched their first mobile app, Tend. Their company, Persistiny, seeks to publish digital media and mobile apps that support women by tracking, valuing, sharing, and leveraging the uncompensated work they perform. Translation: These two one-time stay-at-home moms are giving equal value to that choice and to that of working outside the home. Revolutionary, right?
Kashevaroff and Kelly think it shouldn’t be. “Over the years we were out of the paid workforce, we ran households, nursed sick children, educated ourselves on medical conditions and learning disabilities, advocated for our children, volunteered, researched treatments for our aging parents, coordinated massive events and fundraisers, renovated houses, served as business advisors to our spouses, and the list goes on and on,” Kashevaroff explains. But the time still left gaping holes in their resumes.
With the motto “You cannot value what you don’t measure,” the women set about coming up with a way to track the important work moms do each day. Tend allows users to record every task they perform in a day, from legal paperwork and taxes to playing in the snow or weeding the garden.
And it’s not just for moms. The onboarding questions allow for feedback from users who work outside the home or who don’t, and have kids or don’t. For anyone, male or female, who thrives on organizing their days, it’s an eye-opening option. Want to chart that time you took for a snack or went to the pharmacy? The options are on Tend.
But it’s not all about organization. Tend also measures users’ thoughts and emotions with journaling. They can chart their moods with smiling or frowning flower icons, and add photos to their entries to really create a snapshot of how each day went. The hope is that people who try it will use the data they collect to streamline inefficiencies or negotiate with their partners to more equitably share tasks. Apparently, early adopters are loving it. So far, Tend has a perfect five-star rating on Apple’s app store.
The next big goal is to develop another app that will help moms to transition from home to office using their Tend data to help fill in resume gaps. But the ultimate goal is far broader-reaching. Kashevaroff and Kelly hope that with a robust community, they will have enough aggregated data to push for policy changes to better support womens’ lifestyles, both in and outside the home. It’s not a surprise that the co-founders are politically minded. After all, they named Persistiny after Elizabeth Warren’s slogan, “Nevertheless, she persisted,” coupled with the word “destiny.”
“Feminist politics were on our minds. We knew that our success would require determination and that this work is what we were meant to do,” says Kashevaroff. And with a potential market packed with users seeking to do what they were meant to do, too the revolution should unfold as planned.