Allison Whalen

Allison Whalen

Co-founder and CEO  

Mom of Archie (5) and Colette (2)

My entire adult life I’ve been hyper focused on my career - both ensuring that my current role is an exciting challenge, and that I’m on a path forward. From finance to non-profit to ultimately start-ups, I’ve always been dedicated to personal and professional growth. 

And then I got pregnant. 

My fundamental dedication and desire to work didn’t change - but I had no idea how to transition into motherhood without serious disruption to my business unit, my team and my career. 

My company gave me a three month paid parental leave, but I struggled to successfully prepare my team and the business to thrive in my absence.

Returning to work was challenging. I considered quitting because it would have been easier to “start fresh” somewhere new than to “make up” for everything I had missed. 

I didn’t quit, and things eventually got much better.  

But I realized that what I had needed pre-leave was a more intentional and thoughtful plan for everything that would come with leaving for several months and then trying to transition back into my role. And when I talked to others I realized that most felt the same way. The past five years have seen a huge leap forward in terms of companies providing long parental paid leave - but parents need help ensuring their career growth and the business results continue to thrive during this transition period.

I’m thrilled to offer Parentaly to employers everywhere who truly want to support working parents in the most critical, wonderful and vulnerable moment in their lives.

Jaime Rooney

Jaime Rooney

Co-founder and Advisor 

Mom of Jack (8), Rose (6) and Eleanor (2)

Prior to becoming a mom, I was totally focused on my education and career. At the time we decided to have our first child, I was working in a fast-paced consulting environment. I couldn’t imagine maintaining my pace with a baby in tow. 

That first maternity leave reinforced my perceptions. Being home with a newborn was so all-consuming, that I couldn’t imagine how I would go back to work in any similar capacity. So when it came time to return, I chose to scale way back - only local clients, safe and easy projects, slow pace.

On one hand it was nice - I had incredibly manageable hours compared to my peers. And I did well for a few years - earning two promotions while also having a second child. But my decisions led to a bit of a downward spiral where I was no longer considered seriously for big assignments, important clients, or the most interesting work. I became disengaged, unmotivated, and uninspired. 

Ultimately I chose, for many reasons, to make a career shift and reestablish myself in a new role where I could apply some lessons that I learned along the way: work smarter, not harder. It’s possible to have passion for your family and your career. Professional progress may zig and zag, but it’s critical to stay engaged and passionate regardless.

I believe that parental leave is a critical pivot point not just in our personal lives, but our professional journeys as well. I believe we can help parents, managers, and organizations think differently about how to support and inspire each other through the leave experience. I believe how we plan for and manage through parental leave can have lasting impacts on engagement, retention, and career progression.

And that is why we started Parentaly.