Why I work at Soofa: Civics, Community, and a Culture Built by Ladies
Molly LaFlesh, People, Culture, and Talent
Most people spend their lives searching for the right job. I found mine by accident.
Last summer, I had begun to feel tickles in the back of my mind about moving on from the civic engagement nonprofit where I led programs and events. I asked for some job interview advice from a friend and former colleague of mine, Dan Schwartz, who had recently been on the market before joining Soofa’s Government Affairs team. “We’re hiring at Soofa. You should come in and interview for it,” Dan told me. “No worries if you don’t take the job, but it’s a great place to work, and it will be good interview practice.”
The work Soofa was doing seemed cool, and I was grateful to exercise my interview muscles. What I wasn’t expecting was to completely fall in love with the company.
From Soofa’s mission to make cities smart, social, and sustainable, to the job itself (a fast-paced executive assistant/office manager role with an opportunity move way up within 90 days), to the dogs running around the office, I was in love.
Plus, it was a woman-founded company, something rare both inside and outside of tech. One conversation with Soofa’s co-founders Sandra Richter and Jutta Friedrichs and I was hooked.
Since joining the team, I have received nothing but trust, mentorship, and opportunities to develop my talent.
True to her word, Sandra helped me grow from Office Manager to Chief of Staff before the end of my first quarter. Sandra has connected me with countless mentors—amazing women who are on the same path as me but a bit further along. Now I lead our People Operations team, handling all things recruiting, hiring, and culture-related at Soofa, and helping our team develop their own talent.
There’s a reason Soofa’s logo is a red heart; we conduct everything we do with love.
Our product, the Soofa Sign, is a neighborhood news feed. Anyone can upload content to our Signs by visiting Soofa Talk; we’ll even help you make your design better. This democratized access to tech gives everyone in our neighborhoods a voice, including small businesses with no marketing budget. Even the Sign itself, designed by our cofounder Jutta Friedrichs, is humble, beautiful, and easy to love.
Other aspects of Soofa I’ve fallen in love with since joining the team: we always have 50%+ women on staff, and we talk openly about the sexism we’ve faced in our lives and careers. Everyone on the team is obsessed with cities. Everyone works hard; there are no slackers here. If you could be doing something better, you will hear about it right away. We have a purple couch. We have a book club. We have a fridge full of cold seltzer and fresh fruit. We screen documentaries about Beyoncé and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We follow an MITesque “launch, then iterate” approach.