Flexibility Profile: Jodi Bricker Built Old Navy's Online Business While On A Flex Schedule
Jodi Bricker, now VP of Women’s Merchandising for Levi’s, Opted Back into her Career after Two Years as a Stay at Home Mom to Help Build Old Navy’s Online Business on a Reduced Schedule
Benefits of this Flexible Arrangement to the Company
By all accounts, the Gap’s offer of a flexible work arrangement was critical in re-attracting Jodi to the company. In fact, flexibility was a key factor in building the leadership team for their Old Navy Online business. Jodi and her boss the original VP and GM of Merchandising for Old Navy Online, simply would not have returned to work when they did without the offer of flexibility. Over their 5 year tenure with Old Navy Online, Jodi and her boss Dawn built one of the Gap’s highest growth businesses and trained more than 100 people, all while working part time, so clearly the investment paid off. As a result of the Gap’s creativity they were able to double Jodi’s tenure with the company to a total of 12 years.
The success of Jodi and Dawn’s arrangements also seems to have influenced the corporate culture at the Gap. They supported a number of team members in creating flexible schedules of their own. And the company eventually instituted a formal flexibility program to retain and motivate other talent through similar arrangements.
Motivation for Flex Career
Jodi’s motivation for working a reduced schedule is familiar. Both Jodi and her husband were working full time in demanding careers when Jodi became pregnant. Jodi’s original role at the Gap handling merchandising for Old Navy stores had her traveling more than one third of the time. Recognizing that they needed to create more time for parenting while their children were young, the couple decided that they couldn’t support Jodi’s travel schedule in the near term, and so Jodi chose to stay home for some time.
Jodi wasn’t looking to go back to work two years later when the President of Gap Direct contacted her to offer her the job with Old Navy Online. But when the offer of an interesting job with a 66% schedule, and manageable travel requirements was presented, she couldn’t ignore it. Admittedly, Jodi did miss her career and the creative stimulation of work, and accepted the position because it offered her the best of both worlds - the opportunity to succeed in her career without sacrificing her family.
Over time, as their careers have progressed and their children have grown Jodi and her husband’s motivations and their choices for balancing their careers have changed. Eventually Jodi accepted a VP Level position with the Gap and chose to return to full time, and her husband chose to stay home with their children for a few years. Once she was back to full time, now as a primary bread winner for her family, Levi's was eventually able to entice her away from the Gap with an offer of a new business challenge and a return to her product development roots as their VP of Women’s Merchandising. The couple now views their options for balancing their careers as much more fluid and plans to evaluate their options again in a few years.
How Jodi’s Part Time Schedule Worked