Entrepreneurship | February 15, 2018

Lisa Skeete Tatum: Unlocking the value of women’s talent in the workplace

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New Revivalists is a series from ImpactAlpha and Village Capital profiling the people, places and policies reviving entrepreneurship — and the American Dream.

New Revivalist: Lisa Skeete Tatum, Founder and CEO of Landit, a personalized career playbook for women
Place: New York, New York
Mission: Skeete Tatum and Landit are on a mission to democratize career success for half the workforce — women.
Follow: @landit

You might have heard about the growth market in women’s economic equality (In case you haven’t: It’s $28 trillion in potential productivity gains by 2025). Lisa Skeete Tatum and Landit are helping firms — and women themselves— tap that value.

A healthcare technology venture capitalist, Skeete Tatum had volunteered on nonprofit boards to create access for underserved individuals. But she felt stuck. “I wanted to combine my full-time and volunteer work, but I had no idea what that looked like,” Skeete Tatum told ImpactAlpha. “It didn’t feel great. And, I thought I was the only one.”

She did what entrepreneurs do and turned her challenge into a startup.

Skeete Tatum, a Kauffman Fellow, raised over $2 million in 2015 to build Landit, a tech-enabled platform that helps women build a personal brand, establish a personal “board of advisors,” access world-class coaches and other tools for success. “Women get a trusted, personalized career playbook,” says Skeete Tatum. The companies they work for get, “higher productivity, higher retention and higher satisfaction.”

The growth market in women’s equality

ImpactAlpha: What problem do you want to solve with Landit?

Skeete Tatum: First, we’re solving the problem of access. The career playing field is not level. Where you grew up, where you went to school, who happens to love you at the moment — all of these things are external factors that might not have anything to do with your capabilities, your desires, your hopes or what you’re able to bring to bear in the world.

Second, we’re unlocking talent. There isn’t one leader in today’s world that doesn’t understand the importance of leveraging everyone in their workplace. We’re moving beyond leveraging talent as a “nice to have” or “right thing to do.” It is the right thing to do, but it’s also a competitive imperative. Companies can do well and do good and we offer a solution that enables them to do both.

ImpactAlpha: What’s unique about Landit’s approach to the problem?

Skeete Tatum: The market has spoken. You cannot have a “one size fits all” solution to career development – it doesn’t work. Landit’s secret sauce is a “one size fits one” solution, a career playbook that knits together technology and human touch points for a customized experience.

Landit serves a B2C (business to consumer) and a B2B (business to business) market but focuses primarily on the B2B market. The way it works for our enterprise clients is that they purchase a Landit seat license for each woman they want to invest in. We take it from there.

It’s a win-win situation. Women get a trusted, personalized career playbook that leads to higher productivity, higher retention and higher satisfaction. Companies get to invest in their employee at scale, while gaining insights into what’s working and what’s not. Ultimately, it comes down to the question: “are women reaching the goals they set for themselves?” It’s easy for both women and companies to see that impact immediately and measure the ROI.

ImpactAlpha: What’s the playbook?

Skeete Tatum: After Landit learns all about you, we provide you with the tools and know-how to assess your personal brand, build your squad (a personal ‘board of advisors’ that consists of a mentor, sponsor, connector, point expert and friend), access world-class coaches and engage a curated course that prepares you for growth and breakthroughs. Our playbook is designed to move the needle forward.

ImpactAlpha: What challenges do you face as an entrepreneur?

Skeete Tatum: When you’re growing and scaling fast, it’s all about growing the organization at the same pace. Hiring the right people to go on the journey with you is so important — it’s something that keeps me up at night.

I am also mindful — every millisecond — that we are here to make sure we’re delivering value for the individual and our enterprise clients. We don’t iterate for the sake of iterating, we make sure that we’re staying proximate to who we serve in the marketplace by listening and understanding how we can deliver on that promise.

ImpactAlpha: What inspires you?

Skeete Tatum: My mother is an inspiration. You want to talk about a badass — that’s my mother. She’s a trailblazer. I model myself after her and her intelligence, her grace, her grit and perseverance. And her sense of humor. She’s my idol.

Lisa’s recommendations:

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo
  • Headspace, the Meditation App
  • The Brand Quiz, on Landit

More from the New Revivalists: