Best Practices: gDiaper's Family Friendly Workplace

"We did some Australia-y, Canada-y, socialist-y things, but the result was virtually 100 percent retention.”

Like many people without children, I live in a world of blissful ignorance about the often-messy logistics that go along with caring for a tiny proto-human. Jason Graham-Nye, the CEO and co-founder of gDiapers, a GOOD Company finalist, was in a similar place when he and his wife, Kim, had their first child and came face-to-face with the diaper situation.

Gross? Sure. But worse, synthetic plastics aren’t the best thing to put on a baby’s bottom, and once they’ve been used, diapers end up haunting landfills for hundreds of years, contributing enormously to our waste problem.

Before the Graham-Nyes started their business, parents in the United States could get either disposables or cloth diapers that they would wash and reuse (a hassle factory), but little else was available in the $5 billion diaper market.

Kim and Jason are from Australia, where they discovered a kind of hybrid diaper—cloth with disposable, biodegradable inserts—and bought the intellectual property rights outside of Oceana. They decided to set up shop in Portland, Oregon because of its green-friendly reputation and the United States’ friendliness to entrepreneurs.

Their company, gDiaper, was born. Among their first problems? Dealing with their other children.

“When we got here, we were pregnant, we had a two-year-old, and we really needed a nanny to look after our two-year-old—I’m the CEO and my wife is the president,” Jason explains. “As we started hiring people, we thought, we’ll share a nanny with our coworkers, and then the nanny became on-site daycare.”

The company now offers on-site daycare to all of its employees, and other benefits like a three-month maternity leave, paid family time off for illness, and flex time “like you wouldn’t believe,” Graham-Nye says.

The company’s human resources policies started off in part because of the two founders’ backgrounds.

“Being from Australia and my wife’s from Canada, I just put in four weeks paid time off, it’s four weeks, that’s what they’re getting,” Graham-Nye says, a move that initially surprised some of their employees. “That was the beginning of oh, America’s not like Australia! We did some Australia-y, Canada-y, socialist-y things, but the result was virtually 100 percent retention.”

That was important to Graham-Nye, who saw his company as a venue to make both money and meaning, things he’d achieved separately in earlier careers as a stockbroker and high school teacher (his wife did the same, working for the United Nations and then at a startup).

“So many startups are sweatshops, virtually,” he says. “My wife and I were young parents and we couldn’t do it, and we created an environment that’s really sustainable.”

The strategy has succeeded: gDiapers has seen a steady increase in sales and received numerous awards for its products, marketing and social responsibility practices. It probably helps that some of the research and development happens so close to home.

Photo via (cc) Flickr user jen_rab


September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

It's fun to go to a party, talk to strangers, and try to guess where they're from just by their accents and use of language. It's called 'soda' on the East Coast and 'pop' in the Midwest, right? Well, it looks like a new study has been able to determine where a Humpback whale has been and who he's been hanging out with during his awesome travels just from his song.

Keep Reading Show less

There is no shortage of proposals from the, um, what's the word for it… huge, group of Democratic presidential candidates this year. But one may stand out from the pack as being not just bold but also necessary; during a CNN town hall about climate change Andrew Yang proposed a "green amendment" to the constitution.

Keep Reading Show less