Sarah Braker, communications manager
4moms employees on a group ride.
Pittsburgh-based company 4moms is known for its innovative baby products, but their good ideas don’t end with their customers. According to Kevin Dowling, VP of Engineering at 4moms, one way the company is making a name for itself is by being as bicycle-friendly as possible.
To encourage employees to bike to work, 4moms took away two car spaces in the parking garage and converted them to bicycle parking. “Its not just lip service,” Dowling says, “we’re really supplying the facilities that can allow people to cycle.” Those facilities include showers on-site and tools for people who want to work on their own bikes. “We have a lot engineers here so we know how to fix things,” Dowling adds.
Dowling describes the culture at 4moms as one of collaboration and teamwork. “From intern to senior executive, everybody has a voice,” he explains. According to Dowling, when people bike to work they come in energized and are more likely to be productive. “We have a shared responsibility to get stuff done,” Dowling explains. To him, more employees bicycling helps them achieve this end goal.
The people of 4moms know how to balance work and play.
4moms’ recent move to downtown Pittsburgh was intentional; the company wanted to encourage employees to bike and use public transit, something a more suburban location could not have allowed. They also have an email group through which they organize rides, talks and visits from bike shops. As the company has grown, now to almost 170 employees, bicycling has provided Dowling and other company leadership with another unintended benefit. “We don’t get a chance to know everyone,” Dowling explains, “and these kind of activities allow folks to interact who might otherwise not.”
Beyond the positive effects on employees and the company, Dowling says that 4moms is also playing a role in the transformation of Pittsburgh. “I’ve met with the mayor about fostering high tech in the city and I’ve said that what they can do is provide a great place to work and live,” he says, “part of that is creating a better atmosphere to bike and be a pedestrian.”
From interns to vice presidents, the employees of 4moms are embracing the bicycle as a mode of transportation. The company’s mission is to make life easier for parents, and it seems like they’re also in the business of making biking easier for their employees. “We think it helps make a better workplace,” Dowling says, “we want people to really enjoy what they do.”