In the most recent episode of A Better HR Business show, Ben spoke with Michelle O’Keeffe, Co-Founder of Platform55, an innovative HR tech company supporting working parents and managers in navigating family-related issues in the workplace.

Michelle O’Keeffe

Michelle’s journey in the corporate world is marked by her dedication to addressing the challenges faced by working parents. As the Co-Founder of Platform55 since June 2021, Michelle has spearheaded the development of a cost-effective solution that streamlines HR processes, supports employees, and aligns with critical agendas such as gender pay gap reporting, sustainability, and corporate social responsibility.

Prior to Platform55, Michelle co-founded the Parenting Institute, now integrated into Platform55, with the mission of supporting working parents and advocating for senior management positions for working Moms and Dads. This passion for work-life balance and inclusivity is evident in Michelle’s commitment to her vision.

Michelle is not just a co-founder; she is a multifaceted professional with over 15 years of experience as a Lecturer, Guest Speaker, Start-Up Mentor, and Business Advisor. Her journey includes a significant role as the Managing Director at Electric Media | Irish Times Group, where she received the IAPI ‘Judges Special Recognition Award’ for her outstanding achievements in the media sector.

Michelle’s entrepreneurial spirit is highlighted by her role as the Founder and Managing Director of Travel Affiliate, where she introduced groundbreaking digital technology for the travel industry. She also played a pivotal role in launching Media Brokers, Ireland’s first programmatic network, during her tenure at Electric Media.

Platform55 was founded by Michelle O’Keeffe and Tracy Gunn, both of whom were balancing senior leadership positions while raising young families. Drawing from their first-hand experience of the demands of balancing family life with their careers, they recognized the need to support parents in the workplace. Their mission is clear: to ensure that individuals can have a fulfilling family life and career.

Recognizing the significant costs incurred by companies in recruitment, attrition, litigation, and support services related to family policies, Michelle and her team have crafted a self-serve platform. This platform grants employees 24/7 access to resources and offers expert support through live workshops and coaching on various topics relevant to working parents, managers, and HR professionals. With Platform55, companies can provide timely support without exhausting HR resources.

Platform55 collaborates with a diverse range of clients who share a common goal – to transform their companies into better places for parents and families. Recognizing that every organization is unique, Platform55 understands that they are at different starting points in creating family-friendly workplaces. That’s why the company offers a variety of solutions tailored to meet specific needs and budgets.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Michelle and I talked about:

  • Michelle’s personal experience leading to the creation of Platform55, highlighting the critical need for support for working parents in the workplace.
  • The challenges faced by managers in handling family-related topics.
  • Platform55’s global relevance and expansion plans.
  • The organization’s verticals: fertility, parenting, special education needs, solo parenting, separation, and retirement planning.
  • The importance of channel selling and partnerships in their growth strategy.
  • And much more.

Thanks, Michelle!

Michelle O’Keeffe’s LinkedIn:
Platform55 website:

Michelle O’Keeffe from Platform55

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About The ‘A Better HR Business’ Podcast

In my HR marketing podcast, I talk with different HR consultants and HR tech companies from around the world to learn about what they do and how they keep their businesses healthy and moving in the right direction.

If you have questions you want to ask me about growing an HR consultancy or marketing for HR tech companies, just let me know or visit the HR marketing services page.

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