In 2003, I did what 43% of moms do. I dropped out of the workforce because I felt like my options were limited as a new parent. At the time, I felt that child care was beyond my budget. I was worried I wouldn't connect with my kids. And frankly, my body was a mess of stretched skin and fluctuating hormones. And as Michelle Obama recently said "It's not always enough to lean-in, because that doesn't work all the time." But after a little while, as I started to heal, and my kids got a bit bigger, I wavered in my decision to stay home, and wondered if I could ever get back in to the workforce in a meaningful way.
I went on to start a software company, be the CEO, raise capital, sell the business, lead a division within a billion dollar company and be recognized as a 'Women to Watch in Tech' by the Boston Business Journal, and as a 'Changemaker' by HUBWeek. I'm a Board Director of a Private Equity Backed Company, a Managing Director at a World Class Investment Firm, and I think I'm a pretty engaged mom.
I know there are a lot of books and podcasts out there on how to succeed as a woman in business, but the question I often get asked is "how did you get back in?" I've been quoted or featured on numerous sites including Leanin.org, Forbes, the Boston Globe and Entrepreneur.com, and I have had the privilege of speaking at many places including Yale and MIT. Along the way I have realized that the questions I get are universal, and the recent comments from women like Michelle Obama, serve to highlight how messy parenting and work-life decisions can be, despite aspirations to lean-in.
I think we're at a point in history, where it's important to hear the stories of women who are navigating work, home and all the space in between. So I've decided to interview women who are also moms to get more perspectives on how women 'lean-in', 'lean-out or 'lean-back in', and thrive at work and at home. I'll post more updates about when the podcast is ready to go live. You'll be able to learn more here, and at www.the43percent.com.