How to get started:
Feel like you’re at a crossroads? Ellevate 101 introduces you to the community that can give you a career kickstart.
We’ll walk you through some light intros and give you space to connect about shared career experiences. You’ll also learn how to use your Ellevate program to continuously make moves towards success at work.
Our next live welcome session is .
Ellevate LIVE with Gretchen Carlson and the Podcast All-Stars
Episode 60: Ellevate LIVE with Gretchen Carlson and the Podcast All-Stars
Gretchen Carlson has had an amazing career in media, and recently made waves by becoming a tireless advocate to stop sexual harassment and bring equality into the workplace. In this special live episode, Gretchen talks to Kristy and Maricella about her new book, Be Fierce, her career journey, the importance of including men in the conversation about equality, and more. Plus, a few past guest of the Ellevate Podcast join us on stage for a lighting round.
00:40 Kristy Wallace: Hi, thank you so much for joining us for this very, very special Ellevate event. This is our one-year podcast anniversary. Many of you know, if you listen to the podcast, and if you don't you should be, 'cause it's fantastic and it's a labor of love for us. It's so important to tell stories, to share experiences, to share advice and insights. It's been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my career. I've learned so much and I've been inspired by so many women, and we're really excited to do it live here tonight with you. This is our first event format of this type, so please forgive any hiccups if you will. But a few house keeping remarks, I just want to say hi to everyone who's joining us on the live stream. We're so happy to have you here. We have another live stream in, I think, a week or two weeks. So check it out on the Ellevate Network website. While you're there, learn more about Ellevate Network. We are a great organization committed to closing the gender achievement gap in business, and we'd love to have you join our community.
01:42 KW: I also wanted to thank Catskills Provisions, which is our whiskey sponsor tonight. Unbelievable woman-owned business, fantastic whiskey. You can buy that on whiskeylovers.com. And then finally, if you haven't heard about it, we're doing a summit, an action summit in June in New York City, committed to convening thought leaders across the board to talk about how we are gonna close the gender achievement gap. So look for information about that, it's a great line up of speakers. And now I'd love to introduce Maricella Herrera, my partner in crime on the podcast who's gonna come up...
02:22 Maricella Herrera: I paid them to do that.
02:26 KW: We're gonna get started, as we always do on the podcast, which is a little bit of banter and conversation. And we wanted to talk about why we're doing the podcast. And it's very appropriate right now, because this is a month in which Ellevate Network celebrates our female role models. And we do that because there are so many inspirational women today, in the past, in the future. I'm inspired by my little daughter all the time, and I'm inspired by all of you who are investing in your careers, who are here joining us tonight. So we wanna tell those stories. They're important, not just for us in this room, but for everyone: Men, women, business leaders, entrepreneurs. And we want to see women that are creating change, that are inspiring us, that are doing amazing things. So that's what the podcast really is about, is how can we continue to share those experiences. So Maricella, how are we doing?
03:27 MH: We're okay. We have whiskey.
03:28 KW: We have whiskey. We're very excited about the whiskey.
03:31 MH: Always.
03:32 KW: They're good. The whiskey drinks are good.
03:33 MH: The whiskey is good. There's food and there's really amazing, badass women in the room, so what else do you want?
03:40 KW: I'm good. I'm good with that. What's your favorite episode?
03:45 MH: You're asking me to play favorites with... For those of you who don't know, I consider this podcast my baby. And you're asking me to play favorites with it. Ooh, I don't know. The last one was great. Mary Mazzio came out. The episode came out today and it was pretty amazing, she's a documentary filmmaker, Olympian, amazing person. Just great.
04:10 KW: We actually have a fair number of Olympians in our network, believe it or not.
04:13 MH: We do.
04:14 KW: Right? It's pretty cool.
04:15 MH: So unaccomplished...
04:17 KW: I can barely run around the block, but I'm super inspired by everybody.
04:20 MH: Not true, you did... I'm gonna call you out 'cause you did the bike thing.
04:25 KW: I did. Yes, I did the Five Boro Bike Tour. You're right, I did do that.
04:28 MH: See.
04:29 KW: See, that's why I need you. You remind me of these things. [laughter]
04:33 MH: I'm gonna remember that in my review.
04:38 KW: Oh gosh. I agree there were many favorite episodes, but one my favorite was with Agapi who we meditated, if you've seen it or heard it. And we did it on Facebook Live as well. So there's lots of hugging and we did meditate, which threw off everybody in the office. Because if you've seen our office or if you can envision, we basically taped the podcast in this fish bowl of a conference room, it's all windows. And we taped the intros in a closet, so that's fun too. But she and I were meditating and I think everyone in the office was completely thrown off by that, and unsure. I was just like, "Hmm-mm" and it looked really... [chuckle]
05:21 MH: It was interesting.
05:22 KW: Yes. But it was great. I'm totally into that, so I was excited to do that. That was a first for me.
05:28 MH: That was great. And it was also great that we were able to do it through our Facebook Live, and our live stream and all this stuff like we're doing today.
05:36 KW: Yes. Yeah, so what was our biggest fail? Jess also... If you've met Jess, she's over there. She told us what we had to talk about in this intro section, and I think that this is an intentional question, so that she can make fun of us later.
05:50 MH: As she always does. I would say... It's not a fail, but I truly underestimated the amount of birthdays, and the amount of noise a person can do when they walk. Since we were taping in the office, it was just...
06:06 KW: There's always something.
06:07 MH: There was always something.
06:09 KW: Yeah.
06:10 MH: But other than that, I think it's been a great experience.
06:14 KW: Yeah. I'd say, usually, our intros have a lot of bloopers, which is also not a fail. But I think... Room for Katherine or other members of our team to do a little...
06:25 MH: They make a lot of fun of us.
06:27 KW: Yeah, they can make fun of us. So if you have questions for the podcast, any question you want us to answer, one of our guests to answer, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We do wanna hear from you, we love getting questions, it's lots of fun. If you like the podcast, we would be eternally grateful if you would share that with your community, like it, give us a review on iTunes. I know it's really hard. I hear it's impossible to create a username these days, but please... It means a lot, it really is important. Also, we will be live tweeting tonight, so feel free to do that tonight or anytime with the hashtag ellevatepod, and the hashtag femalerolemodel, if you can fit both. Now we're gonna get on to the start of our show. Gretchen Carlson, news anchor and workplace equality advocate. Gretchen, can you please come up and join us.
07:24 KW: You get the front seat in the middle.
07:27 Gretchen Carlson: Yeah. You made it the hardest.
07:28 KW: Thank you. Yes, we're making it hard for Gretchen. Gretchen really needs no introduction, just phenomenal woman. I've had the great pleasure of hearing you speak recently on TV, and at some events. And it's like every time I'm just blown away by your courage and your inspiration. And I'm really excited to have you hear today.
07:51 GC: Well, thank you, both of you, so much for having me, and to the audience here and to all the people listening on livestream, and eventually on the podcast. It's a great honor to be here with so many great women. And also I see some men in the audience, and we're gonna talk a little bit about that tonight, about the importance of getting men on our team. So thank you very much for having me.
08:08 KW: I'm getting distracted by all the cellphones up right now. I'm trying to be like, "Hey, what's up! This is a good angle. I feel like I'm on the side. I should... "
08:15 GC: I'm glad I'm on the inside.
08:18 MH: We gave you the good seat. [chuckle] Alright, so Gretchen, first we wanna dig right into your upcoming book, Be Fierce.
08:25 GC: Yes.
08:26 KW: So Gretchen has a book coming out this fall in October.
08:29 GC: October.
08:30 KW: And tell us the goods, give us the inside scoop. What's this all about?
08:34 GC: So "Be Fierce" really came about because... Well, let me back up and say that on July 6, 2016, I jumped off a cliff all by myself. Did not know at all what was below me. There was no safety net in my mind.
08:46 KW: We were below you. We were all there.
08:48 GC: But I didn't know that you were there. And what happened afterwards was that... It was really miraculous in the sense that I started hearing from thousands of women all across our country, who were sharing their pain, and their agony, and their sorrow with me. Similar stories, many of them for the very first time, they'd never told anyone else, in some cases, not even their husbands. And they felt comfortable in telling me their stories, because they knew that I got it. And I started printing off all these stories in my office at home, and they were stacking up. And I realized, "Oh, my goodness, I have to do something with this." And I realized that in a really positive way, "Wow, all these women are coming forward." And in a really negative way, "Wow, all these women still have a story in 2017." It was just crazy to me. And so I decided I had to write the book. And "Be fierce" is a compilation of my personal experiences, and tons of these women's stories, and tons of inspiration and advice. For example, one entire chapter is a playbook for women, it's never been done before. You need to have a plan, that's first and foremost. One entire chapter is dedicated to enlighten men, because we need them on our team.
10:06 GC: And also, I just wanna be clear that it's not only about sexual harassment. It's about women feeling like they're being put down, or subjugated in any aspect of their lives. Whether it starts being bullied in middle school, or sexual assault on college campuses, pay inequity, not getting a place in the boardroom. It really tackles all of those subjects and says that, "You know what, this is more than a book, this is a movement. And we are going to be fierce together." And I just wanna let everyone know that tonight, for those of you in the audience, you get an extra special deal for the book. We're gonna be selling it afterwards, pre-selling it, and I have autographed name plates for you. And that there will also be a discount. And some of the proceeds go to my fund that I've set up to empower girls and women called "Gift of Courage." For those listening on the podcast, they can go to my website to order gretchencarlson.com, or they can get another special offer at givingtons.com/gretchen.
11:05 KW: So Gretchen, I just wanna throw a stat out there at Ellevate, and I'm stealing Maricella's thunder 'cause she...
11:10 GC: Come on, I'm the poll person here.
11:11 KW: Okay. Okay, you can do the poll. It's not funny, it's important, so you share this information.
11:19 GC: You can go for it. You can go for it. I'll allow it.
11:22 KW: So we poll the Ellevate community every week, and we... 'Cause we want to share your voice, we think it's an important voice. 60% of Ellevate members have experienced sexual harassment, at least once in the workplace, and 45% multiple times. And I will raise my hands. I was one of those 45%. And so I think it's a culture that exists subtly, or not so subtly that we do need to start advocating and speaking up for ourselves. And creating this movement of, "It's not okay. We wanna work in a safe place. We want to work with people that respect us and that we trust." So that's why what you're doing, it really is inspiring and... You wanna go?
12:08 MH: I wanted to say something though, 'cause I think the stories you're sharing... It's just great to hear those, because another stat that's not fair, is that about 20% say they don't know if they have. I think... And that's actually just talking to some of the people I know, particularly in other cultures, it's so normalized that people don't even realize that something not right is happening. So by seeing some stories, I think, it'll help.
12:36 GC: Well, also people don't come forward, because we still have so deeply embedded in our culture this idea that if we come forward and say anything, we're troublemakers. And nobody's gonna believe us, and it's still a he said, she said environment. Which is something that I'm making a huge point about in the book, that you need to have a plan, you need to make sure that you protect yourself, and gather evidence. And whether that's telling somebody that you trust, or gathering even deeper evidence. It's just crucial that you don't just suddenly decide one day, "I'm gonna say something," because a lot of times, especially strong women, we feel like we can just deal with it, and we'll take care of it.
13:18 GC: And I know that that has been my story my whole life is like, "Well, I work really hard. I accomplish things; I'll also accomplish this. I'll get rid of it, and they'll see me for who I really am." And then the problem is you take it, you take it, you take it and suddenly one day you explode, and you decide to do something about it. But then, you haven't really thought it through, and it's too late to go back after the fact. That is my biggest piece of advice other than, we all have to decide we're gonna speak up together. [chuckle] Because if just one or two of us do it, it's not gonna change all of those stereotypes. But that you develop a plan, it's just crucial to have it.
14:00 KW: You've spoken out, you've written some fantastic articles, as I said, I've seen you at events. You've written a book, you're heading to Capitol Hill. How did this path forward happen for you? I imagine you didn't wake up one morning and you're like, "A-B-C-D, this is all the things... Actions I'm gonna take, things I'm gonna do." You have a non-profit. How did that happen?
14:21 GC: Right, and I have two kids at home [chuckle] and a husband. So like I said, I had no idea what my life was going to be. My husband actually looked at me, he's like, "You're more busy than you were when you were working full time in TV, because you have five full time jobs now." And by the way, I hope to be back in TV as well. But a big piece of the puzzle, besides raising my two beautiful children, is this advocacy mission now. And I just wanna get a share of hands out there for people, if you have signed an employment contract, do you know if you have an arbitration clause in it? No.
14:55 GC: And this is what I see every time I ask that question. And this is what I'm doing advocacy work on Capitol Hill, I'm trying to get a bipartisan effort to change the laws. In very simple terms, an arbitration clause means that you give up your Seventh Amendment right to go to a jury trial, if you have any kind of a dispute in the workplace. And the thing is when we all start new jobs, we don't start on the first day and go, "Wow, I think I'm gonna get into a dispute. I really don't like this arbitration clause in my contract." We just sign the contract because we wanna get our paycheck, and have a good time at work and go home and support our families.
15:26 GC: The problem is that arbitration is secret. So in many cases... Hypothetically let's just say, that somebody is sexually harassed or discriminated against. Their only recourse is to go to arbitration. The claim is filed, in many cases, the predator still remains in power, the woman is fired and you might win your arbitration case, but only 20% of the time does the employee win. And the awards are much less than in an open jury trial. And nobody ever knows about it. So what we've done to our culture in the last 10 to 15 years is that we're fooling ourselves into thinking that we've come so far on these particular issues. Why? Because we don't hear about them. We don't hear about these cases, we're not setting precedent in the court of law. Think about that for a minute. We've basically lost precedent on these types of cases for 10 to 15 to 20 years.
16:21 GC: I had two people that I know come up to me after my case and say, "You know, Gretchen, I didn't really leave Wall Street because I wanted to spend more time with my kids. I left Wall Street because I was sexually harassed, and I was forced into arbitration. And the people are still working there and I'm not." So this is something that I am hoping to get bipartisan support on to try and change, at least to get rid of the secrecy, and try to equal out the pendulum of the employer and the employee. Because right now, it's like this. And as long as society doesn't know that this is going on, there's no way to make it better.
17:01 MH: Wow. I'm gonna ask you a little bit... Change a little bit the conversation into companies. We, as Kristy said, ask a lot of questions of our members, and 53% of our members say that they have no say in the company's cultures or policies. So you're doing this work, Capitol Hill, trying to get this passed. But what do you think companies themselves can really do to create a more safer environment, and a better environment for workers?
17:31 GC: Yeah. First and foremost, I think we should celebrate people who come forward. Imagine if we changed the whole culture instead of having the person be a troublemaker, having that person be heard. And a lot of it comes from the top down. As long as 95% of the Fortune 500 Companies are run by men, we need them, we need them to help us. And so I have an entire chapter in my book on enlightened men, that's what I call them. Men who supported me from the beginning. Men who are working night and day as gender strategists to try to equal the playing field. Because the McKinsey Study that came out, a couple of years ago, shows that billions of dollars would be back into the marketplace if we actually treated women with the same equality that we do men.
18:20 GC: But it comes from the top down. And I'd love to encourage all those men to hire more women, and put them in prominent positions as well, so that we can level out the playing field in that way too. But the burden should not be only on the shoulders of women to fix this problem, and all the other problems that we face in the workplace. We really really need men on our team. And I've met tons of them. There are tons of great guys out there who wanna make these changes for us.
18:51 KW: So what about, also, your children? And I know you have two. I think my two daughters are actually watching from home tonight. They're little, they're two and four. But they...
19:03 GC: You're still in the toddler stage. [laughter]
19:04 KW: Yes, and I have an eight year old son too. And it's very important to me, they come to work with me. They know what I do. That's why they're watching this. It's important to see why I'm not home, but it's a hard conversation to have with children. But you talked about bullying, and there's many of these situations that continue on through our lives. And I think developing the skills and the self-confidence to manage them, and to fight back against it, and who do you talk to and who do you trust. Any advice?
19:38 GC: So three things. Parenting is crucial. I talk about this in the book as well, that let's make a pledge as parents to raise our children to respect genders equally. My mom told me every single night when she put me to bed, "You can be anything you wanna be," and I believed her. I knew it was gonna take a tremendous amount of hard work, but I think it's crucial to tell your children that. Number two, I work more for my son than I do for my daughter, because I want him to respect his female colleagues 10 years from now, he's only 12. But when he gets into the workplace, I want him to respect his female colleagues like he respects his mama today.
20:17 GC: Number three, my daughter, after my experience, was having a couple issues with some girls. And she came home from school one day and she said, "Mommy," she said, "I finally took care of such-and-such, and such-and-such." [chuckle] And I said "Okay." And she said, "Mommy, I saw you do it and I knew I could do it." And that's all that matters to me. If I changed just my daughter's outlook on life, to stand up for herself and to speak up, and to be fierce, then I've done my job. I hope to change thousands of other women's lives in the process. But our young people is what it's all about right now. I hope that they do not have to go through what many of us have experienced.
21:14 MH: Thank you. That's amazing. Thank you.
21:19 KW: So you started in... Your career's been in media, not known for being incredibly diverse or welcoming to women, as many industries that the women in this room work in, in finance and in other places. How did the lessons you learned during those years, moving up the ladder, fighting for yourself, translate into what you're doing today, create that road, and skills and confidence?
21:45 GC: Yeah, it didn't always help in the media business that I'm also a former Miss America. [chuckle] There are a lot of stereotypes that come along with that as well. Even though, for the record, I entered because 50% of the points were based on talent, and I was a very serious classical violinist as a child. So that's why I entered the program and it was for the scholarship money as well for school where I went to at Stanford. But I will say that...
22:07 MH: I'm feeling so accomplished.
22:09 KW: Right. Seriously.
22:11 GC: Well, I will say that after I became Miss America, it's like your resume, basically, evaporates. Suddenly you're dumb. I don't really get it.
22:19 KW: Wait a minute, so we have contests on major media about women's beauty, but then it just devalues everything else.
22:27 GC: Yeah, it just goes away. We're still in some sort of a reality where you can't have all those things together in one package. But anyway... So I found myself working doubly hard as a woman every time I went to a new job. But also because of that stereotype that followed me around. And I learned to find out that, after a couple of times of changing jobs, and trying to move up the ladder, that my reputation was gonna perceive me in not necessarily in a positive way. It was like, "Oh, they hired the bimbo." And so I knew when I got there that I was gonna have to work triply hard. So my biggest advice is that, I really believe women do have to put in more effort, and we're up for that challenge, that's not a problem. But that is my biggest piece of advice to women, is take on absolutely any assignment, say that you will work any hours, be amenable to any new situation that you might not wanna do, because you need to be a team player.
23:29 GC: And my goal in every reporting job that I went to all across the country, was that when I started on day one, by the time I left I wanted to be the best reporter in the shop. And I knew that was gonna take a tremendous amount of work, but that was my goal. And over time I changed a lot of those stereotypes, including the fact that I had amazing mentors, amazing bosses, men and women, who valued that hard work. And giving back is crucial too, once you start to move up the ladder, help other people along the way. It's been a central part of my career in helping women especially, because I got a lot of help. And my door has always been open to help women. In fact, I just spoke to somebody who reached out to me on my website just yesterday. I've responded to every single woman who has written me after my story broke.
24:21 KW: Well, get ready 'cause you just said that on live stream.
24:28 GC: Yeah. You're gonna get some notes.
24:33 KW: We're invited to a briefing at the White House back a few years ago, and we literally broke the website as soon as we told the community, the whole White House website went down. Gretchencarlson.com is like...
24:44 GC: That's all right.
24:44 MH: Careful.
24:44 KW: Yeah. Be ready. Be ready.
24:47 MH: I have a question that has nothing to do with this, but I would be remiss if I don't ask it. Who's your female role model?
24:54 GC: Oh, my gosh. Well, other than my mom who basically was my trailblazer... And by the way, at 76 she's still running a corporation. So, she was always that incredibly strong person. And my dad, amazing. I like to think I got all of my emotions from my father, and remaining humble. So I hope I had that combination. I would say in the TV world, Diane Sawyer was my role model. You may not know this but she was also Junior Miss. [laughter] She has blonde hair. She's a really hard worker. So she was always my role model. It's interesting, the TV business is really... I'm sure this is so true for all of your businesses out there as well, too. But there's really no path, like A-B-C-D that people can follow to get to the top. And if there was, everyone would be Diane Sawyer. [chuckle] But I just always admired her tenacity and her ability to get to the top. There's a lot of other ones, but I would say she's my number one pick.
26:03 KW: There's a quote that I heard you say, it's, "In 2017, every damn woman still has a story, and we have to change that." And we do have to change it so that we're not here, we're not telling these stories. We're telling stories that are different and better. But I wanna thank you for telling your story. I wanna thank you for sharing the stories in your upcoming book, Be Fierce. Please make sure to find Stephanie in the back who's going to be pre-selling copies, or visit gretchencarlson.com for presale as well. But we really appreciate you being here, sharing your insights, your knowledge, your passion, and for everything that you're doing to pave the way forward for the women in this room, the women on the live stream, on the podcast, and for the future.
26:46 GC: Well, thank you so much for having me here. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much.
26:54 KW: Don't go away if you're in the audience. We have another special treat for you coming up.
27:09 KW: So you may not have realized that you are in the audience with a bunch of celebrities right now.
27:15 MH: All the all-stars.
27:16 KW: Yes. The podcast all-stars. We have many of our past guests that are here tonight joining us for this special event. And we're gonna play a little game with them, and we're gonna ask them a few questions, and then we're gonna get back to the wine.
27:31 MH: And the whiskey.
27:32 KW: And the whiskey. Okay, so our podcast all-stars are coming up. I'm not gonna get this in the right order, but I can tell you who is here today, if I can find it on my sheet. So we have Karen Potter, a Director at Citi Group. Cali Yost, Flexible Work Culture Strategist, Author and Keynote speaker. Nancy Halpern, who's the Principal at KNH Associates. Ramona Ortega, Founder and CEO of My Money My Future. Georgene Huang, CEO and Co-Founder of Fairygodboss. Lisa Stone, Principal at Bernstein. Ariel Hyatt, the founder of Cyber PR and Cyber PR Music. Sally Hubbard from the Women Killing It! Podcast. We also have Karen Finerman, the CEO of Metropolitan Capital Advisors. Where's Karen up here? Is she still...
28:28 MH: She is, over there.
28:28 KW: Oh, there. Okay.
28:29 MH: Karen, you got to hang out with us, it seems.
28:31 KW: Yay! Take my seat. Come sit with me.
28:35 Karen Finerman: I'm not dressed for it, so I'll...
28:38 KW: Oh no. You're the best dressed out of all of us.
28:40 MH: I may or may not have signaled you out as the one that's dressed really cool.
28:45 KF: Okay. I'll accept that.
28:48 KW: Alright. So first, we wanna play a little game, that is our lightning round. We're gonna throw out a word to one of you and you need to, in five words or less, give us a definition of that word. Do not be nervous. There are no wrong answers. We're all friends here. Alright, Georgene, tell us about courageous conversation.
29:10 Georgene Huang: Telling the truth.
29:13 KW: Yes, telling the truth.
29:14 MH: Telling the truth.
29:15 KW: You may not have heard that, but yes, telling the truth.
29:18 KW: Nancy, the F word, failure.
29:24 Nancy Halpern: Other than learning from it, reducing the other F word, the fear of it.
29:30 KW: Yeah, that's good.
29:33 MH: Lisa. Another F word.
29:38 Lisa Stone: Double 15 here, yeah.
29:41 MH: Another F word for you, feminism.
29:48 S?: Being who you are.
29:50 MH: I like that.
29:51 KW: Yeah, that's great. Where am I? Ramona, mansplaining.
30:02 Ramona Ortega: Another F word comes to mind.
30:06 KW: Exactly.
30:06 RO: Women need to stand up and start womensplaining back, being bold.
30:12 KW: Exactly. Yes.
30:15 MH: Sally? Female role model.
30:20 Sally Hubbard: Any woman who's living her authentic self and being fearless, they're role model to me.
30:27 MH: Awesome.
30:28 KW: Karen, a-ha moment.
30:32 KF: Just realizing I'm the master of my destiny. I can't rely on somebody else to guide me.
30:40 KW: To the other Karen, grit.
30:46 Karen Potter: Grit. I'd say just kinda grit your teeth and go for it. I don't know. That's what I thought about... Grit your teeth and do it.
30:54 MH: Just do it. Ariel? Reinvention.
31:01 Ariel Hyatt: Understanding that the media makes reinvention look really easy and fast, and it isn't always necessarily that. Take your time and be kind to yourself.
31:14 KW: Okay. And the last one, Maricella. Wine.
31:18 MH: More please.
31:24 KW: We actually don't drink when we tape the podcast, but... 'Cause if we did, it would be like... It would be pretty bad. But we do like wine, a lot. Alright, so then we wanna ask a question, a follow-up question from the podcast, what's been happening since we last chatted? And I'm gonna start with Georgene, who is the co-founder of Fairygodboss. And I had the pleasure of joining Fairygodboss and Georgene and Romy last week to celebrate the recent round of funding. So big clap for that.
31:57 KW: We're all for women raising money, that's awesome. So the number one lesson learned from that experience?
32:04 GH: It's a lot harder than it looks. It's really good to be lucky as well as good. [chuckle] I would encourage, and on a serious note, that there's always horrible stories about women raising money, especially from venture capitalists. And I say read it, think about it, but really try not to pay too much attention, especially if you're the middle of it, you just have to plow through it and you'll get through it.
32:28 KW: Great. Karen, I'm gonna... Karen Potter, I'm gonna totally call you out right now. When Karen was on the podcast, we talked about running for office. And they keep saying that you need to ask. "We want more women in places of power, changing policy." So I'm gonna keep asking you every time I see you, "Have you started your campaign yet?"
32:52 KP: I have not started my campaign yet.
32:55 KP: No. But I recently joined the board of the Brooklyn Community Pride Center, which is my forte into stepping into that, and getting familiar with a lot of local government officials, and starting to build those relationships. And seeing if, then from there, I can continue to go down that route. So, yes.
33:19 KW: Yay.
33:27 MH: Cali, you're one of our first few episodes. I'm not gonna call you out on anything because it was a while ago, but tell me, how should we be asking for flex work?
33:40 Cali Yost: How should you be asking for flex work? I would say, "Do it." Because you would be shocked at how open your manager will be, so ask, use your power and put a plan together.
33:53 MH: Nancy. You've been mentoring veterans through ACP and Ellevate. So...
33:58 NH: It's true.
34:00 MH: Yes, you have. Tell me a little bit about it. Why are you doing that?
34:03 NH: Well, actually I'm doing it for political reasons. I felt after the election that the fact that I didn't know a lot of people like me was my fault. And when I've met veterans in the past, like in business school, I was blown away, because a nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn, there's not a lot of history of military service or community in my family. And I just have a lot of respect for the vet that I am mentoring now, someone who... Actually I ended up mentoring a man. I did a program with them for women, but they meshed me up with this guy who's been in the Navy for 30 years. And he wants to make a transition to corporate life. I have so much admiration for his service, and his commitment, and his dedication, and he seems to have a mutual admiration for my teaching him a language that is outside of his comfort zone. And it is easily more fulfilling for me than I suspect it is for him.
35:03 KW: Yay. And if you're interested, American Corporate Partners is a special fund of ours at Ellevate. So they're always looking for professional women to mentor female veterans that are transitioning out of military into corporate life. So check that out. Ariel, you came out with a book this year. Would you do it again?
35:27 AH: Well, considering it was my fifth book, yes. [laughter] Yes.
35:33 KW: Why do you keep doing it then?
35:35 AH: I feel compelled as a business owner to share all the other things that I know, and I feel like writing... And also writing books is my golf. I mean a lot of... It's really... For me, therapeutic and it's a way to help all the people that you can't answer the phone for, and that's been the gift of writing books and just... Amazon is a miracle 'cause anyone can find you. And so that's my real give back, 'cause it cost money and time. And to do it right is not easy.
36:13 KW: Thank you. Well, thank you for that. Ramona, what's the most exciting thing you're working on right now?
36:20 RO: So we're a start-up company, so everyday is exciting and everyday has its highs, and its really lows. So right now, our exciting thing is that we're working on bidding for some supply diversity contracts, 'cause it's sort of a new revenue stream for us. Because venture capital's very hard to get, so you have to stay alive. And revenue's always the best way to stay alive. So we're working on that and hopefully we'll be closing some contracts with some financial institutions.
36:48 KW: Let us know how it goes. We want an update. We'll start doing updates on the podcast, what's happening with everyone, little celebration.
36:57 MH: Lisa, why is it so important to you to work with women clients as a financial advisor?
37:03 LS: Because they control over half the wealth in the country and they're underserved.
37:12 KW: Sally. And I was on Sally's podcast, the Women Killing It podcast. You should check it out. Not just 'cause I was on it, it's a really great podcast. Why did you start that?
37:22 SH: Oh wow. We shared that we were both going through midlife crisis, so it was related to that. And realizing that all my friends were total bad asses, and had to have figured something out about what works for women at work. And it was about the time that there was all the news about the gender pay gap, which I was thrilled that was getting attention. But it was all kinda being... Women were being blamed for. "Oh, they don't ask for raises. They don't negotiate. They don't do this, they don't do that." When we know that what works for men doesn't necessarily work for women. So as I'm... I used to be an investigator at the New York Aegis office, and now I'm an investigative journalist. So I just kinda wanted to go on an investigation, and figure out what is it that works for women at work. And luckily, I had just a... Part of my midlife... My friends were just accomplished, and I started with them and now I've expanded beyond. And just like Kristy, learned so much, so much. It's been amazing.
38:19 MH: Karen, one of my favourite stories that you shared on the podcast and in your book, is that you knew what you wanted to be when you were 15. And it's not a traditional thing anyone would wanna be when they're 15. What would you say for people who are thinking about their professional mission like that?
38:37 KF: Well, when I was 15, I wanted to be a risk arbitrageur, which is very unusual. [laughter] And to know it so clearly. And I said to my parents, "I'm applying to Wharton, when it's time to go to college and that's it. That's the plan. If I don't get in, I'm not going to college." It was a dumb plan, but I was passionate about it. And I think that it's not obvious for anyone who's passionate about something, that's what you're gonna be good at. That's what gonna be something that you're motivated to just get better at, and better at, and to follow that passion. But I have to add, my daughter said, "I wanna be a professional gymnast." And I said, "Listen, we're Jewish." [laughter] "It's probably not likely to happen." [laughter] "We need a plan B", which she has.
39:33 KW: I'm trying to figure out if they like... The early... Drive is genetic because I still don't know what I wanna be and I'm 40.
39:44 KF: You're born with some kind of passion. You just have to find it. So you may all be risk arbitrageur's and not even know.
39:52 KF: That could happen.
39:53 KW: Who knows. [chuckle]
39:55 KF: Well, listen to the podcast, 'cause there are a lot of stories, something can resonate.
40:00 KW: Yes, yes. Alright, so let's get to the wine. We wanted to thank all of our prior podcast guests, our pod all-stars for joining us here this evening. And please keep us updated on your successes on what you're doing, because you're an inspiration to everybody in this room. Just like sharing our stories, we wanna hear your stories. Please email us at email@example.com. Tweet and Instagram, and all that good stuff at... To Ellevate Network, #ellevatepod. Share your female role models. This is a night of inspiration and storytelling, so we wanna hear who inspires you. And if that person is still with us, I'm sure that they would love hearing it as well. So please share your female role model with us at Ellevate Network, and enjoy our lovely cocktails from Catskill Provisions, as well as the wine and the great company.
40:52 MH: Thank you.