Opening Credits

Charged Up! podcast: Pausing your career for parenthood


Taking time off for parenting can be a career-killer. Author and journalist Lisen Stromberg says there are ways to take the pause while still staying in the game.

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Charged Up! with Jenny Hoff



Author, journalist and mother Lisen Stromberg gives hope to parents who take a career pause to take care of kids. Careers don’t need to die while parents fulfill these new responsibilities, she says. In her book “Work Pause Thrive,” Stromberg debunks the myth that successful women never take a career pause and instead offers strategies for staying relevant in the workforce – even if they leave for a period of time. With tips on how to calculate the cost of leaving your job and find a career at a company that supports parents, Stromberg encourages parents to fulfill family goals while keeping their professional goals front of mind.

Let’s get Charged Up! about learning how to survive the parenthood pause.

Jenny Hoff: Lisen, thanks so much for joining me today.

Lisen Stromberg: Jenny, it’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Hoff: I first want to start with your own story and how you experienced a career shift with motherhood and what you did about it.

Stromberg: Well, sure. I like to say I never planned out my career. I was a hard-charging kind of career woman, started my first job at 14 when I lied. By 16, I got a job working in an ice cream store. I loved working. My career defined me. I was on bed rest for four months with my second child and it was challenging. It was a really risky pregnancy and after my four months of bed rest and two months of maternity leave, I really knew I had to change something. I was a vice president at an advertising agency. I had a big job, lots of responsibility but I needed help getting back in and my employer wanted me all in or not in at all.

They really were built around the ideal worker model, which said you have to be available 24/7, you can travel at the drop of a hat, and you trust there’s someone who’s going to care for your family. Which is great, except that my husband had a job that is equally big and we just needed some support. They wouldn’t give in so I said, “Thank you very much. I’m not going to invest my human capital here.” I ended up quitting which to me was a real shock and then I became something I never imagined I would become which was a career trailblazer. I innovated a nonlinear career. I like to joke that nonlinear is the new normal in that I kept iterating my career, I kept pivoting to try and really make something work. Eventually, I ended up having a great career over time. Wasn’t the career I planned on, but it’s a career that works for me and my family.

Hoff: I think that’s fascinating because I think it’s very scary for a lot of people when you’ve studied one thing in school and you’ve gone and you’ve done everything you’re supposed to do and you’ve joined the workforce. It’s really an upward trajectory and there is this sense that if you take off, someone’s at your heels ready to take your position and you’re kind of like have to make this decision, “OK. I’m either going to stay in it or I’m going to give up.” That’s the two options that you have a lot of times. I experienced that myself as a TV journalist and I didn’t have downtime ever in work and then suddenly I had a kid and I had to force myself to create downtime. It’s a little bit shocking to your psyche, to your identity, to everything. What do you think is the biggest challenge for many women today especially as we have children at later stages in life which means that our careers are even more advanced and harder to take a pause from?

Stromberg: Well, let me actually debunk all of what you just said in a really great and respectful way. First of all, you are the operating role model of a woman who completely navigated the path. In other words, what we know of women in high successful careers and what we’re told is that they never pause, that they just charge ahead nonstop all the way to the top. But in fact, in my research for the book “Work Pause Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career,” I interviewed 186 women and then surveyed 1,500 more. These are college educated women who are deeply ambitious. In fact, 63 percent viewed themselves as very ambitious. What fascinated me was that the vast majority, nearly three-quarters, actually did pause their career. It’s just that in many cases, they hid their causes. They didn’t express them very well. They didn’t want anyone to know because they were afraid of being viewed as not ambitious and not committed. So, if you looked at their LinkedIn profile, you wouldn’t know in fact that a senior executive had paused for two or three years or had a number of different pauses, paused a year here, shifted, paused a year there but you wouldn’t know it because they’re hidden and they don’t talk about it. So, my goal is that we actually unpacked the truth of these women’s nonlinear careers and we actually say, “Hey, you know what? This nonlinear path is how really highly successful women figure it out.” We don’t follow a traditional male career path because we can’t once we become a mother so we innovate. We’re trailblazers and you are an example of that. You’re a total trailblazer.

Hoff: Yes. That’s definitely true. It’s that fear where you don’t want to be out of the game so long that you feel like you’ve become irrelevant. You don’t understand the technology anymore, you don’t understand any of those things. But I think what’s interesting is you totally changed your career from what you had been doing. You still had the same skill set that you had developed but you use them to do something else. How do women need to think about that? If you’re sitting there and you’re a little bit stumped, and you’re like, “OK. I used to own my own business” or “I used to be a teacher, or a lawyer and my job was to have billable hours.” How do they need to think to now say, “How can I use those skills to do something different that fits in with my lifestyle now?”

Stromberg: It’s a really great question. In the research, what we discovered was three-quarters of the women who paused their careers, there were paths that we saw. About a quarter of the women didn’t completely leave the paid workforce. They worked part-time, most of them at their own companies. They were able to negotiate at their companies a part-time gig and then relaunch when the time was right. Example is Karen Catlin who I interviewed, senior vice president at Adobe who had paused for 10 years during which time she kept getting promoted. She worked part-time so she never left the paid workforce for Adobe and just kept moving up the track which really speaks to a company that understand how to keep a talent. So that was about a quarter of the women. Then there was a large group of women I call boomerang. Women like you who love the industry they were in, really wanted to stay in it, trying to figure out ways. They may have left the paid workforce but they actually innovated gigs like you did. You worked part-time, you actually created your own path. You were a freelancer, et cetera, and then you boomeranged back to a full-time job. The last group is women like me who completely pivoted. Women who took that moment, those periods of time of pausing, for me it was about a year and a half, where I really said, “What do I want? What is a life well-lived? What is meaning to me?” I love the work I was doing but I wanted to explore more so I pivoted and I became a nonprofit social engineer. I ended up starting running a nonprofit for a number of years when I pivoted again to become a journalist and now I pivoted my third time and I’m running the 3 Percent Conference. We’re focused on advancing women in advertising so the next generation doesn’t face the same issues that I faced.

Hoff: Fantastic. You can still use the skills that you had in one career and it’s just thinking of what other careers, what other jobs would require these skills. Because the truth is most of our jobs, it’s not like you do one thing every day where it’s only good for that job. It can be used in many different ways.

Stromberg: Absolutely. In fact, here’s a really wonderful story that I hope your listeners are going to love. When I started writing the book in 2015, there were very few return-to-work internships. These are midcareer internships targeted to women who had paused their careers, mostly to care for family, who are ready to relaunch. Goldman Sachs was the first one to have them and then many in the financial industry, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan, and others followed suit and now we’re seeing them all over tech, advertising. We’re seeing them in numerous industries. They barely existed just two years ago. Now, return-to-work internships are becoming ubiquitous. Here’s what chief talent officers and CEOs are telling me, of the talent they bring in, put them through these three-month paid internships, and then they put the women into a position. These women are moving so fast up the pipeline. They’re getting promoted faster and why is that? Because those years that they paused, the time that they took out to stand with their family and oftentimes they built their skills by volunteering, leading things, doing other things outside of a paid workforce, and these women are rocking it. They are more mature, they bring more skills, and they know how to multitask because if they can handle a 2-year-old, honey, you can handle a lot of things. And what they’re finding is employers are finding it to be great talent. So once we could unpack the bias against that pause period, and that does exist, let’s be clear.

Hoff: Yes.

Stromberg: Once we unpack that, employers are finding this is the best talent around. So we’re going to see some real change within the couple of years around this. It’s exciting because as I say, this didn’t exist two years ago.

Hoff: Yes, absolutely. I feel like even when I started in my career, it was really just a stigma if you took any time off your job. Even if you were sick almost, if you took time off. But especially some people in Europe, they take a gap year between college and work and no big deal. Here, you have to account for every second of your day, what have you been doing that’s been really productive. I love that a lot of companies are now embracing this idea. It’s OK that if you took a pause and in fact you probably gained a lot of skills along the way. Let’s talk now though about women that maybe find themselves in a different situation, and that is they’re living in a financial situation where they’re maybe paycheck-to-paycheck, they’re underresourced, the thought of pausing is just impossible for them. They just think, “We can’t survive.”

Stromberg: Right. Here’s the thing. There’s a really fascinating study by Pew Research Center that shows, in fact, the notion of pausing, the yummy mommy and the yoga pants, that whole mythology, that is wrong, if you will. Turns out that’s only about 5 percent of women who pause their career. So a vast majority are middle income and lower income women who are forced to pause do so because they have no other option. Child care becomes too expensive. I spoke to a number of millennial women who actually have huge student debts and once they became moms, they couldn’t forgo their student debt and child care is so expensive, they were forced to pause their careers. We don’t think of them as pausing. We think of them as becoming unemployed but the truth is most people have to work over the course of their lifetimes. You can’t just completely leave the paid workforce forever, right?

Hoff: Yeah.

Stromberg: So I view that as whatever your social economic is, if we view it as a pause, I’m putting a pause button whether I want to or not on my career because I have to, then I’m going to always think of myself as having a career, having a job. It may or may not be the one I want necessarily but it’s the one that works for my family right now. It’s the one I need to do. That thinking, to me, is a sea-changing shift. If we can actually shift our paradigm and say, “I’m always going to have a career but I may not be in the paid workforce right now for a whole host of reasons.” Now, again, I interviewed and surveyed college-educated women and obviously college-educated women have a whole different dynamic than women who don’t have college education. We can talk about our workplace policies and we can talk about our public policies. The fact that we’re one of two countries out of 185 United Nations who don’t have paid maternity leave, United States and Papua New Guinea. I mean there’s just some basic things that our country does that actually burdens and punishes mothers that want to be in the workplace which is the vast majority of mothers.

Hoff: Yeah. I thought it was interesting you were talking about how in Norway and certain Scandinavian countries, there is no such thing as really a stay-at-home mom. There is this natural pause that they are given and allowed to take but most people then rejoin the workforce effortlessly afterward.

Stromberg: Right. My mother was born and raised in Norway and so I’m very close to my Norwegian family. There’s a whole chapter in my book dedicated to comparing my experience to my cousin. She is my same age, she has three kids my same age. I went to go visit her at family reunion a couple of years and I was talking about the book and the research and she looked at me like, “What do you mean, women don’t work? What do you mean they’re not in the paid – what do you mean?” She didn’t understand the concept of stay-at-home moms. It just doesn’t exist in Norway. She actually had this great career where she was able to take a year off because that’s what they offer in Norway to new parents. She took a year off with the birth of each of her children then she went back part-time because many women do work part-time in the early years. And then she ended moving and she’s now a very senior executive at a major corporation and no one bats an eyelash at her career path. It’s the norm. So we have a real work-it-all cost mindset in this country built around that ideal worker model that just may have worked in the 1950s but certainly doesn’t work today, when you need two incomes and you need to support your family.

Hoff: So what would you say for people who are taking a pause? Let’s say they can’t negotiate with their work to do something part-time from home and so they basically have to come up with something on their own. I’ll be honest, it’s really hard to find time when you have a newborn baby especially if it’s your first or if a second, it’s even less time on your hands and you have little children. What can somebody do who’s staying at home, the credit card bills are mounting, the debt is mounting, they know they need to contribute something to keep the family on track so everything doesn’t just fly off the handle. What are some things that they can do to bring in some extra money while they are staying at home that doesn’t consume an insane amount of time?

Stromberg: Well, let me shift this a little bit and actually start with the discussion around whether one should pause in the first place or not and what the financial implications are of that. In my book, I advise people to go check out American Progress has a net price calculator of the financial impact of pausing your career and what does it mean. You can plug in what your current salary is and what the implications would mean. I left my job at 35, I plugged in. If I had taken out five years, I would have lost $590,000 in actual income and $1.6 Million in potential income for pausing my career for five years. That’s a lot of money. In fact, that’s the money that can pay for my kid’s college tuition and more. The point being, that one really needs some insight, does pausing make sense? I think a lot of us don’t go through the financial analysis. I know I didn’t, to really decide if it makes sense. But let’s say you don’t have a choice for whatever reason, your partner has a career that has you traveling around the world. You moved to Germany with your husband, right?

Hoff: Yeah.

Stromberg: And became a mom there. We see that all the time, companies downshift. So you’re suddenly pausing whether you want to or not, what can you do? And my answer to that is, I believe the most success when I saw on my research, the most successful women who were able to work, pause, and thrive were women who never lost the concept of themselves as professionals. They always maintained their network. They always nurture their careers. They always kept their skills alive either by going online and being trained. You’re taking courses online, if you will, or volunteering to do really smart strategic volunteering. I interviewed one woman, she was so genius. She was on the board of her school’s fundraising effort and she did that because she wanted to get in the doors of CEOs in her area, in her community, so that when she was ready to go back to full-time work, she had people that she could call up and say, “Hello CEO. You remember when I raised a million dollars for whatever it was? Well, I’d like a job now. Can I have access to your network?” She was very strategic about her volunteering. I heard woman after woman tell me that that’s how they navigated their re-entry, by being strategic volunteers. But you asked the question which is, how the hell do you bring in money when you’re out, and that’s a tough one, right?

Hoff: Yeah.

Stromberg: I mean, it’s really hard. You got kids, child care is so expensive. What do you do? The good news is we’re seeing more and more companies recognize the gig worker, that’s the worker who’s a freelance worker who comes in and does freelance jobs, that’s becoming more and more common. Arguably, they say that 40 percent of the workforce will be gig economy workers. So we’ll see that there’s opportunities for freelance work in a way that we just didn’t see five years ago.

Hoff: Yeah, absolutely. There are so many websites and there’s so many resources now online that allow you to do something without even having to leave your house. And I think that exploring those opportunities can probably give people a lot of ideas of, “Oh, wait. I could do that too. If somebody’s making money doing that, I can make that money too.” I like that idea though of using volunteer time to make really useful connections because we all know that at the end of the day, a lot of times your career advancement or new jobs come from connections when you’re not just starting out and so that’s really the most important thing. There’s a lot of smart talented people out there, everyone knows that. It’s who do you build a relationship with where they know you and they think, “OK. This is the kind of person I would want to help out.”

Stromberg: Jenny, that’s exactly right. What I learned with every single woman I interviewed, 186 women, told me that the way they got their job after their pause was through their network. It wasn’t going to or whatever it is they’re trying to find a job, no. It literally was their network.

Hoff: Absolutely. So that’s an important thing to keep in mind. If you’re staying at home and you’re not going to be working to bring an income but you can volunteer, volunteer at a place where you’re going to be making very good connections that are related to fields you might want to work in later. It doesn’t have to be slimy. It’s just being smart or do a gig economy and bring in a little extra cash and pay down that debt and so you’re not having this extra stress on the family. In your book, you also talk about how pausing can actually be beneficial to you in the long run, both mentally but also career-wise. Can you go into that more?

Stromberg: Well, sure. A number of the women actually found that it was their very pause and the work they did while they’re paused inspired their next career. So for those who did pivot, their time off inspired them to figure out what was next. For example, I talked about Karen, who was the director of operations and the vice president in a number of companies. Eventually, she took a pause ultimately about five years out and spent a lot of time thinking about what she deeply cared about. What she realized is she deeply cared about infants and nutrition, and so she ended up getting her Ph.D. in Nutritional Science and now she’s a professor at University of North Carolina, focusing on infant nutritional science. At 45, she went back and got her Ph.D. and she told me, “I never imagined this is where I would be,” but she’s happier that she ever could’ve been. So the point being, women who took the time to really evaluate what’s a life well-lived. What’s the meaningful thing that I can do and what’s the legacy I can leave? For some, that was, “I can make a lot of money so I’m going to boomerang back to my previous career and rock it.” For others, there’s, “I want to become a social warrior and make change and I want to make a big difference.” That kind of purpose-driven life and using those pauses for whatever reason you pause, maybe for your family. It may end up being because you want to travel the world. It may be because you have to care for your parents who are ailing. It isn’t just for mothers, right?

Hoff: Right.

Stromberg: We have to create an opportunity as humans to create career paths that are authentic to our lives and our truths. My book was written for women and mothers, my 35-year old self, if you will. And what’s really fascinating is so many men are reading the book going, “Oh, my God. This advice is great. I’m going to use this for my career path.” Or men tell me, “I do this too but I don’t talk about it.” It’s funny to see how I thought it was for one target market and we’re finding it’s for many, many more.

Hoff: Right. When you think about it, that’s a whole another topic. A lot of times, men don’t even have that option, talk about stigmas where if a woman takes time off work to care for kids there’s a stigma there but if a man does, it’s even a greater stigma a lot of times. And these companies, they give you a week and they’re like, “Hey, we’re being generous. You get a week to go at home with your newborn and that’s about it.” I think that’s a really interesting topic to explore more at a later date. To figure out what men can do if they want to be more involved with the family as well.

Stromberg: Well, you know, I’m here in Silicon Valley. In Silicon Valley, we’re seeing a huge change in the number of companies offering paid paternity leave and the number of men taking it. Facebook, of course, when Mark Zuckerberg took his two months off, he set the tone for his entire company. As a result now, so many of the new dads at Facebook are now taking their four months paternity leave that’s offered by the company and no one’s batting an eyelash. It’s like of course you’re going to do that. And, there are great things that we know about doing that. Canada, Sweden, and Norway have had paid paternity leave for a decade now. So we have longitudinal research on the men who do this and here’s what we find. The men, their spouses are more engaged with their career, they end up making more money and what we find, the children have now ended being healthier, they’re more engaged in school, they postpone sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll. They’re seeing a real change and it’s all because the dad actually bonds with the kid at that early age and gets engaged. So I think it’s fascinating seeing more and more young men taking their paid leave. They can actually go and make a real difference at their workplaces and their own family life.

Hoff: Well, let’s hope that a lot of companies, for competition’s sake, start adopting that policy because I think that it’s very important. And it’s very important financially for both families. That also gives the mom a chance to see what else she can do career-wise and start thinking about that other path and start thinking of other ways to make money if somebody else is also home and able to take care of the child and she’s just not totally time-strapped.

Stromberg: You’re actually right, Jenny. I think that what’s really interesting is I talked to a lot of chief talent officers and recruiters about what’s happening to them. Right now, if you don’t offer paid paternity leave in Silicon Valley, it’s darn hard to recruit a guy. That’s one of the No. 1 questions they ask because the average age in Silicon Valley is 30. They want the talent and the talent wants a good quality of life. They’re saying “I can go to a company that’s going to allow me to be home with my child and pay me to do that or I can go to your company and work my butt off but you know what, I want to be an engaged dad so maybe I’m going to take company A.” It’s becoming a recruiting tool. So yeah, we’re seeing change.

Hoff: Great.

Stromberg: But I’d like to hear about your story. You are a work pause thrive role model. I’d love you to share with your listeners how you innovated because you did it.

Hoff: Thank you, Lisen. I’m interviewing you right now.

Stromberg: I know but your story’s so good.

Hoff: I was living abroad and I met my husband who was German and I had been a TV journalist. When I got pregnant and in Germany they have a one-year maternity leave, you usually take it —

Stromberg: Heaven, right?

Hoff: You definitely usually take it but at the same time I didn’t want to become so-called \u2018irrelevant’ when it came to my job because a lot of it is \u2018what have you done in the last couple of weeks?’ not \u2018what have you done in the last couple of years?’ And so I took on a lot of freelance gigs to see what I could do and what was interesting to me and it brought in money but at the same time it also allowed me to focus on other subjects that I had not focused on before. For instance, personal finance. And then when I was ready to ramp up again, I had enough stuff and I had built enough relationships with companies that it was pretty easy to go into a full-time position and also make sure that I was able to work a schedule that fit with my family too. So I think that there’s a lot of companies, as you said, who are opening their minds and they understand if you’re talented and you’re a smart person, they’re not going to let you go just because you don’t fit the exact box of what they want at the workplace but they expect you to be responsible and mature enough to know you will get everything done while also making sure you can take care of your family.

Stromberg: I love your story. You are absolutely the work pause thrive role model. You realize that you wanted to keep your career alive, you understood the dynamics of your career, journalism. You have to be present. You have to be current. And so you did that on your time, on your dime, on your schedule. And then when you’re ready to relaunch to full-time work, you had a portfolio ready to go. You maintained your networks. You were able to rock it. You are the model. And you know what? The really fascinating thing is we’re going to see more and more women doing exactly what you’ve done. Here’s what’s awesome. You also said something that’s so important. We’re seeing a change in the workplace in that we’re moving away from facetime to actually focusing on productivity. The tools are there. It’s a global world. People are working and we can actually work from home, get our stuff done. We’re seeing a real change around that as well and smart companies are figuring out that facetime isn’t the answer in productivity and focusing on what is. And they’re seeing a huge increase in productivity as a result of not requiring facetime.

Hoff: Absolutely.

Stromberg: I think it’s really exciting to see.

Hoff: I always say that your values change when you become a parent, and what you look for change when you become a parent. For me, what really changed to looking for another job was I wanted to make sure I was not going to be in a situation where I would have to be sick with worry if my child was sick and he couldn’t go to school that day or I couldn’t go in and I had to work from home. I wanted to make sure I was in a company that was very understanding of that because I know a lot of people, they get very worried, “Oh, no I have all these appointments and these meetings. What am I going to do? My son has a fever.” Well, you know what? For me, it was more important that I could stay home and be with my son and still make sure things happened. So I think you start looking for different qualities in an employer than you may have done before you had children.

Stromberg: Well, you know what? I actually advise women to look for those employers before they have children. The reason I say that is your human capital, what you have to contribute to the world, why would you want to work in place that doesn’t value your full self? It may be that you’re never going to have children. You may want to run a marathon, sail around the world, take up a new hobby that means you can’t be in the office every moment of every day, which isn’t to say you’re not productive and can’t contribute. Employers that recognize that and actually focus on creating cultures that allow people to thrive, they are the ones that are going to win the talent war. We’re seeing companies really figure that out finally.

Hoff: Good.

Stromberg: In my book, I offer an opportunity for people to evaluate what’s the right company and I give a list of things that they should be thinking about. Some of them include looking at the senior management. What’s their management look like. Is it diverse? Do they have a diverse board? Do they have mothers in leadership? Do those mothers in leadership or men in leadership actually have spouses who work outside the home or is this an all in ideal worker job and they can’t do it? Do they have generous paid parental leave policies? Do they have paternity leaves? There are so many ways to look at companies to evaluate it. Hey, I’d love your listeners to check out Fairygodboss. Have you heard that, Fairygodboss?

Hoff: No.

Stromberg: Fairygodboss is a site that is a competitor to possibly — there’s a whole bunch of them out there that people look at to evaluate companies. And what you can do is actually go to Fairygodboss and it’s reports by women for women about companies, and that’s all anonymous. So you can look up and say, “OK. Facebook looks great. What’s it really like?” And go in there and find out. Does it really walk the talk and how are these policies [inaudible 00:26:06]? It’s a great resource for your listeners.

Hoff: Fantastic. Fairygodboss. Go check it out if you’re looking for a job or you’re wanting to switch careers. Make sure they’re going to be offering you the things that are going to mean something to you if you do end up having children or if you think you’re going to need to take a pause. What do you say are the three things someone can do right now to prepare for a career shift with parenthood?

Stromberg: One, the right company. Make sure you’re in the right place you can thrive. The women who never left the paid workforce ever, the 28 percent of my survey who didn’t, they didn’t because they had companies like yours that supported them during those early childhood years and beyond. They didn’t have to leave because they actually could bring their full self to the office. So find the right company. That is the first darn thing I recommend. And Sheryl Sanford recommended in her book that you find the right partner and if that makes all the difference, I couldn’t agree more. A number of the women in my survey and women I interviewed realizing that their careers depend on having partners that believe that they should have careers and allow them to thrive and weren’t these old fashion gendered models of what a woman is supposed to do, what a man is supposed to do and stuff. Your partner really matters. No pressure there, right? Find the right guy or girl, if the case may be. No judgment here. And then, always have a view to your career. Whether you’re in the paid workforce or not, always nurture your career. Never take your eye off the ball. Because if you’ve gone to college, you’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars likely into your career. Why would you waste your human capital by not focusing on that even if you’re out of the paid workforce? So those are my three big tips.

Hoff: Absolutely. OK. So find the right company, find the right partner. Or if you already have a partner, change your partner’s mind. Expose them to something new. Maybe pick up your book and read it together so that you can get a new mindset about what careers could mean for both individuals. And then finally, always have a view to your career. Like you said, whether you’re taking time off completely, volunteer, make those good connections, do some freelance, do some gig work, do something that keeps you relevant but at the same time allows you to have the lifestyle that you want. And finally, our show is called Charged Up. What gets you charged up about facing the challenge of a career change or a pause while still ensuring you’re not out of the game forever?

Stromberg: What gets me charged up is the sea change that’s happening because of millennials. I love millennials because millennials are asking for the things that I and many of the women I interviewed ask for. They value time over money and meaning over marching up the ladder which isn’t to say they aren’t committed to having great careers and making a lot of money. They want to do it in a way that really makes the difference in the world. I’m so charged up about that because we’re going to see the workplace changing because it has to, because millennials are demanding it. So go on, millennials. You guys rock it.

Hoff: Awesome. OK. Good. Those are some great tips. I couldn’t agree with you more. I love this change that’s happening where we’re expecting to also be able to be judged on our productivity not just on how many hours we’re sitting there in the office.

Stromberg: Exactly. It’s exciting times. Ten years from now, we’re going to interview each other, it’s going to be a very different conversation, I believe.

Hoff: Absolutely. Lisen, thank you so much for joining me today. Fascinating. I definitely recommend people pick up your book. I actually think your book is so perfect to give to a friend who’s a mom-to-be or maybe pregnant just so she can be reassured that there is still hope for her when it comes to her career and something she’s passionate about while still being able to be a parent who’s there and with the children. Thank you so much, Lisen.

Stromberg: Jenny, it was an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much.

See related: Charged Up! podcast: Affording healthy choices



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