Leaning out with Marissa Orr


Vega help us learn more about you visit wonder media network DOT COM forward slash survey to share your thoughts and be entered to win before we dive in I have a quick request we are eager to know more about our audience so we created a short listener and have an awesome week talks for thousands of people in the US Europe and Asia Pacific at companies and universities including Google twitter pace new school leaned book clean out the Truth About Women Power and the workplace after fifteen years of working today's top tech giant's she has conducted speaker when I first described this podcast I did so by saying I wanted to tell more stories of what was possible for women working navigate family careers every can express and more in our conversation she shared more about her own experiences as a mom research and what she means by lean out into school and usually come back and work at my desk I work from home I I write I'm out there this show forgets about the leaning in or leaning out debate and talks to women about their paths towards creating a life that includes both family and career because I do you mind sharing a little bit about what your current what your current experiences like you know you're they were babies Twins were surprised I mean we were going to have a second but not quickly and then I found out it was twins so it was going from zero to three kids I thought about things very differently that was today's guest Morris Supper Mussa is a former Google and facebook executive bestselling author and leaderships turn nine in November and my older son is eleven while so you have twins analyzing year old that's pretty pretty busy time you know it's easier now mom like what is your what is the day in the life like for you right now I have three kids and I'm single mom so I train wake up read an hour thing in between while moving past the lean in or lean out debate so I am so appreciative to have been able to connect with Marissa who's the author of the Bestseller I never felt I belonged in that world and I felt day with a lot of times I was hustling for my own self worth to prove to myself L. and others that you know I was good at my job and in person I always felt I did things very different for a lot of women working fulltime for those working from home yeah and so how old are your kids again might twins will they start at third grade think episode notes welcome to season two of the forty three percents I'm Claudia Reuter I literally all I did was take care of babies and work and babies and work and it was a really tough time her before they wake up and go to school so that I got some things done and off my plea before they leave and then I take the can't conferences and events so either writing and writing my keynotes in practicing doing a bunch of other marketing book promotional related two years and they were you know I was working fulltime at Google in the city at that point and has a black hole in my memory because I've been there for so long at that point I also six weeks of vacation so I took it turns out piled up my vacation I took about six months I also got very depressed during that time I'll be honest resolves in the middle of the wind her and you know being home with titties workout and run all the errands for the kids like when my energy is is starting to fade usually in the early afternoon and Ansah purposes but it doesn't turn out anything like you thought it was going to at this point now I was at a real low point it was very isolating in dark my brain and and and having something to my identity more than being a mom it was really really getting to me so it was just interesting how it flipped like that and so ending on me and I what she would turn out to be quintessential archetype ball bully and that whole experience bro Yes so I was at Google for just about thirteen years and facebook was a very different experience than I had anticipated education but I'm just curious like did you have any time to Google is very generous with an and I was working at the time and they're very generous in their leave and because I knew what I was doing I would be able to prove myself facebook in such a way that I could you know easily get the same kind give pursue right you're right you're writer you're you're speaking on you've really built this. This career is an author entrepreneur right I couldn't wait to get back to work I mean I wanted to work less hours like more time at home with my son but at the same time not easing babies in a toddler every day in the winter you know it was it was I was looking forward to getting back to by the end I just felt like a shell Nand hang out after school I don't see that I can have those hours to work and then just hang out homework dinner so very typical I suppose I had a lot of flexibility at a great manager she gave me a lot of autonomy you know once you built your career to that point I was under the mistaken assumption that I once you get through something like that you really feel you can handle a lot more than you thought so you had a baby that was just like still little rightly it didn't matter so the bullying started very quickly and I soon realized there was a whole HR investigation for over one or two he was to just turn to the twins were born so you had a two year old annual twins did you take a full maternity leave and I'm not that that's like a at that time and is particularly with my first son the for it was interesting because I would say the first two months of that maternity leave I cried all the time thinking about having to go back do you remember a moment where you thought okay this is at I'm stepping away from this to do something for me and my family or things that facebook turn the situation at I admit that S- naive but that was where I was at the time the women who have recruited me ended up really previously Google has written this female leadership lecture series in my as a passion project is a side project and so all those things coming together and everybody in my life was encouraging me to go back to Google or to find a different job intact 'cause they right in terms nobody should have to subject themselves that kind of abuse at work what that situation really force me to come to terms with was I was never going to be of myself my kids are twenty three months apart and they've never merges feeling like it's just a lot to get through the day I felt very fortunate to have me frankly like straight up Buddhist because I started searching for ways to gain control of my emotional response in not an doc me so at this point you've still got young kids your your past the the total baby stage but you're still in it you've started a new job at another great company for all in and I knew that her power over me in a career context is absolute by emotionally I could control my reaction so the whole thing turn into my career where Google I was leaving on a high note I got into this new role in the last couple of years there was just really well suited for me I was pretty happy which I did not want to participate that I I totally knew I was going to be fired it was the writing was on the wall for legal reasons they had to wait a year yeah and then NC you're at Google and then you went back so after six months you went back and then at some point according to your book you went over to facebook right where where were you on your journey then oh I was fired and again I say this in the first sentence of the book so it's not a secret but when I was fired from facebook in September twenty seventeen in terms of my book is out there in that feels like such an accomplishment by the lack of structure the uncertainty all that stuff thing I needed to do anyway and then it's been just about two year it's been two years now and it's been great the meat makeup political power move which she is very much a political animal this this woman the executive that hire me by you know truly happy or realize my potential in the corporate structure I'm super creative person and Mike Son it's not easy I am grateful I would not have it any other way but there's something to be said for that steady paycheck and benefits gently turn very quickly it wasn't like there was this phase where everything was great in the term by the third week meet one on one meeting Shamburg that I had asked her signed for a different era right it wasn't designed with technology in mind it wasn't designed it was designed to the factory mindset of nine to five and we've all been kind of pulling on but you've you've taken the your reaction you've taken this positive focus on really rethinking why why it is the way it is right and into feel some I felt very powerless in that scenario and I knew that the first thing I had to regain power over with myself in my reactions in so it's really when I started this journey he just really wanted to reach out to her and that meeting happened my second week facebook the woman who had recruited me saw that meeting is my attempt at appear in for me you know what we're what were some of the things that moated motivated you to rethink what you're doing and you're out in what is really a very cree- to quit because they'll irresponsible right like I'm a single mom of three kids what what am I thinking like I am there it's and psychology and all that stuff so it was really stitching together what I learned from my research with my personal practical experiences that gave birth to this premise that to find satisfaction apart from the corporate structure and when I think about the some of the challenges with the corporate structure I think about the fact that it was through passionless this lecture series that had grown shoe I presented it at other companies in a couple colleges in New York City when I was at Google on a hit put it sure bution so on a team no two people can be equally amazing are equally terrible you're either better or worse than your teammates and then when you couple let me in person for a minute as an introduction at a conference because you know we have a very similar background in terms of week rough missing neighborhood and all this stuff and I headed the time with the fact that most of us were in were in an information knowledge economy the output of our work is invisible you we create strategies right you're also you're not just reading a book you're sharing pretty per obviously pretty personal experiences and pretty low moments right in your career journey died to deal with the situation at facebook so I kind of used the experience their work on this dream I had of turning those lectures into a book and working my at the time my then husband I can begged him like we have to figure it out I can't work I can't leave my baby and then as the foreign five month mark rolled around you know first of all people are against each other rate because if you and I have to compete for promotion Senate since then what do you you know you brought up something else that you brought up the idea that there's a dynamic among colleagues and Co workers that can be ability on who's talented and doing a good job and you couple that with a zero sum gain you get these toxic dynamics where area to judge our work it becomes political so rewards these set of behaviors like aggression of meditation and I'd wake up really early in I learned you know in order to I decided I was going to write the book and use the experience at facebook as you're writing structure essentially as a zero sum game for power because if you win the promotion I lose the promotion and Google and facebook your graded on connections and when we can forge those in pursuit of a common goal women are really unstoppable but the zero sand name the source of income for my house so when I was fired I chose to see it as a gift like it the universe is giving me a kick in the by for in lean out one of which is what you're talking about with the dynamic of Co workers and what that would I talk about is the fact that the corporate more better we're motivated by competitive pursuits so these competitions a lot of times you know power inherent in women is is there is relationship there are so fewer women in leadership positions across the board right not any one company but across the board there's fewer women and top leadership positions certainly fewer I think in one part of your book you talked about the idea that you know the structures that are there people need to come up with another way out with his salary as long as I could until I had gotten farther along main career so it's kind of working on the new career as a side project so intact there's there's a scaredy mindset on what's possible I think that we've conflated the term leader with manager with a manager it compromises your broader goals in life and reduces the quality of your life. I mean how can we call that a win you know a public speaker 'cause I love getting onstage talking to women so I didn't want this woman to have power over me it's a tricky use of language women do aspire to be leaders in their leaders female leaders everywhere working longer hours and playing office politics or marketing campaigns or impact we make on the business sometimes can't really be discerned large organization there's so many people around people that you're trying to serve and that's not progress I loved talking with Marissa and hearing her that compromise the quality of our relationship on top of that we have to compete for the promotion without some sort of objective criteria what's on how the corporate world encourage us to compete against each other rather than work with each other I much prefer to work collectively towards a common goal and that's exactly what Beta brand is doing they are crowd funding platform for fashion Beta brand welcomes feedback and brings crowd sourced ideas wit in on this month on the state every week and work on my budget to seal take me but then that date kept getting pushed out in honestly I don't know if I would have had the current the corporate world overall plus I am very big research nerd I have a fascination four-lane obsession with behavioral science such a smart design they're comfortable work appropriate and versatile they've got styles for different shapes different sizes and tastes Kabuki cut straight leg skinny cropped and more they come in standard colors like black navy grey khaki and with seasonal and in addition colors released monthly Beta brand reminds women that they should never have to compromise when it comes to being comfortable and looking amaze imminence in self promotion the combination can be toxic especially for women because for salt research shows that on average more so many different things it's really hard to know who's doing a good job or she's even doing work at all so when you layer this sort of invisible seem to get your own pair visit Beta brand dot com slash forty three percent to get twenty percent off that's b e more women are motivated by and perform veteran collaborative win win environments whereas men are more the opposite is true for men or the creative person I like to dig into the work and solve problems and really create stuff which is not what you you're you're in place have to obey usually managers of total power over your your career and the problem is we only we only call these executive positions Tom Yeah no one it's so well I'd love your perspective one of the things I've been wondering about do you did you see any correlation between we talk about how doing your manager your linear your opera your operational person and you are in a position of formal authority right the leadership roles and so when we see few women there we can say which is a large premise in lean in sheryl sandberg caused the leadership ambition there's there's this problem with how we measure female progress in quality because when you only measure it on salary the wage gap numbers T. A. B. R. A. N. D. dot com slash four three P. E. R. C. E. N. T. to get twenty percents and even the social structure which I miss so Yang no-one think there's there's a there's there's so much courage in what you did too because you're straight into the design room. Shoppers can vote for designs to become crowd funded projects on the site it's just one of the reasons why I love Beta brands dressed games in the pub politics at work really women against each other they are road the fabric of female relationships which in a lot of cases is one of the very things that make us strong the reason that I suggest for let me give you a personal example of why I don't WanNa be CEO in extrapolate. I'm very like I said I'm very can't yoga pants they take into account what women really want and work collaboratively to make the best pants possible the dress pants yoga pants and so I don't want to be a CEO for many reasons one is you know I really prefer balance and and it's just not interesting to me as a creative person in that's what happened to me Google which was I couldn't be promoted above the level that I was without starting to manage more and more people which is just something that I didn't soccer Berg though right like who are the ones starting at that the policies that maybe they they set forth could could radically transform some sort of even power dynamic in the best you know wins or something like that and I- power structures are really hard to chain sit down and actually write it but the book isn't born you know the premises born from experience at facebook it was really looking at the Mike I feel like we as a society don't necessarily put our dollars behind the things we say we care about you know in a really really interesting to your point if we did I think CEO's and call the gender gap than in many cases it can if you saw it you might compromise the the wellbeing of the nobody wants to talk about it because you feel like you're complaining about your job but it is actually really stressful which is really another big you know as as earlier in her career and has to pay for childcare and the childcare is eating up you know huge percentage of our take home pay and in you know CEO is really unlikely to change anything about that structure because it's a threat to their power so I do think that the change experience and childcare you know for the younger years none of it matches what happens in the corporate environment none of it so it's like it causes on wants to do I'm an entrepreneur loves starting things and so I guess I have sort of an idealistic view that if there were more women who were the mark in gap that women don't aspire to be leaders the same degree as men in her whole book is really about why in my point is not really because you have to take into account the power structure it's a very uneven power structure person above you has almost total power over you and then as you get higher in that structure toxic and what did you find there were writing so the experience at facebook was really just fortuitous events that that caused me the same time it's certainly not enough to give that child care provider a quality of life and so on like we it seems like we just there's these structural issues that are so much more of the so much more the source than a culture that AH women have and so I hope that by being honest about them and putting them out on the table that we can sort of address are everybody likes different things if we're going for diversity trying to get everybody to want the same things as the exact opposite in part of off your dress pants yoga pants today there is this kind of step where it's like well are you going to get into management are keep doing what you're doing tonight her to power it becomes more concentrated is the word I'm looking for so it's not just a collection people because a collection of people assume that there's hi Leeann they make you feel like if you

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