The last eight years or so of pro-working woman literature has hoped that data would do what appealing to an intrinsic American belief in fairness and equality could not.

And an amazing treasure trove of data has resulted.

“What Works for Women at Work” artfully debunks the “opt out” myth that women simply lose interest in work once they become mothers. It also showed how universal the bias women face on the job– across industries, race, and generations– can be.

“Getting to 50/50” unearthed a ton of data on why it’s in men’s interest that their wives work.

“Lean in” showed that women take themselves out of the running for raises and promotions before they’ve even become wives or mothers, or even found the person they want to settle down with.

Unconscious bias has been proved by endless studies where gender is obscured and men are regarded differently (and more positively) than women.

And copious more research by the major consulting firms, boutique firms, the Lean In Foundation, the Diana Project, Women.VC, the Kauffman Foundation and so many others have found– conclusively– that gender balanced teams perform better. That executives are only hurting themselves when they don’t diversify.

And yet, in tech at least– the recent “woke Crunchies” aside– there’s almost no progress when it comes to diversity in America.

And as I reported last week, three surveys have shown that most white men just don’t care. 95% didn’t list it as a top problem, the bulk still don’t believe unconscious bias is a major factor, 75% of these companies are doing absolutely nothing to address the gender and race divide, and 40% are sick of hearing about it.  

The near decade long experiment to incentivize white men to act differently by using data and rational self interest has failed. It’s in the… ahem, numbers.

And that shouldn’t be a shock, given the country we live in now, where there’s widespread mistrust of the press, the data is citing fake terrorist attacks in Sweden, and he enjoys unwavering support from people who like that he “talks like them,” according to cable news interviews.

People only want data if it confirms their beliefs, not if it challenges them.

When you try to present data that shows that indeed white men aren’t listening to the data, you get a lot of push back from people who simply don’t want it out there. People who say women and minorities should stop “bitching” about the world and just work harder. That — hey!— white men don’t get everything they want either. That it must just be false. FAKE NEWS! (I’ve been flooded with both of these points of view over the last week via Twitter.)

But there’s a reason why I still keep reporting on data like this, and why I also have a shit load of data in my upcoming book on motherhood. Because while data will not change anyone’s mind that inclusion is a priority or even a good thing, it’s still useful for galvanizing and rallying men and women who do want a more inclusive world, but don’t quite know how to get there or how to demand their leaders take them there. It gives them evidence, talking points, and confidence to keep pushing their companies to do better.

When a manager says, “we’ve tried to hire women, we just don’t get the applicants!” data helps you explain why it’s up to companies to do better. When a manager says, “but women we’ve hired in the past just leave to be with their families” data helps you make the case that this could be a problem with the company’s bro-y culture. It makes the case that early gender and race inclusion on teams will make a meaningful difference down the line. Data on retention of working moms out of Google and other places makes the case that it’s in employer’s best interest to offer parental leave (which is why many of the largest companies and startups are.)

Data and role models are the best weapons we have, outside of more women just quitting jobs and starting their own investment firms and companies to make these decisions directly. And that’s why the super-woke Crunchies award ceremony didn’t bother me, while some people I spoke with felt it bordered on pandering.

The Crunchies has always reflective of the aspirational soul of Silicon Valley. A few years ago, in the peak of Disruption mania, that reflection was so bro’d up that Katie Stanton wrote this. Now in an age where women and minorities are taking to the streets to force their government and their tech leaders to do better, we get woke Crunchies. I’m fine with that shift, even if it doesn’t necessarily correspond to a shift in diversity among senior management. Let’s project it, til we make it. We’ve seen in the last two months the power of tech employees to push major change from below.
Knowing that it is in a manager’s self interest matters to employees, whether a company itself is woke enough to act on that or not. If nothing else, data is a mirror to hold up to your manager’s face: If employees present him with data showing inclusion and better policies should be in his self-interest, does it change the behavior?

The Women’s March has announced March 8 will be the day without women. I freaked out when I first saw anything about this because I’d just been writing about the impact that the women’s strike had in Iceland in 1975.

This is from my chapter on Iceland, where the importance of this march was explained to me by the phenomenal Halla Tomasdottir, who ran for President in Iceland last summer (and almost won despite a prediction that she’d get 1% of the vote!):

“I thought it was a question of time because when I was seven, women took the day off in Iceland and they brought the country to its knees, so from 1975 people started saying, ‘OK, life doesn’t work in Iceland if women don’t show up to work.’”

Wait, backup.  

That’s right: The year I was born, 90% of women across Iceland walked off the job and took to the streets. Something I couldn’t imagine even half of American women doing today, and bear in mind this was before social media made this kind of mass organization easier.

They were upset with the country’s inequality and wanted to send a strong message: The world didn’t work, if women didn’t work. They walked out whether their “job” was driving a bus or working at a bank or even taking care of newborns at home. For that day, Halla says, kids didn’t get fed, busses weren’t driven, banks didn’t get opened, schools didn’t open.

“Nothing worked, because 90% of women in Iceland did this,” she says. It took a year to organize the walk out. Some women’s husbands left them because they’d helped organize it.

But do you know what happened five years later? Iceland elected the first female president in the world, and she was a single mom. Halla puts it down to that women’s strike.

“I’m raised with women who have the courage to do that and we do change the world, because five years later we have that first female president,” she says. “She was not only a single mom, she was a breast cancer survivor. She was asked during her campaign, ‘What are you going to do as president? You’re a woman.’ Someone added, ‘You’re even half a woman’, because she’d had a mastectomy. She answered, ‘Well I was intending on leading the nation, not breastfeeding it.’ She took the high road and she won.

“This impacted me profoundly, and not just me, but the men of this generation. They thought it’s normal that a woman is president.”

Wow.

 

I hate to post this on a day that should be about love. But guess what? A third study of Silicon Valley tech workers show that white men just DGAF about diversity. I wrote this on Pando today:

Last November, LinkedIn published a study that showed just how much white men care about diversity in tech. Spoiler: Very little when they are allowed to answer questions about diversity without using their name.

Less than 5% of white men surveyed said they considered a lack of diversity a top problem. Three-out-of-four respondents were unaware of any initiatives to make their companies or portfolios more diverse. And 40% of male respondents were sick of the media going on and on about it.

How about actually try to solve the problem, and we’ll all shut up OK?

Silicon Valley Bank released its annual US startup outlook today. And in terms of women on boards or women anywhere in the executive ranks, things are slightly worse year-over-year.

According to SVB, only a quarter of startups even say they have programs in place to change this. That’s the same as last year’s survey, and the same as the LinkedIn study above. This also echoes the results of First Round Capital’s state of startups last year, where founders ranked diversity low as a concern, and there was a sharp divide between men and women on the cause for tech’s lack of diversity.

Guess what? Men blame the pipeline (It’s not our fault so nothing needs to change!) Women blame a mix of unconscious bias (It is your fault; you just think it’s OK because it’s not intentional) and a lack of industry role models and mentors. The industry freaks out when Mike Moritz or John Greathouse say this kind of stuff about gender publicly. And that makes us all feel good and pretend we’re making progress. But privately, the vast majority of white men in tech believe it.

And yet, despite the fact that 95% of white male respondents didn’t consider this a problem, 40% were sick of hearing about it, and 75% weren’t aware of any programs to address it, investors in the LinkedIn survey guessed that within five years, one-third of their portfolios would be comprised of female founded companies and racially diverse teams. Founders in that survey similarly expected rapid progress: That somehow in five years half of their hires would be women and people of color.

First Round’s survey said the same: In 14 years, tech leadership would just miraculously reflect the gender and racial mix of America broadly.

We now have three surveys showing the same thing: White men in tech simply DGAF about increasing tech’s diversity. It’s the kind of thing everyone says is a problem on social media or on stage, but less than 5% of the industry actually believes it’s a problem. White men do not believe they bear any responsibility for the way things are, and only 25% of companies have any effort underway at all to make things better.

And so, none of us should be surprised that nothing is changing. Horrified, yes, but not surprised.

A little over a week ago, I filed my book about motherhood and entrepreneurship to Harper. And last Friday my editor wrote back to say she thought it was “strong.”
We are on our way! This book is incredibly personal and was an intense thing to write in the days when we don’t care about men who boast of sexual assault and think we become mere “hosts” when we get pregnant.
We’ve also reached my second Patreon goal. Woo hoo! I am now producing a monthly “daddy special” podcast to go with the badass moms editions. I think these could have a profound impact on lessening the stereotype that successful men in the Valley neglect their families.
 
Now that my book is in, I plan to post more here, and start a newsletter in my “spare time.” Stay tuned. And thanks everyone for your support. If you know a badass mom or an engaged dad, tell them about this site. Even $1/show helps support our mission!

I wrote this in my book I just filed:

“Let’s bring it back to motherhood: After all, bearing children is the central role women are expected to play in a patriarchy; the one thing that men cannot do. What is the Maternal Wall if not the enforcement of a patriarchal idea that to be a good mother you must be 100% devoted to your kids or to be a good employee you must be 100% devoted to your job?

If you are in a heterosexual marriage and have a male boss, two patriarchs are essentially coming into conflict when you try to have a career and a family. Which patriarch do you owe your allegiance to? The one who asks in the job interview if you are planning on having children or the one who says he just doesn’t “want strangers raising his kids”?

And this is why the right wing feels so much ownership over what goes on every American uterus. Because the battle for control over those uteruses are ground zero of whether we continue to live in a patriarchy or not. A woman’s clearest role in a patriarchal society is reproductive. Her ability to control that is a threat to that order, beyond the fact that it is necessary for her ability to work, to control her economic destiny, and in religious societies whether or not she’s even forced into marriage.

It’s all about the uterus.

Consider how abortion became the Southern evangelical wedge issue. It wasn’t a “grassroots” movement. Abortion was historically a Catholic issue, not an evangelical issue. Until Nixon. Nixon set out– consciously– to make it the issue to unify Southern evangelicals behind the republican party, according to Manne. “The cultural conflagration over abortion did not begin at the grassroots level; nor did it have an organic religious or moral basis,” she writes. “It was deliberately lit by political leaders, who intended that it be fueled by anxieties concerning women’s role within the family.”

As women have steadily gained more rights to their own uteruses, the patriarchy has gone into panic mode. It’s not so much women that need to be dominated, as much as it’s the uterus that has to be dominated.”

That sounded a little agro-feminist– even for me– until I saw this.

An Oklahoma Lawmaker:

“I believe one of the breakdowns in our society is that we have excluded the man out of all of these types of decisions,” he said. “I understand that they feel like that is their body,” he said of women. “I feel like it is a separate — what I call them is, is you’re a ‘host.’ And you know when you enter into a relationship you’re going to be that host and so, you know, if you pre-know that then take all precautions and don’t get pregnant,” he explained. “So that’s where I’m at. I’m like, hey, your body is your body and be responsible with it. But after you’re irresponsible then don’t claim, well, I can just go and do this with another body, when you’re the host and you invited that in.”

“they feel like that is their body.” = battle for the uterus is so extreme now that the talking point is when it is no longer part of our body…. just in shock.

“I’ve never had to get to three,” she said.Every parent knows exactly what that means, but there’s aren’t many who can say they’re never had to get there. Then again, Kitty Von-Sometime isn’t like most people. She’s a British-born Icelandic transplant, mother, LGBT rights activist, artist and contractor for some of the largest and up-and-coming gaming shops in Iceland.

Von-Sometime’s kid once asked her “What happens at three?” She responded with a terrifyingly stern face: “Do you really want to find out?” As she told me this story, Von-Sometime was wearing a sweatsuit covered with pictures of Daffy Duck. It’s hard to look intimidating wearing head-to-toe Daffy Duck and yet I — like her child– would have been a little scared to find out what happens at three.

We get to three a lot in my house. And that’s not because I’m not strict. Don’t get me wrong: There are always consequences at three. When I start with “one…” Eli will sometimes look at me in a panic and say “NO COUNTING! NO COUNTING!”

“Never getting to three” encapsulates the matriarchal culture of Iceland perhaps better than I heard anyone else explain it over the last week. Last Thursday, I set off for Iceland, my first international reporting trip since Eli was a baby.

This is something I used to do a lot: I’ve done extensive on the ground reporting in Israel, Rwanda, Nigeria, China, India, Russia, Indonesia, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, Singapore, and more. But with most of those countries I was exploring budding pockets of high growth entrepreneurship. In Iceland, I was exploring a culture of motherhood.

Entrepreneurship and motherhood. Two creative endeavors that can drain you as much as they recharge you. One typically the purview of men, one the purview of women. Two endeavours that have come to dominate my personal life for the last five years, as I started a business and became a mother. And now they’re consuming my work itself. As regular Pando readers know, I’m writing a book on motherhood and entrepreneurship for Harper Business. It’s half memoir of the last five years of my own journey and half my journey as a reporter to understand the biases that I believed for some 15 years of adulthood before I had children. Biases that made me terrified of having children. Biases that hold mothers back from achieving their potential in the workplace, the world over.

A few months ago, I got a sitter for my kids on a Friday night so that I could attend a lecture on “The Logic of Misogyny” at the home of Kim Scott. (I know, you’re jealous right?) Kate Manne, assistant professor of philosophy at Cornell and the author of a forthcoming book called “Down Girl: How Misogyny Upholds Male Dominance” certainly has had a lot of material to work with in this election, and if she spent more time in the Valley she’d find the “bro culture” a trove of horrific findings. She said many interesting things about a word that I — and a lot of people– throw around a lot these days.

But one thing in particular she said has stuck with me since that night. Someone asked about these traits we know are common in women– that we don’t ask for raises, that we are more conservative versus risk-taking, that we build deeper networks versus wider networks, that whole thing about math and science–  and whether those are genetic or the cultural ramifications of centuries of misogyny.

Manne noted how much research was going into answering this question. And added that she thought most of it was going to be unsatisfying, because we’ve never had a “control group,” ie a society where women were completely equal to compare ourselves against.

And so I wound up in Iceland last week. A country where some two-thirds of the children are born to single mothers, a country with one of the smallest gaps between male and female pay, and a country frequently called one of the most feminist countries in the world.

Iceland is not the control group that Manne was talking about, she’s right that no place is. As I heard in interview after interview, there’s still plenty of sexism in the country, most of the senior levels at business are held by men, and women still frequently feel pulled unfairly between the expectations of home and the expectations of work. And there is still that gap in pay that infuriates every woman in Iceland because as a so-called “feminist” country they believe there shouldn’t be any gap at all.

But Iceland is a country where some of the stigmas that hold women back in the US simply don’t exist. There is no stigma against unmarried mothers. Even among people I spoke to who have had multiple kids with the same partner and were married, they only really got around it after kids were walking, and really just as a lark or for practical reasons, like, say, moving to another country where marriage made the paperwork easier.

Iceland also doesn’t have a morality hang up when it comes to working women. In that sense, there are refreshingly limited cultural “mommy wars”: Nearly every mother works. When I asked women of multiple ages and generations if they have ever known a stay at home mom, either when they were growing up or they were raising their own kids, they had to think about it hard. The answer was either “no” or something like “there was one woman who was disabled.”

For what it’s worth, Iceland doesn’t seem to have a lot of the morality hang ups of the US, period. Von-Sometime noted that her wife– also a transplant– was frustrated by Iceland’s lack of a gay section of the city or subculture the way you have in cities like New York, London or San Francisco. Because there’s not a lot of moral outrage to gay culture, there was never the evolution of a gay counter-culture, Von-Sometime explained. Whenever gay bars open, the local straight folks shrug and over populate them.

There is a comparatively shame-free “hook up” culture in Iceland, too, although some women admit there’s the usual gossip. One startup built an app that attempted to chart the entire country’s family tree, going back to old Nordic texts that listed how Viking heroes were related to one another. There was a Facebook plug in and a phone “bumping feature” so you could see if you were related to a girl you were chatting up at a bar. The slogan: “bump the app before you bump in bed.”

I heard a much more encouraging story: Of a girl who got pregnant after a one-night-stand. There was the usual whispers after, but she faced no pressure to have an abortion from her family, and the man is currently a 50%-50% father although the two aren’t together. Indeed siblings in a family who all have the same two parents are a rarity in Iceland.

Of course, there’s a fine line between female sexual empowerment and the exploitation of it, here in the US and apparently in Iceland. That carefree attitude was grossly exploited by IcelandAir’s “Have a dirty weekend in Iceland” advertising campaign to the horror of most women I spoke with. The company rapidly backtracked after the outrage.

When I told these women that 40% of people in the latest Pew Survey in America believed that more women working in the US was “bad” for society, they looked at me like I was insane. Like I was literally making up that stat.

“Don’t most families in America need two incomes?” some asked me.

“Yes,” I said. “Indeed in some 40% moms are the sole or primary breadwinners. That’s one thing that makes it so mean.”

More unbelievable to many was that I took no maternity leave at all with my second child. Not to mention how common that is here. According to the Labor Department, corporate and state benefits only cover some 12% of private sector women with any kind of paid maternity leave at all.

Somehow our bizarro election began to make more sense for many of these women.

Over a crammed four days I interviewed nearly 20 women and their stories of motherhood and work and mashed-up families and matriarchal culture ranged from funny, to universal, to… hard to listen to at times. I was struck by how open the women all were.  How many homes I was invited into. And mostly how easy it was to find women to talk to. I had one contact in the country and decided a week before my flight I was going. By the time I landed I had a spiderweb of email intros and a crammed four days of meetings.

One thing was clear in each conversation: Even with more rights than a lot of women in my own country or others around the world, every one of these women were unsatisfied and were pushing for more. Icelandic women don’t live in that elusive control group Manne was talking about, but they believe they should. They are empowered to push until their future generations of sons and daughters do.
I have more than 20 hours of recordings that I obviously haven’t begun to transcribe, so this story is light on all those amazing individual stories of struggle and growth. Like Halla Tomasdottir’s: She had a promising career climbing the corporate ladder in the US adopting the qualities of “a guy” before she moved back to Iceland to recover her feminine strength, have children, build an investment company that survived the 2008 crash. Just this past summer she came in second in the Icelandic Presidential race– far better than she was expected to fare.
Or the story of Brynja Gudmundsdottir, a single mom of four kids, who built her software company when her two youngest were under the age of five. Her oldest son– now in his 20s– remembers the days they were living with her mother-in-law, although their dad was no longer around. She was spending her mornings in University, playing with her kids in the afternoon and then studying after they went to bed. He remembers her tucking them in at night back when the family had nothing– not even their own place to live– and saying, “You know how much I love you guys, right?” The contrast between those days and how his younger siblings are now downright spoiled thanks to her financial success since is staggering to him. He doesn’t resent her time away from them building her career, he’s in awe of her maternal strength and love.

For more of that– and more on motherhood in the United States and around the world– well, you’ll have to wait a year to read the book.

But in the meantime I wanted to share some of my high level takeaways from my long weekend inside this unsatisfying but fascinating “control group.”

The depressing upshot? There’s still a lot of sexism. Even in a place where women aren’t morally guilted if they work and families are blended and female sole breadwinners aren’t admired not denigrated. Even in a place where there’s subsidized child care and family leave. Even in a place where policies encourage men to take an active role in childcare. Even in a place that has quotas forcing companies to have more women on boards. Even in Iceland: Women aren’t close to equal in the workplace.

I went to a tech conference on VR and gaming called “Slush Play” one of the biggest tech events in Iceland, I was told. While it hardly had the bro-y atmosphere you’d expect from a gaming conference, and there seemed a far healthier mix of men and women in the audience, most of the speakers were men. And most of the executives of companies are also men. Despite most women and mothers being in the Icelandic workforce, women still struggle to get to the top.

There were a lot of theories why. Another recent Icelandic transplant, Paula Gould, noted one clue: Socially in Iceland, men tend to hang out with men and women go out with women. She said her husband has female friends, but he doesn’t go out drinking with them in mixed groups the way she always did in the US with men and women.

As she described this, the other women in the room– all Icelandic– gasped in “I’d never thought of that!” agreement.

Days later, I spoke with Stefania Katrin Karlsdottir, who has raised two daughters now in their twenties and has worked in a range of industries around the country. I asked her what advice she gave her daughters. She said it was to make friends with the boys when they went to university. If someone calls you and asks you to come up with a list of potential board members, she says, you’ll probably think of people you are friends with. One reason men dominate so many top jobs is because men’s social networks are still mostly dominated by men, she argued. Her daughters took her advice and are both engineers.

The persistent wage gap. There were a lot of theories on why this is. One was that women have lower paying jobs, like teachers. Another was that women prioritize leaving at 4 pm to pick up their kids. Another was that — just like in the US– women ask for less money in the beginning and fail to lobby for raises. Several women in management positions described their discomfort knowing just how unequal the salaries were. Several wished the government would do more to force accountability and radical transparency of salaries in Iceland’s biggest companies.

The role of the government. Culturally, Icelanders are way more comfortable turning to the government to brute-force solve these problems than we are in the US. Part of that is evidence that it’s worked in the past. Woman after woman told me the single most important piece of legislation promoting equality was the way Iceland does family leave.

Families get nine months: Three can only be used for the mothers, three can only be used by the fathers, and three can be split in any way. Families get paid a percentage of their salary during this time. If the fathers don’t use their three months, the family loses it.

This policy was so successful initially that some 90% of men took advantage of it. But then 2008 happened. The crash of 2008 was so devastating, it factors into every cultural, business, or personal narrative I heard in Iceland. After 2008, the percentage of income paid was slashed by some 30%. This as the cost of living has increased substantially in Iceland. And because they were the bigger breadwinners, on average, men stopped taking leave because the family couldn’t justify the income hit. Participation fell by 40% and the Icelandic birth rate is at the lowest level since 1953.

Eva Dogg Gudmundsdottir has children more than ten years apart in age and says the difference in her leave before and after 2008 was staggering. The first time she and the father shared the load and got a large percentage of their regular pay. But this last time, the money paid out was so small that she wound up taking a year’s leave while her partner took none. As such, the bulk of the work of the household fell to her. Her employers, too, began taking projects from her assuming her household duties would grow with a new relationship, three stepkids, and a baby on the way. She described a vicious cycle of her employers pulling back projects out of fear that she’d take over more household duties, and then the pressure to take on more household duties, because — after all– she wasn’t getting more projects at work and had more time. She recently broke the cycle by quitting and starting her own consultancy.

There is an election this fall and a major push is on to go back to the way things were.

It’s not simply that the old policy– and the near universal adoption of it– set the precedent of 50%-50% families from the beginning. It affected hiring and wages for women too. When employers the world over see a young woman, they see a ticking uterus. In a country like Iceland, they also see six months to a year of maternity leave. Three months is the absolute minimum women I spoke with take, and that’s a luxurious leave by US standards.

But when 90% of men are taking advantage of the same parental leave policy, the chance that a young man will be out for three to six months is just as great.

That said, women still take a hit for taking long leaves. One young, ambitious woman I spoke with who didn’t yet have kids, said she assumed she’d have to move jobs after her leave. Although jobs can’t be given away, when you come back after six months, you still have to fight for your place and prove yourself again, she said.
I’m a reluctant liberal in many ways and have been called a “free market monster” before. And yet, I came away from this trip more convinced than ever that federally mandated family leave is essential to gender equality in America.

Thanks in large part to a couple very generous recent donors, we’ve finally surged past our goal of $1,000 a show. That means we’ll start publishing shows weekly, starting next week. (Patrons will still only be charged for two shows a month; these are bonuses!)

We’ve got some exciting guests coming up!

I continue to talk to young women as I work on this project who breathe a sigh of relief when I tell them their uterus isn’t some ticking time bomb and that motherhood has made me– and many women I know– stronger in every way, not weaker. If you know a young woman mulling this major step who has been scared shitless by society, please send them this show!

Meantime, because Patreon wants me to keep aiming higher, I’ve set a new goal of $2,000 per show. If we hit that, we’ll add a fifth podcast a month: This one about entrepreneur dads.

I’ve been asked by plenty of people how dads will figure into my book, and I’m not totally sure yet to be honest. But one thing is clear: This project is about changing a lot of the negative pre-conceived notions of motherhood, and there are plenty of pre-conceived notions of fatherhood that also need to change.

So if you are one of the folks who feels like dads need to be a bigger part of this conversation, or are a new dad trying to figure it out for yourself, I hope you’ll consider pledging/ continue pledging/ or send this to a friend who might pledge.

Every week, I thank our largest patrons on the show, but truly I’m grateful to all of you– especially the ones who pledge $1 per show. While $24 a year may not sound like much, I know for a lot of us– especially parents!– it is.

Each $1 patron sends a strong message that this content is valuable and worthwhile. It not only means a lot to me and the mothers who come on the show, but it sends a signal to my publisher that there is an audience who cares enough to give any amount for this content to exist.

It also sends a message to the media, which all too often doesn’t feature these stories.

The most successful podcast by anyone in the Pando/NSFW family is the War Nerd’s (go here to contribute to that one too!)  and most of the patrons spend just $5 a show to support it.

Don’t get me wrong: Those of you spending $50/$100/$250 a show are a big reason this show is going weekly. It’s a huge endorsement and means a lot to me. But the broader the community supporting in and believing in working moms, the better.

Help us build this community! If you know someone who feels passionately about the topic– pass this podcast on!

And thanks again for your support.  In the current toxic political season combined with the bro culture of Silicon Valley, it’s so gratifying to be able to talk about something uplifting once a week.

I just published an in depth profile for Pando on one of the most successful and yet unheard of female VCs in the business: Ann Miura-Ko.

She was having children amid finishing her PhD, launching a new fund, and doing her first investments– and was confined to bedrest. Her partner, Mike Maples, describes how all working moms are essentially James Bond; ie the develop an ability to just summon up skills at will no matter how chaotic the situation is.

At the end of the piece Ann puts it in terms any mom can relate to: “I was out with my kids recently and one of them got sick. I literally had to catch his vomit in my hand. That’s how we have to roll.”

I will have Ann as a future podcast guest– I promise. As a reminder, we are 60% towards our goal of this becoming a weekly show. If you know a friend who may want to support the project, please share! Our next podcast with Jessica Herrin is phenomenal.

I’m going to stay true to “two a month” and run another one next week, before we hit June. My guest was Nicole Farb of the venture-backed DIY marketplace Darby Smart. Darby is part of that tiny 3% of venture backed companies that have not only a female founder, but a female CEO. (Pando is too, as was our last guest’s company UrbanSitter.)

Nicole was introduced to me by the amazing mom/investor Kirsten Green, who will be a guest on the show in coming weeks! She’s also a friend of Katia Beauchamp of Birchbox who is coming on the show soon too!

One of the most interesting bits: Nicole went from teaching to investment banking to starting a company. We discussed the views of women and motherhood in each of those, and how her expectation of motherhood (with twins no less!) was so different than the reality. I know you’ll enjoy it, so stay tuned next week!

Thanks again for the support!

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