Women are now leaving the workforce at four times the rate of men. What needs to be done to alleviate this?

The shortest (but certainly not easiest) answer is pay equity.

When families are subjected to the kind of pressures we’ve seen over the past year, it’s not surprising that the lower earner is more likely to take on the increasing domestic burdens as kids need support with virtual school, more meals are consumed at home, etc. And the lower earner is then more likely to leave the workforce to prioritize those domestic responsibilities. 

The pay gap remains, with women earning on average 25% less than men in similar positions. Until we close it, we will continue to see these patterns. 

Who was your mentor and what are you now doing to send the elevator back down?

I learn from everyone I work with. Everyone. Every day. I’ve learned so much, and often quote many great leaders (at all levels) I’ve worked with over my career. 

To send the elevator back down, I stay aware of — and call out — the small biases that guide our everyday decisions. Such as our mental model of what a “leader” looks like. And more importantly, sounds like. We need to actively re-write those mental models in order to make it equally easy for anyone of any background or identity to succeed in business. The truth is, we have a lot of work to do.

What is your golden rule at work?

Well, they’re all variations on “The” Golden Rule. But one I like is: “How a person feels about a task is the result they’ll deliver.”

How have you coped with the unique challenges of the past 12 months?

I’ve tried to keep my senses stimulated. All of them. One small example: I ordered sample kits of dozens of perfumes, so I can smell something different every day.

What are the first things you plan to do when the pandemic ends?

I can’t wait to crack some jokes. Zoom kills comic timing like nothing else.