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

Give women the grace and flexibility they need to thrive in their personal and professional lives.

When organizations meet women where they are, recognizing the challenges they have as mothers, women will contribute more than most of their peers. Working after-hours and on weekends is an acceptable solution to many women, if they are treated respectfully for the many roles they must complete successfully.

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

My mother was my biggest mentor because she was the classic example of a woman who did not have a runway. She did not have a mentor and instead of a glass ceiling she was kept in a room with no windows. Because of her, I homed in on my life’s mission to be a warrior for women’s empowerment.

I want women to rise and make their own choices: One of the biggest being if, when, and how many children they have. Consequently, I successfully launched Phexxi (lactic acid, citric acid and potassium bitartrate), a non-hormonal, on-demand prescription contraceptive gel specifically to meet the needs of millions of women who are not satisfied with current birth control options. I also wrote my book, Saddle Up Your Own White Horse, to push women to grab the reins of their own lives by sharing practical candid tips for success.

What is your golden rule at work?

I lead with two rules. Never confuse motion with action and the greatest human need is to feel significant. Results and kindness matter equally. I know that not only do you get more flies with honey, but that when people are respected they will harness constructive feedback and improve results. When people are treated with kindness, no matter what the request, they will over-deliver.  

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

Vodka martinis are a wonderful coping mechanism (LOL). On a serious note, because many working women and mothers wanted to avoid a traditional doctor’s office visit during COVID-19, Evofem launched the Phexxi “Concierge Experience” so that women who qualified could book an appointment through the brand’s telemedicine provider and learn about Phexxi. The response has been tremendous, and since the launch of our DTC marketing campaign on Valentine’s Day, over 300 telehealth appointments were booked and Phexxi was prescribed and dispensed to 100% of these women.

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

I am going to embrace WACDAD — words are cheap and deeds are dear. Because we have seen amazing productivity during COVID with flexible work hours, we are going to examine, evaluate and make adjustments to our corporate culture so that we will maintain positive momentum while recognizing that there are some individuals who are truly more productive in an office setting full-time.