19: Reshma Saujani: Being Brave, Not Perfect & building a Marshall Plan for Moms in the workplace19:

by neeta bhushan


Welcome back, Brave Table fam. I’m so excited to share with you today this powerful conversation with Reshma Saujani, Founder of the Marshall Plan for Moms, Girls Who Code, and Author of Brave, Not Perfect. She also just dropped her latest book, Pay Up: The Future of Women in Work, And Why It’s Not What You Think. Pay Up is about the big lie we’ve been told about corporate feminism, why we need to ditch ‘Lean In’ culture, and fiercely and actively champion gender equality in the workplace. 

Reshma has spent more than a decade fighting for women and girls’ economic empowerment. She also ran for Congress back in the day, where she learned about how the system is rigged against women from the top down. But it was when she became a mom herself and covid hit that things really started to shift for her, as she saw all the working mamas around her (herself included) burn out.

As Reshma says, “Moms don’t break, but moms right now feel like they’re broken.” The workplace hasn’t traditionally been empathetic towards women and mothers, and there’s no doubt that this has been heightened over the past two years. 

Being a mom is something a lot of us feel unconscious shame around—announcing our pregnancy at the last possible minute so we don’t mess up promotion opportunities, apologizing for our kids yelling in the background on Zoom, and basically ‘hiding our motherhood’. 

But mamas and ladies, there is hope for a better future. Reshma says that right now, we have the opportunity to make women and moms feel like they matter. The US is seeing one of the biggest job booms in recent history, and CEOs are desperate. You have the chance to say “I’ll do this on my terms” and create lasting change in the workforce that doesn’t require you to choose between motherhood and your career. 

To change the narrative, we have to change the patriarchal structures currently in place at the top. For example, how many of you have a paid leave structure and childcare, or as a business owner, do you have this for your team members? 

If you’re lucky enough to feel well-supported in these areas, then I invite you to think of the moms and women in your life, your fellow sisters, who might be struggling. Share this conversation with them as your way of saying “I see you” and inspire hope in them that real change is happening.  

Some of the juicy nuggets you’ll get out of this episode: 

  • What is the Marshall Plan for moms and how to start investing in economic recovery and empowerment for women
  • How to build the muscle of asking for what you need in order to thrive
  • Why it’s not your job to fix or mother your partner, but rather to figure out what you need for you 
  • Coping with guilt and shame surrounding what we see about motherhood on social media 
  • How building the workplace for the most vulnerable ends up building it in the most supportive way for everybody
  • Looking at toxic masculinity, changing our preconceived ideas around gender roles, and encouraging corporate policies that encourage men to take paid leave
  • The 4 forces of change, and the practical tips they offer that you can apply today
  • How to bring up the gender gap with your partner and set tangible boundaries around co-parenting
  • Releasing perfection as moms and learning how to “mother out loud” and mother authentically

If you loved this episode, make sure you check out… 

I hope this conversation empowered you to be an agent of change for what’s happening to women in the workplace and the gender gap in our society. And if it did, I would be so grateful if you could leave a 5-star review. After you do, send a screenshot to support@globalgrit.co to receive my FREE course on Emotional Mastery as my gift to you. Thank you again for being here, and see you next time!


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