Eileen Scully, speaker, author and CEO of The Rising Tides, joins the program to discuss her new book, In the Company of Men: How Women can Succeed in a World Built Without Them. Eileen shares her own diversity story and the formative events that led her to create her own consulting firm. Discover the importance of elevating untold stories, and the role of men as allies.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Eileen’s diversity story and what led her to write the book (20:30)
- A microaggression that became a turning point in Eileen’s career (29:00)
- Eileen’s involvement with the Irish-American community in NYC (38:00)
- Eileen’s efforts as an ally to the LGBTQ community (42:00)
- A woman who is disrupting the venture capital space (43:30)
- How change has historically occurred for marginalized communities (60:00)
- The power of our personal stories (68:00)
- The takeaways for male allies (71:00)
- The importance of noticing and elevating untold stories (73:00)
Listen in now, or read on for the transcript of our conversation:
JENNIFER BROWN: Eileen, welcome to The Will to Change.
EILEEN SCULLY: Thank you for having me, Jennifer. This is so fun.
JENNIFER BROWN: I know. I wanted to do this for a long time, and I’m such a fan of yours and we’re friends. We have hung out together. We are authors with Jenn Grace at Publish Your Purpose Press.
EILEEN SCULLY: The greatest.
JENNIFER BROWN: The greatest, the G.O.A.T.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah. Exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: The G.O.A.T. of publishing.
EILEEN SCULLY: Exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: So, Jenn did my first book inclusion, and this is your first book, In The Company of Men with a restroom door picture on the cover with a little pair of high heels on the front. So, we’re going to talk about that.
EILEEN SCULLY: Great.
JENNIFER BROWN: We’re going to talk about your process as an author, I think, because you know that can be a wild and crazy ride to just land your book and finally commit to it, and get it out there. I’m so glad you did. This is so readable. It is full of so much good data, historical data, and current data around the gap that we should all know about for women. The bulk of the book is really featuring these particular women’s stories of triumph, and challenge, and intersectionality, and just they are bad asses, for sure.
So, I was reading them. I know a few of them, but there’s a lot that I don’t. So, I want to know, too, about that format, why you chose it, and also, you’re speaking everywhere. You’re living very much the life I’m living, where we’re always with audiences, and we get to challenge them, and put them into exercises, and blow their minds, and energize them, and equip them, too, with “What do I leave here doing? What have I shown you today? What is my ask?” Right?
Then also, frankly, how to make it very tactical, practical, doable, right? So, I’m back at my job, what do I do next week to really remedy not just what might be happening for me, but also in my organization? Because we are leading the change. I mean, we are not just remedying when we do take action, not just remedying what happens for us, but, of course, the future we’re impacting today and tomorrow for the next generation, which we just need to address so much in our workplaces.
EILEEN SCULLY: That’s the hope, I think, right, is that people leave and think, “How do I participate in this more fully instead of either opting out or hoping that it goes away?”
JENNIFER BROWN: Right, or saying it’s maybe not impacting me, so maybe I don’t need to take action.
EILEEN SCULLY: Exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: I think that’s probably White women. We’ve talked about our lovely white colleagues and ourselves included around, “Well, is this really my issue? What can I do? How can I use my voice?” There’s so many ways, so many ways. So, let me start, though. You have a very interesting early life, and I’ll just let you pause there, and let you share your diversity story. I don’t know how much you talk about it publicly. You shared a little bit about it in the book, but I feel like it begins before what you talk about in the book.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah. So, not to start from day one, but I became a very young single mother. I was in college, and came home for Christmas break, and discovered that I was pregnant. So, I had some big choices in front of me and some big decisions and some big scary things. The point at which I decided I was going to become a parent was probably one of the most seminal moments of my life when I said, “Okay. This is it. We’re doing this.” I also decided on that day that no one was ever going to pity us or pander to us, that it was going to be not evident to anyone that this child, this beautiful girl was being raised by someone who doesn’t have a college degree, who had to leave college, who did it on her own, who struggled and had the lights turned off and the phone turned off back in the days when we had a phone wired into the wall.”
She doesn’t remember a lot of those early years, which is good. I struggled, but here we are, and it’s because of her entirely that all this motivation came through me. We are closer than ever. She’s now in her 30s. She lives abroad. She’s a banker. She blows me away. I say she makes me prouder than I deserve, but there are still times when people that meet her or people that meet me and meet her are surprised to learn that I did it on my own, that we did it on our own.
Part of what I want people to rethink is, “What’s that narrative that you assigned to a teenage single mother, and what she’s capable of, and what she can accomplish?” Because I had a lot of help and a lot of us have help, but ultimately, it comes down to you and the way that you parent, and it’s consistency, and it’s safety for these kids, right?
I talk about in the book how minimum wage earners are predominantly women in their 30s, who have more than one child, who are holding down more than one minimum wage job to try to patch it all together into a consistent secure life, and how challenging that is because there are still people who believe that minimum wage people are transitional or that are on their way to something bigger, and a lot of people aren’t. A lot of people aren’t doing that, and it’s because that’s not available to them.
JENNIFER BROWN: Right. Somebody saw in you, I wonder what that transition was like for you because you would be one of those that was on your way, subsequently.
EILEEN SCULLY: Sure.
JENNIFER BROWN: So, how did that happen? I know we’re going to talk about imposter syndrome in a bit. I am sure you carried all this with you and the knowledge of perhaps your personal life, not having college degree parachuting into and probably being mentored. I know you were mentored by a lot of really amazing people who changed things for you in a real way. So, how did that leap happen? How did it feel in those first days, months, years? I’m sure you also kind of recognized, “Hey, I could be good at this. I could thrive here.”
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah. I think that came later. I think that had to come externally. Again, one of those pivotal moments for me was I had gone into nursing school thinking that that was going to be a short runway to a good career, a flexible career, and a good solid income. It didn’t last. We’re not going to waste time talking about that, but I am not of the personality to be a good nurse. Let’s put it that way.
JENNIFER BROWN: Okay. We’ll leave it there.
EILEEN SCULLY: I think the medical profession is a grateful that I made a pivot, but from there, I went into corporate and I didn’t, again, I didn’t know what I was doing. Back then, this was the early ’90s. The first corporate job that I interviewed for, the woman said, “Well, how many words a minute do you type?” which is old school, but that was one of those secretarial qualifiers.
I said, “I had no idea.”
We hit it off. We’re still very good friends 30 years later, and she hired me. So, from there, that was a really difficult situation because my expectations were so low. I felt like I needed to be grateful that someone would hire me and pay me. Then I started to realize that there was a very exploitative, controlling nature to this small family company. I was like, “I got to get out of here. This is not going to work.”
So, I ended up interviewing, and at the same time, a relationship that I was in was going off the rail. So, everything was blowing up, but it was a really good catharsis in retrospect. So, I interviewed at this other company that was 30 miles away, which felt like I was commuting to Canada, but I ended up working for a woman who believed in me, saw some outsized potential, and pushed me to take risks, and to do things, and to develop my skills, and to get me exposure to people higher up in the company.
That was huge for me. She did remarkable things at a critical time in my career. So, I ended up making a lot more money by the end of that year. The company that I worked for was full of really generous, wonderful people, many of whom I’m still very good friends with. Two men in particular who were the sons of the founders of the company were so kind and financially generous with everybody, but also professionally generous, which is a term that I use in my practice a lot, where we talk about really exposing everyone and sharing that experience with as many people as possible instead of hoarding what your goodness is in an organization.
That taught me a lot about how to really approach the world, and not everybody deserves that from us because not everyone’s capable of giving it back or hasn’t earned it, but there are so many ways that we can spread that magic dust all over an organization and really change some of the culture inherently. So, those were some early experiences that I had, that really set me on a course for, “This is how I want to function in the world of work.”
JENNIFER BROWN: Right, and it’s so wonderful to hear you had female mentors at the time because most of us didn’t. If we had mentors that were like that, it was men.
EILEEN SCULLY: Sure.
JENNIFER BROWN: So, I wondered, I’m sure in those years, those were the first times you saw you were hitting a face with all that can go bad for women in the workplace, too. There’s a couple harrowing stories in your book.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah. I mean, so for myself, as my career started progressing and I started getting more individual responsibility, moved out of administration into a more client-facing higher visibility role. That’s the point that we were talking about earlier where I started to really feel like this was a career and I like this and I was delivering all these great results, presentations, and data to clients, and traveling all over the country, and doing all kinds of cool things, and talk about imposter syndrome.
I’ll never forget there was, here I am, still a college dropout, single mother, trying to just hide all of that. I landed at one of the DOE sites. It was one of my clients. So, I’m in front of all of these nuclear physicists and scientists, and they’re all waiting to hear from me. I thought, “I can’t believe I’m actually in this room.”
I had a conversation with our main client contact at the site and I said, “I just want to let you know this is what I’m feeling right now and just have my back on this.”
He was like, “We always have your back. You’ve never let us down.”
I was like, “Okay.”
Through those experiences, I was like, “I’ve actually earned this. I’ve actually earned this place in my life,” and it was a great run, a great job. That said, one of the guys, and again, these things are, you call them microaggressions if you want, but they happen to so many of us in so many ways.
There was one guy who made a comment one day. I detailed the story in the book that as a single mother, as someone who wanted to just keep that aspect of my life completely out of my career, I never wanted to be favored because of that. I never wanted to be marked as anyone, and I didn’t want anyone minding my business, particularly my sexuality and who I was sleeping with and why and when.
This guy made a comment. I’d had a car accident, and they saw the cop drop me off in front of the office. This guy yells out to the whole office, “What did they get you for? Prostitution?” You know me. I don’t shrink. I’m not a small person.
JENNIFER BROWN: You’re a fighter.
EILEEN SCULLY: Right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah.
EILEEN SCULLY: But that hit me in the gut. Here we are 20 years later, and it still makes me cringe, and makes my stomach turn because it was so obnoxious. It was so sexualized. As I say in the book, if he had said shoplifting, I would have laughed. I would have forgotten all about it, but I felt like that was directed at me for that reason. This was a guy who probably sexualized everyone in the office at some point or another, but to do it in that way, it was just … Again, I relay that story because it’s so indicative of something that seems like not a big deal, but it was a really big deal, and at that point in my career.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah, when you were still unsteady, perhaps, and believing in your-
EILEEN SCULLY: Well, I finally feeling-
JENNIFER BROWN: Finally starting to-
EILEEN SCULLY:… like I had earned this place.
JENNIFER BROWN: Right. It was fragile.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah. Well, exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: Right.
EILEEN SCULLY: Exactly. He’s now-
JENNIFER BROWN: Well, I was going to ask.
EILEEN SCULLY: No, I don’t want to really talk about what he’s doing, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Okay. We’ll leave that.
EILEEN SCULLY: Let’s put it this way. He’s not writing books and speaking all over the world.
JENNIFER BROWN: Right. Right. Well, hell no.
EILEEN SCULLY: Right.
JENNIFER BROWN: The ends justify. Well, yeah, I think it kicked you in the butt, I’m sure, and made you look at this and say … Then when did you feel called to lead in the conversation? So, it hits us at different points in our lifetimes and it’s never too late to wake up and say, “I think I have a voice and something to teach, and I need to teach it in my way.” I’m sure that culminated in the book, but the why you, what viewpoint would it … I don’t want to make us feel like imposters when I ask the question of, “Why you?”
I remember when I was first starting out thinking about building more inclusive workplaces, and I had a friend who was a little bit hard on me. She’s a hard ass, in general. She’s like, “Well, why you? What equips you to do this work? How do you think you’ll be successful?” Doubting me.
I didn’t take too kindly with that, but I remember that moment because I thought, “Why me? Why? What am I going to contribute that’s unique when it’s been written about ad nauseum or there’s a lot of speakers or it’s a crowded space?” Thank God it’s a crowded space, right? There’s always more room for us, but at least now there’s a bunch of us who are writing and speaking, whatever. So, how did you feel called and then how did that manifest when you were still a corporate employee because you worked for your own, for yourself now for how many years?
EILEEN SCULLY: Well, so, it’s interesting because today, January 15th, five years ago was the last time I’ll ever get fired. So, I had worked for this tiny little firm in New York, and they decided to go in a different direction. I’ll never forget I got on the train with my walking papers, and by the time I got off up in New Haven, I had decided, “This is what we’re doing. It’s time. I’m not putting my future in anybody else’s hands again.” I’ve never looked back. It’s been a remarkable journey.
To answer your question more specifically, in 2005, I had gotten invited to speak at a Women in Technology Conference run by Liz Ryan, who’s a workplace guru. She’s been in it for years, and she used to have this Women in Technology segment. So, she hosted this event and invited me to speak.
At that time, this was 2005, people were talking about what to wear to an interview, how do you write your resume, if you’ve taken time off to raise your kids, how do you position that, all valid stuff, but then I get up there and I’m like, “Listen, ladies. We got to do this better with each other. We are not helping each other in the way we can and we can be so much stronger if we band together and do this in an intentional way for the benefit of all of us because it’s not just those of us in the room that need to hear this. It’s everyone.”
People got up and walked out of the room. They didn’t want to hear it. They’d rather hear what size heel to wear to an interview. Then there were other women who are still very good friends of mine, who queued up to talk to me after I spoke because they were, “No one’s talking about this and we need to hear this, and we need to echo this, and women need to get this message.”
Again, the beaches weren’t quite soft yet at that point, so I didn’t and I had a kid in college, and I needed an income, and I wasn’t ready, but I launched the concept. After that, I kept thinking, “There’s something. There’s something here.”
So, then five years ago, today, 2015, when I got home, I started thinking, “What’s this going to look like? How am I going to do this?” Exactly your question, “Why me? What do I have that’s unique to share with people?”
What I ended up with was, and it became the framework for the book, is we talk a lot about the first woman that’s done something. We talk a lot about how great it is when women hit certain levels of achievement, right? I know a couple of years ago, a bunch of us were really excited to think that we might finally have our first woman president of the United States.
Those are big moments and I don’t mean to diminish any of that, but what I want to focus on is, and the book really hones in really tightly on this is, yeah, these are women that are doing incredible things, but they’re also changing the spaces that they inhabit to make them easier for other people to access, and not just women, right?
So, there are a couple of women in the book who are changing their spaces for everyone to make that path or as I say, make that lane wider for people. That’s my differentiator, and that’s how I go about all of my engagements. All of my talks is we got to work together, and you can’t just hit a level of achievement and stop. You’ve got to, what do they say? Lift while rising.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes.
EILEEN SCULLY: Right? That’s the concept that I really get through to everybody that leaves any of my talks or reads my book.
JENNIFER BROWN: Well, it reminds me of how we talk about how women create change versus men. We tend to think of the whole, and we tend to think of legacy. We think about who’s missing. So, we do-
EILEEN SCULLY: Because we’ve been missing in a lot of these spaces.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah, right. So, it’s personal. It’s personal.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah.
JENNIFER BROWN: I love the… I think also a message of any of us can build a life like this and have a legacy like this.
EILEEN SCULLY: Exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: So, the ordinariness, if you will, not that that’s a bad word, but the highlighting of voices that aren’t the Hillary Clintons, but it makes it more reachable for us.
EILEEN SCULLY: Accessible, yeah.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah, and I think we’ve got to demystify what the success looks like. That it’s scrappy, that it’s every day, that it’s showing up, it’s being brave, it’s being consistent, it’s telling the truth, it’s gathering your tribe using the power of community. I love the story about your sportscaster, the woman, the first chapter, right?
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah.
JENNIFER BROWN: Tell me about what inspired you about her story, in particular? What was that inflection point for her?
EILEEN SCULLY: Sure.
JENNIFER BROWN: Then how is she building the legacy now in sports, which is just incredible.
EILEEN SCULLY: She’s amazing. She’s amazing. So, I love that you pulled that one out because she was the first person that I found that I said, “This is the book. This is how I’m going to structure this.”
So, her name is Laura Okmin. She was featured on Real Sports on HBO a couple of years ago before I started writing the book. I started outlining and thinking as you do, right? You start just meandering on a page when you’re writing a book. I see this feature on Laura, and it talked about she was this NFL sportscaster, sideline reporter. Many of you, if you follow the NFL, you know her voice, you know her face, you know her approach and her rapport with the players is unbelievable.
She started in the ’90s and she started to see her broadcasting assignments going to not only younger female reporters, but the younger reporters who were not prepared with the research and the relationships to get the good sideline interviews. So, Laura thought to herself, “I could quit. I could just let this work itself out, go do something else or I could really help make these aspiring young women broadcasters better.”
So, that’s what she did. So, instead of … You can understand. Here’s a woman who’s lived her life on the sidelines, knows football better than most of the men in my life, has these incredible relationships with all these different athletes and coaches, and she’s taking it to every other young woman who wants to participate.
So, she’s got this, she calls it a boot camp in that I believe happens in August when she matches up these young women with a team, embeds them, they do their research, they do mock interviews, they’re on the sidelines, and they’re developing these relationships.
So, again, the name of my consulting business is The Rising Tides because this is exactly it. So, she’s rising these tides of these young, credible female sportscasters in a way that no one else had done before.
So, when I saw that segment, I thought, “This is the model.” Now, I went and I found eight other women who follow that same type of model where they’re doing things from inside these industries, busting them up, changing them, and making them more accessible.
The beauty of it is I reached out to Laura, I found her website, and just sent through the website an email, and I said, “You don’t know me. I want to talk to you. I’m maybe writing a book. I want to know if you’re open to that.” She got back to me within a day or two, and now, we’re buddies. She’s been remarkably generous. So, yeah, it’s been great.
JENNIFER BROWN: So, the lesson in this is everyone is just a LinkedIn message away.
EILEEN SCULLY: That’s how we met. I reached out to you and I was like, “Okay. You’re a couple of years farther down the road than me. Let’s sit down and tell me what I’m screwing up and tell me what you do differently.”
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, bless you.
EILEEN SCULLY: You were so generous.
JENNIFER BROWN: I love those conversations because I remember I’m perceiving anyway that there was no one I could ask those questions of.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah, sure, sure.
JENNIFER BROWN: It was very hard to feel. I often say women and other underrepresented talent is under-mentored and very under-sponsored, and the difference between those, of course, is the mentoring, is the coaching perhaps behind the scenes, career guidance, and the sponsorship is the sharing of the, I think you called it professional resources, professional capital. It’s power sharing, really.
EILEEN SCULLY: I also tell people, “You can ask somebody to be your mentor. Your sponsor chooses you.” You can ask people to be your sponsor, but they likely won’t. They’re going to pick you because they do have to put some risk into it.
JENNIFER BROWN: They do. They’re vouching for you.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah, and listeners, I just want to tell you the first time Jennifer and I met, we sat for three and a half hours.
JENNIFER BROWN: We have to wrap this podcast up shorter than that, but, oh, my God. It’s a lot between us each, a lot.
EILEEN SCULLY: Think carefully if you want to put us on a stage together someday.
JENNIFER BROWN: That would be fabulous.
EILEEN SCULLY: It would be great.
JENNIFER BROWN: Planting the seed.
EILEEN SCULLY: It would be great.
JENNIFER BROWN: It’s so good. We have our Irish heritage, which we’ll talk about in a second. Well, let’s pause and talk about that for a second.
EILEEN SCULLY: Sure.
JENNIFER BROWN: You’re super involved with the Irish-American society or community here in New York. You’ve won awards with them. There’s a women’s committee within it. Tell us about getting in touch with that piece of your heritage. You march in pride as a proud ally.
EILEEN SCULLY: With the consulate, yeah.
JENNIFER BROWN: With the consulate. I have Irish and Scottish roots as well, but I’m not as in touch with them as you are. So, how does that feel? Does that feel like coming home and closing a circle for you in terms of your background and your identity and how you experience it?
EILEEN SCULLY: Sure.
JENNIFER BROWN: I might ask, what’s the diversity conversation like in that community?
EILEEN SCULLY: Well, so, I’ll answer the diversity question by saying we’re mostly all Irish or Irish-Americans in the community, but to have the Irish consulate two, it’ll be three years this June, two years ago, sponsor and organize a bannered segment of the pride parade where we could proudly stand with our LGBT, Irish, non-Irish, everyone behind the consulate banner and under the tri-color silk was for me, I wouldn’t have missed it. It was powerful, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Can you give us context of why that’s such a big deal for some folks that-
EILEEN SCULLY: Well, yeah, because the Catholics in Ireland have for years just ignored or disenfranchised LGBTQ members of the Irish community. So, I believe it was four or five years ago, same sex marriage was approved in Ireland, and they’re coming into the 21st century, but the repeal act for the women with abortion two years ago was huge. So, we’re making strides into a world where everyone is welcome, and sinners and saints, and Irish and non-Irish. It’s a place where it’s feeling more like home for me, right?
I found out when I was pregnant with my daughter, one of the things that I learned, I’m an adopted child. I was adopted by my family at three months old, but I was always told, “You’re Irish,” and my personality is very indicative of that. When I was pregnant with my daughter, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I found out that, indeed, both of my birth parents were born and raised in Ireland and came here.
I believe he was 20 and she was 18 and I was born here. I joked that I was conceived on a boat because I’m literally on the voyage. So, this whole Irish-America community, and the acknowledgements, and the awards that I’ve given could not be more deeply personal for me because it’s a way of acknowledging the gift that she gave to my parents, and the gift of me and my life.
I had an uncle who used to say, “You celebrate all of your ethnicity, but you always lead with your Irish.” It’s something that people always want to be. There’s a day every year that everybody wants to be Irish, and I always say, “There’s never been a day I’ve wanted to be anything but.” I think now that I’m getting older, I’m feeling like it’s something that’s becoming more and more important in terms of my identity, and my roots, and my lineage. So, yeah, it’s powerful stuff.
JENNIFER BROWN: Beautiful. Thank you so much for elaborating on that. You’re being an ally within that community for the LGBTQ community.
EILEEN SCULLY: Oh, absolutely.
JENNIFER BROWN: I know LGBT people touch your life all day. I mean, Arlan Hamilton’s one of the women you profile, and I want to hear about her story, and give the listeners a little context around lack of diversity in the VC world, which is what Arlan’s really going after in a big way, cover of Fast Company magazine. I’m a big fan. We’re friends on Twitter. I hope I get to meet Arlan someday.
EILEEN SCULLY: She’s brilliant. Yeah. She’s an HBR case study now.
JENNIFER BROWN: Incredible.
EILEEN SCULLY: She’s amazing. So, she was one of the first people that I also identified as a great story that I wanted to tell. So, Arlan Hamilton has really punched her way, literally, into the VC world. She had no finance background. She had a real hard scrabble approach to it, but this woman is unstoppable. So, she’s now developed an investment fund where she’s investing only in women founders, people of color founders, and LGBT founders, and the cross-section between all of those.
In the book, I detail how very, very White and male is the venture capital space, and a lot of it is because when all of this venture capital money blew up was back in, again, the late ’90s. There’s a group they call the PayPal Mafia, and these were all the original guys who cashed out in a big way from this crazy PayPal that was revolutionary. It was like Netflix in Hollywood for banking and payment processing.
So, these guys made piles of cash and started, as they should, started investing in the companies of their friends and family. So, there’s a graphic on the web somewhere, just Google PayPal Mafia, that shows interactively each of them and all the different companies that they’ve touched and the financing that’s going around.
So, much of that is informed by White male investors. So, there are companies, and opportunities, and legitimate business that Arlan is uncovering and highlighting that got dismissed because the relevancy to the White male Patagonia vest guy was lost, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: The Patagonia vest.
EILEEN SCULLY: Well, you know what I’m talking about, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah, I do. Oh, I do.
EILEEN SCULLY: It used to be the sweater vest in the ’90s, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: I know. Oh, my God!
EILEEN SCULLY: Now, it’s the Patagonia vest and the goatees, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: We’re dating ourselves. Oh, my gosh! Yes.
EILEEN SCULLY: It’s that segment that has so strongly influenced, and is why we run into the problems that women on Twitter run into, women on all these other technology platforms because they were created largely by men who didn’t factor in any kind of harassment barriers.
So, when you’re not someone who is experiencing these things, when you build something, you’re not going to build to prevent it because it’s not part of your awareness.
JENNIFER BROWN: It’s not going to occur to you.
EILEEN SCULLY: No.
JENNIFER BROWN: You know what? I was just invited to be on the VR industry, virtual reality industry, and all the techpreneurs in that space are building a DE&I code of conduct, and commitment, and pledge.
EILEEN SCULLY: That’s amazing.
JENNIFER BROWN: It’s so early, right? It’s one of these ground floor industries we know is going to be giant. We just all know this, but it’s just getting started. It’s such an honor to be asked again on Twitter.
EILEEN SCULLY: Of course. Of course.
JENNIFER BROWN: This guy approached me and he’s running this coalition of all of us, and we’re a mix of entrepreneurs, and tech people, and big company, and small company, consultants. Between all of us, maybe we can set the compass in the right direction. Maybe we can prevent at least one industry from growing up with no attention paid and nobody at the table that’s asking these questions.
This is how it’s happened. So, we’re dealing with the aftermath of that and we’re trying to function and succeed and thrive in workplaces that weren’t built by us and for us. We haven’t had anyone seeing it through our lens to say, “Even if I’m not in the room as a woman, is there a male ally in that room who can say, ‘This doesn’t feel right to me,’ or ‘I’m not comfortable with that,’ or ‘Why are-‘”
EILEEN SCULLY: “What if this happened?”
JENNIFER BROWN: Right, and that’s what we want. I mean, it’s a great segue to the topic of your book and the title, I mean, In the Company of Men: How Women Can Succeed in a World Built Without Them. Brilliant.
EILEEN SCULLY: Thank you.
JENNIFER BROWN: I love it, and it’s a call-in and an invitation to men, and you actually have a straight White male executive write the foreword to the book. It’s something I thought of and wanted. I opted not to do a foreword in the end, but I thought this is such an important audience that I think I have a particular ability to reach and to include in a way that’s not shaming or necessarily blaming.
EILEEN SCULLY: Exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: You can still be, as we always talk about, you can still be complicit in something that’s messed up, and causing all kinds of harm, and not be responsible for it originally, but the nuance here is we are responsible for it now. Some of us have more power to actually shift it than others. Like you and I sitting here because of our demographic, we can agitate from the stage all day, we can write books, but those in power, which tend to be our straight White male colleagues, they really matter. I felt in writing my second book, I felt particularly, “I got to give people, I got to equip people with a way in to this, and I have to detail the how, and I have to be specific, and I have to be practical, and I got to do it in as few pages as possible because I want it to be a quick and easy read,” which was a battle with my publisher.
He was like, “It’s too long.”
It was very difficult to write a smaller book, and a simpler book, but I’m grateful to the editor, and I’m proud of my pulling it in to say there’s a million things I could say, and a million rants I could go on, and a million people I would have loved to write about like you have, but I was like, “You know what? At the end of the day, maybe I should come up with a model,” which is what I ended up doing, “to say follow these steps.” You could even put a blindfold on and just be like, “Okay. So, Jennifer says I’m in step one, here’s what I need to do.”
It was, in a way, counterintuitive to my want to story-tell and wax very, very detailed and wide, but we have to teach this stuff in a consumable way.
EILEEN SCULLY: Practical.
JENNIFER BROWN: I’m sure it was hard for you to land the plane and be like, “So, I could write 20 books, but this is the one I’m going to do,” as I’m sure it’s your first of many I would imagine.
EILEEN SCULLY: Well, yeah, I can’t imagine doing it again. It’s like having a child. It’s like, “Okay.” You go through all that pain and then you’re like, “Oh, man! You did it again. Me, too? Right. Me, too.”
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, my gosh! I was in that weird, happy place after mine came out where I was like, “Okay. Number three.”
EILEEN SCULLY: Oh, this is fun.
JENNIFER BROWN: Now, I’m like, “No. Oh, gosh! I just need to metabolize it.” Do you have any guesses for what might be next for you? I mean, what do you think you could write on having discovered what you’ve discovered perhaps through this that is needed?
EILEEN SCULLY: So, what’s been interesting for me is, again, you touched on Ronan. Ronan Dunn wrote my foreword. He is the EVP/CEO of the Verizon consumer business. He’s a wonderful, also an Irish-American. I met him through that community. He is just a wonderful human being who has built at Verizon a management team that is diverse, full of women, full of international people, full of LGBT people. He is just the most wonderful, open person who finds the right person for the right job without going to the easy route, which is the sons of the friends-
JENNIFER BROWN: Hire your friends.
EILEEN SCULLY: Right. I mean, we’ve all seen that, and some of us have benefited from it, too. Let’s be honest, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes. Very true.
EILEEN SCULLY: I would see that the next book would be a mirror of these stories about the Lauras and the Arlans and the other women that I feature, but it could be men that are opening that space for women in a very demonstrable, repeatable metric way, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes, not just because I say I’m an ally, right? It’s got to be robust by our standards, meaning, “Wait a second. Okay. You got this award, but what do you do on a day-to-day basis to actually implement this and according to whom?” Because I do think there’s too much humility amongst women and there’s too little humility amongst men. You and I were laughing before our favorite statistic, which is men go for the job if they’ve got less than the qualifications.
EILEEN SCULLY: 60%, right, right.
JENNIFER BROWN: Women won’t go for the job unless they are over-indexed on the qualification. So, this plays out in terms of inclusive leadership, I think-
EILEEN SCULLY: Absolutely.
JENNIFER BROWN:… to say, “Oh, good. Good for me. Let me beat my chest and say I’m an ally.” I always say you’re only an ally if someone in an affected group calls you one and they’re looking for that.
EILEEN SCULLY: Exactly. It’s like being a thought leader.
JENNIFER BROWN: Right. Exactly.
EILEEN SCULLY: I don’t call myself a thought leader.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah. That’s weird.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah. Right, right. Honestly, there are so many companies that, and I’m sure you have this, too, that reach out and want to do some work.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes, all the time.
EILEEN SCULLY: Then I look at who they are. I look at who’s running the company. I look at how much budget they’re giving D&I and women’s leadership initiatives. Then I look at, do they have a supplier diversity metric in place? Do they require their suppliers to have a certain diversity quotient? Are they holding their suppliers to a higher level than themselves?
Then we have a tough conversation, which is, “How is this your business practice, and I’m in full support of supplier diversity, but let’s look at how you’re running this company, too,” right? So, it’s to your point that there’s a lot of pat yourself on the back.
My dad used to say, “You pat yourself on the back too hard, you’ll knock yourself out,” right?
JENNIFER BROWN: Wisdom.
EILEEN SCULLY: So, you got to let somebody else acknowledge and see the actual results of what you’re trying to do in your organization.
JENNIFER BROWN: I love that you’re digging into supplier diversity, one of my favorite topics. Are you a certified women-owned?
EILEEN SCULLY: Not yet.
JENNIFER BROWN: Okay.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah.
JENNIFER BROWN: It’s in the plan.
EILEEN SCULLY: Ton of paperwork.
JENNIFER BROWN: Ton of paperwork, yes, and your taxes and all of it.
EILEEN SCULLY: I am paperwork averse, yes, but the cover of my book, when we talk about spaces that were built without women and doing all the research, and my book is dense with research and numbers and data.
JENNIFER BROWN:… but readable, so readable.
EILEEN SCULLY: Thank you. Yeah. I tried years of training in my research background, but one of the stories I uncovered that didn’t fit into my model, so it wasn’t a story that I could tell. Also, one of my things was I wanted everyone that I featured to be a living, breathing human being right now. I didn’t want to talk about a lot of history, but I discovered this story about a woman named Ethel Winant, who was the first female executive promoted at CBS TV. This was in the ’70s.
When they promoted her, they moved her office up to where the other executives were, and not only was there no women’s room on that floor, there was no lock on the men’s room. So, the image on my book cover is shoes outside of the men’s room door because the story goes that Ethel had to leave her shoes outside the door to let the men know that she was using the restroom.
Now, I don’t want to think about going into a men’s room barefoot.
JENNIFER BROWN:… in stocking feet. Oh, my God! Any of the stockings, you know it was.
EILEEN SCULLY: Right, right. So, poor Ethel. Ethel deserves-
JENNIFER BROWN: Thank you, Ethel.
EILEEN SCULLY: The subtitle of the book is how women can be successful in a world built without them, this is an actual physical architectural space built thinking women would never need to be there, and Ethel got there. Here’s how Ethel made it work.
So, actually, through my research and through everything that I was doing, I was actually able to track down and I emailed back and forth with one of her sons, and I said, “I just want to let you know that this story, I want to tell it somehow and it’s now going to be the cover of my book because it so perfectly encapsulates everything.” To your point earlier, it was not done with malicious intent. It was just this massive oversight when they were building this space to not include a women’s room.
It was like, “We will never need that,” right? So, I wanted that to be the visual to your point like, “What’s this about and why are there high heels outside of here?”
JENNIFER BROWN: Right. I love it. It’s so provocative.
EILEEN SCULLY: So, her son was thrilled and I sent him a copy of the book.
JENNIFER BROWN: I’m sure. Oh, those early women were such trailblazers. We stand on the shoulders.
EILEEN SCULLY: So many of them, and so many of them whose names we’ll never know.
JENNIFER BROWN: Right.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah. So, in the beginning of the book, I have a timeline where I try to quantify the point at which a man achieved a certain thing, and then how long it took a woman to get there. So many of these women that you’re referring to, these nameless women that we’ll never know, aren’t documented anywhere.
So, I couldn’t find a lot of the data that I was hoping to find. A lot of the things like political positions are easy to document and put on a timeline, but there’s so many other women who achieved things that are lost forever, right? A lot of it is because let’s say they authored a some remarkable piece of research that their name was taken off of it or the men that they worked with took credit for their work, right?
JENNIFER BROWN: We’ll never know.
EILEEN SCULLY: Right. So many of them. So, that stops now.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes, it does.
EILEEN SCULLY: We all need to extol and amplify the success of each other as much as we can.
JENNIFER BROWN: You’re right. Can I ask you about board representation? You brought up the California law. So, all public companies need to have placed at least one woman on their board by the end of 2019, and then in the next-
EILEEN SCULLY: That’s in California.
JENNIFER BROWN: California, right.
EILEEN SCULLY: So, companies that are in publicly traded companies in California. There were very few. Most of them are other where … A lot of them incorporate in Delaware because the tax laws are so favorable there.
JENNIFER BROWN: Of course. Oh, that’s a good point.
EILEEN SCULLY: Still, it’s a movement.
JENNIFER BROWN: It’s progress, and then graduated requirement is what two out of every five, three out of every seven by 2021.
EILEEN SCULLY: I believe, yeah.
JENNIFER BROWN: I think, and then you shared that that would mean we have 670 more female board members than we have now. Can you imagine? This is the way you use data as a storyteller. I think you’re so talented in that. I mean, please, everybody, read the first, at the very least, the stuff that you lead into the stories with because you have way of I think boiling down to very sterling truths and realities that we’re sitting here with. I mean, do you think that … It’s sad to me the bar is so low that this would be the requirement and it would need to be a requirement.
Yet, I’ve always been a real fan of what they’ve done in Europe with board requirements, 40% women on boards. I always laugh and say, “Lo and behold, they found enough women.” I mean, remember the-
EILEEN SCULLY: Talented, intelligent women.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes, and the sky didn’t fall. These companies didn’t fail because they added more women to the board. What a mystery. How did that happen?
EILEEN SCULLY: Look at what the UK has done now with pay scales, too. So, Carrie Gracie, who is a brilliant woman, she was running the BBC China Bureau, and quit because she discovered she was making significantly less than her male counterparts that were running other divisions and other, let’s say, less populous countries. She brought it to the government in the UK. Now, they have a mandate that says that pay scales need to be transparent and women need to be paid the same.
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, my gosh!
EILEEN SCULLY: Now, we can have the conversation about it’s a much smaller country over there, their economics are at a different place than the United States, but it’s a start, right? It’s a statement that they believe in the absolute equality of women in a workplace environment.
JENNIFER BROWN: Imagine. Why are we so allergic as a country? Maybe your view as a first generation Irish-American, right? What is it? I often wonder why we are so darn individualistic. We don’t want to be forced to do anything. I come up against this with the meritocracy argument.
EILEEN SCULLY: Exactly.
JENNIFER BROWN: When I’m talking about, “Why do I need to give a second look to anyone who’s not a White guy that I’m interviewing? Why should I positively bias a candidate slate?” I say, “Well, if you don’t positively bias it towards the missing people, no change of any kind of substances or lastingness is going to happen.”
EILEEN SCULLY: That’s what they want. They don’t want any change.
JENNIFER BROWN: I know.
EILEEN SCULLY: I mean, you can look right now. There’s a heated conversation in the NFL about the ineffectiveness of the Rooney rule, which requires that you include minority candidates in any coaching position that’s open. So, I believe there were five African-American coaches in the NFL and it’s now down to three, and they’ve replaced some with White men.
The idea that the NFL is comprised of, I believe it’s 80% of the players are African American, and they’re being coached almost exclusively by White men, tells you that, “So, the reason the NFL says women can’t be refs, women can’t be on the coaching staff because you’ve never played the game. You’ve never played the game.”
So, all these African-American guys have been playing the game and making piles of money for the owners, and the coaches, and the franchises, and then they’re not … Maybe in some them don’t want it, but those who do would be phenomenal coaches given the opportunity, and relatability to the younger guys that are coming up in the league.
So, that argument falls apart when you talk about, “Okay. Who’s qualified? Who’s not? Who’s the best person to coach this?” and NFL teams are really known for being widely diverse, and when they succeed and you look at their rosters and you think, “Why can’t we mirror this in corporate and be just as successful with this slate of guys with varied backgrounds, all different educations that they’ve come through, and all different experiences in their lives, and yet they can coalesce and win championships in a highly competitive league?”
JENNIFER BROWN: Well, sports analogies always work well in corporate.
EILEEN SCULLY: I know.
JENNIFER BROWN: As you and I know.
EILEEN SCULLY: Again, I grew up with all boys, so I always have to drop one into the conversation.
JENNIFER BROWN: You can speak the language, but your analogy and your question is good, which is why … So, what is so different about the corporate environment? You would think of all the analogies you could make. That would be the one that would work. Yet-
EILEEN SCULLY: I mean, it really does.
JENNIFER BROWN:… but it’s not happening. So, it’s just I don’t know, sometimes I think corporate is slow to change, businesses are risk averse. There’s a lot of protecting of power.
EILEEN SCULLY: What’s the risk when we say risk averse?
JENNIFER BROWN: I don’t know. The risk is not doing it.
EILEEN SCULLY: Well, and that’s just it. So, the risk is also … Let’s go back to Arlan Hamilton and the venture capital. The risk is that you’re overlooking-
JENNIFER BROWN: All this brilliance-
EILEEN SCULLY:… huge potential-
JENNIFER BROWN: And all this money.
EILEEN SCULLY:… for huge investment. So, what’s the calculated risk there?
JENNIFER BROWN: What’s the holdup? I mean, if everybody’s motivated by the bottom line and we present this business case over and over again, what is the hesitation?
EILEEN SCULLY: Again, some of it is, going back to, can I say the P word? Patriarchy?
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes.
EILEEN SCULLY: We live in a very White male society here in the United States, and it was founded by and for White straight men, and every other law was not accessible to those of us who sit outside of those classifications. We were brought into those laws only through protest and dissent. There was not a group of White men that came to it on their own that said, “Let’s give women the right to vote. Let’s change the three-fifths rule and make African-American citizens full citizens with full voting rights.” It was through protest.
So, we’re still in that space and a lot of the work that you and I do goes gently against that space, but there are times and opportunities that I’ve had to get a little bit more vocal, you’ve had to get a little bit more vocal and say, “No. This is not the way this should continue. This is not helping those of us outside of these categories, and we need to bring everybody in and through all of these opportunities. There’s no exclusivity on success.”
JENNIFER BROWN: Right, and I think the people that have advocated, that needs to change, right? It’s those who are affected doing all the work. I obsess about this idea of this emotional labor or the leadership role that women might be playing for their company on the side of their desk to make their company a better place for women.
EILEEN SCULLY: Of course.
JENNIFER BROWN: Why are they the only ones that have these conversations? So, I do predict, and I know that you’re going to be on this journey with me, that the messenger of all of this, and the fighter for all of it, and the advocate for it. That’s the piece that needs to change.
The message is we know what it is. It’s the question to me of who’s fighting for this and how much power do they have. With one stroke of a pen, I wish leaders would understand how much easier it is. It would take us years to accomplish something that might be done so quickly and without a lot of risk on the part of someone. That’s the part that I feel like we’re like a fly against the screen, hitting ourselves over and over and over again to create change, and it hurts us. Actually, it injures us. We take risks that could hurt our careers, hurt our relationships, standing apart when you break that code and you tell the truth.
We talk about the man box all the time on this, and it’s hazardous. Men are learning that stand as allies that, “I am breaking this code, this unspoken code, sometimes spoken, by challenging that joke or comment or saying, ‘That’s not okay. It’s not okay with me.'”
We need more risk-takers like that, but at the same time, I want to say that it’s actually okay. So, you take that risk once. You’ve got to have so much empathy for those of us that are taking those risks every single day. You and I sit in fairly privileged identities, so we’re not at all on the other end of this. We’re in the middle somewhere, and I think we’ve got things we can do more easily than others, and there’s ways that we need the sponsorship, and the support, and the protection, and somebody else to take a risk for us.
So, you’ve taken a risk. I don’t think, it doesn’t feel like a risk to you. It feels like a joy to write a book like this, so that you can get these stories out there.
EILEEN SCULLY: It was pretty scary, though.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah, I’m sure. I know. What were you afraid of? What was the worst that could happen? I mean, I would just imagine the title alone, stepping into the whole question of, “Oh, wait. You’re inviting men into this or are you criticizing men?” I’ve had both of those as I try to just simply include and talk about. I’ve been worried about attacks from all sides.
EILEEN SCULLY: Of course, of course.
JENNIFER BROWN: Have any those materials-
EILEEN SCULLY: My subtitle, which is the title of a lot of the talks that I give is sometimes polarizing, right? So, I was speaking at an event with the Poynter Institute in the fall, and it was for their top women digital leaders. It was an amazing group of alive, electric, engaged women. I could have been with them for three days.
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, I love that.
EILEEN SCULLY: While we’re in the session, and it was an invite-only private session, while we’re in there, someone who was at the event outside was like, “What’s with all the man-hating going on in the …?” Right? Not addressing at all what we were talking about in the session, which was, again, how do we sponsor each other better so we can have more female voices in journalism like Yamiche Alcindor, like Masha Gessen, like Julie K. Brown for Christ’s sake. How do we get more of those voices to get those bylines and tell those stories because they’re told very differently when they’re told through the male lens. We need women telling those stories.
It was, to your point, misread by the person outside of the room. I mean, I’m happy to take some arrows on that stuff if those opportunities keep coming. The big fear with launching the book was, as you know, once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.
JENNIFER BROWN: That is so true.
EILEEN SCULLY: I was thinking … Okay. There were two things that happened. Two or three weeks before we launched, I found out we were launching the same day as the Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey book on Harvey Weinstein, which I knew was going to be big, and the same day as the new Margaret Atwood book. So, I was like, “Okay. I’m going to lose all the attention that I was hoping to draw.” It was fine. My book actually ended up getting positioned with the Jodi Kantor book.
JENNIFER BROWN: Lovely. Look at that.
EILEEN SCULLY: People frequently buy these together. I was like, “Oh, that’s good!”
JENNIFER BROWN: “Amazon, thank you for the algorithm.”
EILEEN SCULLY: Right, right. I’ll take it. So, I drafted behind some goodness there.
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, that’s good.
EILEEN SCULLY: I did buy the Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey book.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes, yes.
EILEEN SCULLY: It’s the idea that it’s yourself, it’s out there. There’s a little vulnerability for me and I didn’t want that in the book. My editor was like, “Well, we need you to frame this. It’s why you’re-”
JENNIFER BROWN: I was told the same thing.
EILEEN SCULLY: It’s great advice.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah, it’s good advice.
EILEEN SCULLY: Because I was going into the timeline of achievement and then launching into the Laura story, the Arlan story, the other stories. There was no through line there.
JENNIFER BROWN: There’s no Eileen.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah. So, okay, I’ll put some of myself in there, which I did not want to do.
JENNIFER BROWN: I know. I know. I went through the same exact thing. I mean, literally, the first book, Jenn Grace will tell you. The team would read a chapter and let me know, “We need more Jennifer here, we need more Jennifer here. We haven’t heard from Jennifer in a while.” So, literally, physically, I have to go back in and think of something that I could share that I was willing to share.
EILEEN SCULLY: Right, and that’s relevant.
JENNIFER BROWN: Right, because, also, we’re teachers and I think when you speak and teach, we are coming all that time from that lens, and yet our personal stories endear us and build that trust so that we can teach. They get us into the space and into the hearts, and then we can go further faster I think when people feel they can see all of you. I think we teach differently. Our stories are part of the teaching, right?
EILEEN SCULLY: Sure.
JENNIFER BROWN: So, I could have asked you, why did you feature? Did you feel you were more comfortable featuring other people’s stories? I think we all are on a journey, I mean, some on my team are like, “Write your memoir next,” and I’m like, “Is that even a thing?”
EILEEN SCULLY: “I’m not done. I’m not ready.”
JENNIFER BROWN: Well, yeah. “Is there enough? What is that?”
EILEEN SCULLY: “How am I going to end it?”
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah. Right. “Yeah, it’s not time yet, not time yet.” Also the want to establish our credibility so strongly, we do that because we’re protecting ourselves because we know that we have to protect ourselves because, what? Are they going to buy my personal story? I’m already a woman writing a book in a space that’s really … Leadership books are dominated by men. None of us are considered leadership gurus, which, really, it just sticks in my craw a lot to say-
EILEEN SCULLY: One more person sends me an Adam Grant quote. I mean, he’s great.
JENNIFER BROWN: I know. I love him. Super nice guy.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah, but we read it.
JENNIFER BROWN: Right, and we’re leaping and bounding past a lot of these thresholds, but we’re not seen in the world yet as worthy of those high level sales, and marketing events, and big stages, and whatever.
So, my wish for us and all that we’re going to pull forward with us, which I know you and I are all about, is making sure we’re facilitating. I mean, I speak here this time and I make sure they know about the speaker next time. By the way, have you had a speaker that identifies this way and this way and this way? So, I know you and I are really dedicated to that, but kudos to writing this.
For those of you who’ve listened to this, maybe you’re feeling inspired about how you might hook on to something that feels like could be your book because that’s often the scariest step. I love that you said when you found her and her story, you said, “I just focused on I got to tell it.” Then if I start from there, then you build out from a creative process, and you start to put the scaffolding around it, and you think about other stories you could tell, and you can weave yours in as you get more comfortable.
This is what birthing a book is like. So, I love how authentic the structure is to you and where you are. It’s so generous-
EILEEN SCULLY: Thank you. Thank you.
JENNIFER BROWN:… because you give a ton of pages to other people, and there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s beautiful.
EILEEN SCULLY: Well, and those stories I think were so illustrative of the concepts that I tried to impart everyday.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yes. They did it perfectly.
EILEEN SCULLY: I really tried to find … I wanted to find people. Now, Arlen has been on a trajectory that’s crazy.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah, remarkable.
EILEEN SCULLY: When I first spoke to her, my book is … She’s publishing her own book this year, but my book is the only book that has a chapter on her.
JENNIFER BROWN: On her.
EILEEN SCULLY: I wouldn’t say she was unknown, but she was definitely under the radar when we first spoke two and a half years ago. Again, she got right back to me. We had a couple hour-long phone calls and she’s amazing.
What I wanted to do was also highlight women whose names you probably don’t know or if you know, you don’t know well and you don’t know the whole story. So, there are different women throughout the book who are doing incredibly remarkable things, and I wanted them to be better known for what they’re doing, and I wanted that model to be adapted in whatever. I wanted it to be clear. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living. You can break this up and change it, and here are nine illustrations for how to do that.
JENNIFER BROWN: So beautiful. There’s a message for our male allies that are listening to this who you story-tell about really matters, who you give that real estate to, who you share that power with in a public forum. Those things are signals to me as I look for inclusive leadership. That decision matters.
EILEEN SCULLY: Absolutely.
JENNIFER BROWN: When you seed your space and you select someone to take that space instead so that you can change the ratio, to me, that is the most beautiful way you can hit many of the goals that I have for the world. I’d like to see more stories heard, more diverse stories, more power sharing, more stepping back for those who have power, but who enable that to actually happen. Now, how cool that you’ve contributed to the trajectory of all the women you feature.
EILEEN SCULLY: Oh, I hope so. Yeah.
JENNIFER BROWN: Yeah. You’ve accelerated it. I mean, totally, you gave a tailwind to it. Imagine if more of us were doing that, not just women for women, but all of us being mindful of who’s missing and whose story needs to be told. So, thank you, Eileen.
EILEEN SCULLY: That’s the goal. Thank you, Jennifer. This was fun.
JENNIFER BROWN: Thank you for joining me. Where can people follow you? Obviously, the book is called In the Company of Men: How Women Can Succeed in a World Built Without Them, and other resources, places we can-
EILEEN SCULLY: Simple URL, inthecompanyofmenbook.com, will take you right to a page where you can buy it off of any of the reseller… or not resellers, any of the sellers or the IndieBound is up there.
JENNIFER BROWN: Awesome.
EILEEN SCULLY: Therisingtides.com is my website. You can reach me there.
JENNIFER BROWN: You’re awesome on Twitter.
EILEEN SCULLY: Thank you.
JENNIFER BROWN: Check her out on social-
EILEEN SCULLY: Thank you.
JENNIFER BROWN:… we banter, all sorts of things around. We are followed and we follow very interesting people together that I think are super duper game-changers. I know I learned a ton from our Twitter friends who are leaping forward. They’re very assertive about this whole conversation even if we’re hanging back.
EILEEN SCULLY: This year, particularly, I think 2020 is going to be a challenging year for a lot of us for a lot of ways, but I think the stronger our voices are around and about each other that we can drown out some of that inevitable negativity that’s going to come as we continue down this road.
JENNIFER BROWN: Oh, that road is going to be interesting.
EILEEN SCULLY: Yeah, but we’re going to do it together.
JENNIFER BROWN: We are. We’re not alone.
EILEEN SCULLY: Right.
JENNIFER BROWN: Thank you, Eileen.
EILEEN SCULLY: See you Saturday at the march.
JENNIFER BROWN: I’ll see you at the women’s march. Bye, Eileen. Thank you for joining me today.
EILEEN SCULLY: Thanks, Jennifer. See you soon.
- Understanding our Evolution: Why an Adult Development Lens is Critical to Inclusivity, with co-authors Christopher McCormick and Aman Gohal
- Second Chance Hiring with Fifth Third Bank’s Chief Economist, Jeff Korzenik
- Speaking from Lived and Learned Experiences: Insights on DEI Storytelling with Carin Taylor
- The Legacy of Belonging: Jennifer Joins the BE the CHANGE Podcast
- Activating Our Allyship Meter: A Senior Leader's Journey Towards Advancing LGBTQ Equality with Erik Day