working women

How to Find a “Multidimensional” Role Model

Yesterday, Fast Company profiled Lyft, the car sharing service.  Its a good read for women in STEM looking for role-model profiles or for an example of a tech-startup that has good gender diversity.  According to the article, Lyft’s management ranks (i.e. director level or above) are 47% female, and include roles in engineering and operations.  I’m writing about the article because I thought one of the most practical things I ever read about balancing work and life responsibilities was snuck into the beginning of the piece, in the section about Lyft’s CMO, Kira Wampler.  When Wampler was considering positions at different companies after business school, this is what she did:

“I would ask them, can you give me an example of someone in your organization who is roughly this age, who has roughly this number of kids, who just had a promotion?”

That kind of foresight and personal work-life planning is not necessarily common, but it could be very helpful to women who know that not all employers and companies are equal when it comes to supporting working women with families, or who want to have families one day.  Also, its another way of thinking about “role models” within an organization.  Role models don’t just have certain titles — they also have whole lives that we might want to emulate.

It makes me think that this is the type of information we should try to solicit on Fairygodboss from users.  After all, its the kind of question that isn’t necessarily socially or professionally acceptable to ask during the interview process (though its arguably easier than asking about maternity leave policies) and isn’t disclosed (or even measured) by companies.  What do you think?


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