As you’ve probably heard, if you have not yet experienced it yourself, it’s not easy to power UP as a committed parent in the United States, where business and culture are so invested in rapid growth. It’s even harder in Silicon Valley, where every company is in a race to ship first and where, in large part, men with spouses who take the domestic lead, if not the entire burden, still write the rules of professional engagement.
One time I was about to be interviewed for a live technology news broadcast. It was minutes before we went on the air, and the reporter and I were seated in our chairs next to each other. The reporter noticed me jotting things down on a small notepad and asked if I was preparing my answers, reminding me that I could not read anything off my pad while filming. I showed him what I was writing. When he saw it he laughed. “I’ve never had anyone about to go on live TV writing their grocery list!” he said.
Maybe I was the first working mother he had as a guest. “It’s my next stop after your show,” I said. “When else am I going to write it?”