Taking The Lead Episode 1: The Pain Point | WBEZ
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Note to Self

Taking the Lead Episode 1: The Pain Point

This Mother's Day, a surprise. For all you working mothers balancing deadlines and diapers, ambition and your (lovely) children, we're re-releasing all four episodes of our award-winning series Taking the Lead. This is the story of two Brooklyn women, Rachael Ellison and Leslie Ali Walker, who have a tech idea to help harried working mothers rise up in their professional ranks. 

Why? Because of numbers like these:

  • 4.6 percent of S&P 500 companies have female CEOs 
  • 43 percent of highly-skilled women with children leave their jobs voluntarily at some point in their careers
  • The U.S. is the only developing country that doesn't mandate paid maternity leave. The Family Medical Leave Act gives workers a maximum of 12 weeks off unpaid per year
  • Almost 70 percent of mothers and over 90 percent of fathers are in the workforce
  • Caregiving is projected to be the largest occupation in the U.S. by 2020
  • Only 7 percent of U.S. startups that received at least $20 million in funding have founders who are women 

And mothers often find themselves doing the heavy lifting at home. Enter Rachael and Leslie, who team up to create Need/Done, a digital platform with a feminist mission to help more women make it to the corner office. How does it work? Through a crowdsourced community of parents, the service provides backup childcare and household support. Think: Nextdoor meets Sittercity.

Start their story here, with Episode 1: The Pain Point. Rachael and Leslie leave their families behind in a snowstorm to visit Silicon Valley, meet the competition, and find out whether two Brooklyn moms have a shot at VC funding. We also talk to Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of The Atlantic article "Why Women Still Can’t Have it All" and the book "Unfinished Business," about why there's still resistance to gender parity at the top of many corporations. 

When this series originally aired, we created a list of stellar content (books, podcasts, etc.) to help anyone trying to stay sane as a working parent. Check it out. And keep the conversation going, we love to hear from you, always. 

P.S. We hope you keep listening... Find the rest of the series here:

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