Taking the Lead Episode 3: The Pressure

Taking the Lead Episode 3: The Pressure

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Rachael Ellison and Leslie Ali Walker are two Brooklyn moms and the co-founders of 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.

If you missed the first two episodes of our four-part series, catch up. They’re right here:

Faced with financial barriers, this week Rachael and Leslie join a startup accelerator and pitch their idea to investors. But while honing their pitch, the business partners’ different goals surface. Rachael is focused on the service’s potential for social change. Leslie sees the potential to create a giant female-led company.

This week the pressure is on: The pressure to deliver the perfect pitch; pressure from family; and — this is a big one — financial pressure. Under the strain, they make a strategic move that confounds Manoush.

Next week, on the fourth and final episode of “Taking the Lead,” Manoush shares what she learned from the investors with Rachael and Leslie. Plus, Anne-Marie Slaughter, author of “Unfinished Business: Women Men Work Family,” returns — this time with her husband, Professor Andrew Moravcsik — for an intimate conversation about the professional and personal sacrifices they have made for their marriage.


  • Several of you have asked us how to listen to podcasts. We’ve got you covered here: Look! I Taught My Dad To Download Podcasts.
  • We’re also making a master resource list of articles/books/podcasts for surviving the work/life balance struggle, so please continue to add your favorites to our growing list here.
  • In the beginning of this week’s episode, Manoush labels (in a fun way!) Rachael and Leslie with a personality test called the “Enneagram Test.” It’s a pseudoscientific survey that categorizes people into 9 groups that represent a person’s core qualities, or most primal selves. Rawr. Take it for yourself here.
  • If you have an opinion on our series, Rachael and Leslie’s strategy, or your own work/life balance story, please tell us by sending a voice memo to notetoself@wnyc.org.

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