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Lessons on Leadership and Life From My Father

My dear father, Max Shambaugh, has passed, and I was by his side his last hours this weekend. He was my “hero” who inspired me in so many ways, both personally and professionally. He was so influential to me that I wrote about his impact on my life and career in the very first chapter of my first book, It’s Not a Glass Ceiling, It’s a Sticky Floor, where I shared these thoughts about how he inspired me:

“I…began to reflect back on the conversations I’d had with my father, Max Shambaugh, at the kitchen table when I was a little girl. I was always fascinated by the fact that he had built a third-generation family business into one of the largest construction companies in the country. My father instilled in me an approach to work that I still value today. Specifically, he encouraged me to take risks but to be prudent about it, to build on my strengths and relationships, and to follow through on things I’m passionate about.”

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The Ultimate Mentor to Women: Dave Goldberg

As I heard the news about Dave Goldberg’s death last weekend, I joined many in feeling the sadness of this loss—to his wife Sheryl Sandberg, his family and friends, his colleagues at the company he headed as CEO (SurveyMonkey), and to the technology industry, where Goldberg inspired many.

The loss also extends to women in the industry, and to anyone who cares about women’s leadership development, because of the important role that Goldberg played in prioritizing women’s advancement over the decades of his career—long before it became fashionable to do so.

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Opting Back In: After the Choice Comes the Challenge!

Recent media coverage has stirred up a national conversation regarding women who opted out of the workforce for personal reasons and now want to opt back in. The reason most of these women left was to raise a family and many planned to eventually return to work. While the dialogue back then, about a decade ago, was all about the power of choice, the conversation now is about the challenge these “opted out” women are facing today. Unfortunately, it’s not been easy for these bright and competent women to return to the workforce and most have not been able to find positions anywhere close to the ones they left. A recent study indicated that 89% of those who “opted out” said they wanted to resume working but only 73% of them succeeded in finding jobs and only 40% got full-time work. On average, those returning to work made significantly less than they had been paid before they left and about 25% took jobs with lesser management responsibilities and a lower job title than they had in their last position.

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What’s Gender Got to Do With It?

The recent announcement of Marissa Mayer as the new CEO of Yahoo made media headlines around the world. In fact, I received an unprecedented number of calls about her from reporters and radio talk-show producers – all asking me the same question – did I think Marissa could juggle being a CEO and new mother at the same time.  Could she really “have it all?”  My reaction was and still is…why not?

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