Nearly 3 million women left the workforce over the course of the pandemic, and, according to a 2020 study, are feeling significantly more exhausted, burned out, and under pressure than men. However, women have taken this shift and begun to reinvent themselves in creative ways.
In the new podcast She Pivots by Emily Tisch Sussman in partnership with Marie Claire, host Emily examines how women’s personal stories impacted their professional journeys and eventually led them to pivot into something new.
We caught up with the host to talk about her own career pivot, and how life as a wife and mother played a part in that decision.
In all honesty, I had to let go of who I thought I would be and how I defined success. I always saw myself as someone who would climb the political ladder towards the traditional idea of success. When I decided to step away I was at the height of my career so leaving that behind felt like I was taking a step backwards — but I began to realize that my definition of success just changed.
I am able to live my life more. Before I would work basically 24/7 and now I can spend time with my kids, build up this podcast and my incredible network of women, and focus on my health more.
Working in politics can be tricky because it really is something you put your heart into, so leaving behind a career where I felt like I had a very real and large positive impact was difficult. Through it all, however, I gained perspective that my impact just looks different. Now, I’m focused on building up and empowering women through She Pivots and we’ve been really successful with that.
Just let go of your previous expectations of success and recalibrate what success will look like to you in this moment.
I am constantly inspired by the women in my life and I’m excited to build that network and strengthen that community through She Pivots.
Such a great question, and something that I think we are lacking. Of course, friends or family could be a valuable place, but we really don’t have an organization or group of women people can turn to in their pivots. That’s what I am aiming to change with She Pivots, I would love to grow the podcast beyond the screen and into peoples homes and communities so we can provide solid support for each other.
What are your top tips for working mothers to stay on track with their career goals while also being present at home?
I think we have to accept that we cannot have it all. However, at the same time we should be demanding a more equitable workforce. One of my guests Reshma Saujani makes this argument that the workforce is not designed for working moms and that the cards are stacked against us to both move up in our career and be the “perfect” mom. Creating boundaries with work and taking time for yourself and your family are so important so we can change the narrative as a whole.