Carolyn Childers and Lindsay Kaplan were killing it as startup VPs. But as they put it: it gets lonely at the top. Especially for women. Enter: their company, Chief, a women’s exec network that takes networking beyond sticky name tags and awkward icebreakers. This week, we sat down with the Chief co-founders who tell us that everyone – even those with unconventional skill sets – has a place in a business.
On Thriving as an “Untraditional” Business Woman
Lindsay: There is a way to really love the business, to really love the aspect of driving a business forward and doing it in a way that kind of bucks what traditional business women look and sound like. There's just less untraditional women in business. There's less of us that say, listen, I'm really comfortable being creative. I am very comfortable raising my hand and telling you when I don't know what acronym you're talking about. And I have a privilege as a co-founder to raise my hand and say that. It's a privilege to be able to do that. And I hope that more women in particular feel comfortable knowing that very often, there is a place for that person in a business. And you don't necessarily need to come up the traditional path. That being said, could I do Chief without Carolyn? Absolutely not.
On Growing into Entrepreneurship
Carolyn: My grandparents actually had a small business, but it was a really hard business. It was a travel agency. The challenges I saw play out with my family were things that I wasn’t eager to dive into. I started in big companies. And then post-business school, I went into startups. Seeing the journey of some really incredible leaders, being really inspired by what they were building, recognizing that the way that I work is actually better suited for a startup. And knowing that I myself would not feel excited about my career if I had never given a final push towards being an entrepreneur a shot. But it wasn't until the idea of Chief that it was actually like, okay, this is something I could dedicate my life to.
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