Speaker1: Today on the Social Impact podcast, we have investor, author, champion for Women in the Workplace and all around stellar woman, Fran Hauser.
Speaker2: And I would say to women to push yourselves, even if you’re not feeling it. You know, there’s this study that Hewlett-Packard did that basically showed that men will go for a position if they’re 60% qualified, like they read the job description, they’re 60% qualified. They’re going to go for the job. Women, we feel like we need to be 100% qualified. And so just so much of it is mindset. You don’t need to be 100% qualified, right? Even if you’re partially qualified, if you go for the job, it shows that you’re ambitious. You know, it it shows that you care about progressing in your career, that you want to make an impact.
Speaker1: Welcome to the Social Impact podcast where people like you and I are making sustainable change throughout the world. Learn why they do it and how you can be a change maker in your community and across the globe. Each week we hear from people on their social issue and what compels them to make an impact. Hi everyone. My name is Bree Jensen and I’m the host of the Social Impact Podcast. I want to thank you so much for joining us today. We are in for an incredible treat as Fran Hauser is joining us. And I’m so happy that she’s spending a little bit of time with us sharing her insights and her incredible career experience. Fran is an author, a keynote speaker and a startup investor. She’s passionate about helping women build fulfilling careers and successful businesses. Fran has invested in over 25 female founded companies across CPG, media and publishing, as well as in wellness. Her writing, speaking and investing is informed by 15 years spent in media, where she rose through the ranks at Time Inc to President of Digital. She is the best selling author of The Myth of the Nice Girl Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a person you hate and everyone. I want to tell you, I absolutely love this book, so I’m going to make sure that we link to it and you can pick it up for a second title. Embrace the Work. Love Your Career is released in March 2022. Fran and I had an incredible conversation from everywhere to women in the workplace, women living in seasons of life, social impact, startup investing and wellness. So let’s get right to it. The awesome. Well, good morning, Fran. Thank you so much for joining the Social Impact Podcast. This is season one, our launch season.
Speaker1: So yeah, I’m really excited. This has been kind of a long time coming, but as you know, I’m really passionate about helping people make an impact in their own communities and however they feel is their duty to make an impact. And you’ve done such an incredible job really using your career and your influence and your voice, your unique voice to make an impact throughout the years. Do you mind sharing just your journey, the bullet points or however much of your story you want to share with our community?
Speaker2: Absolutely. Well, thank you for having me. So for starters, I would say that impact and giving back our values that are really important to me and really throughout the course of my life, I’ve just always gravitated to community service. And now when I think about kind of where I spend my time, my philanthropic time, I would say that it’s mostly in the gender equality space. But it took me a while to figure that out. Like I remember a moment was probably about ten years ago where I was working at Time Inc. I was president of digital and I remember just realizing that I was on the host committee for eight different charity events and they were across a wide spectrum, a wide range of different, different types of causes. And I realized in that moment that. It probably would be a good idea to choose one area where I could really focus my time and energy. And, you know, I just started thinking about what really moves me and what plays to my strengths. And I also realized that. I had already naturally been focusing on gender equality at work really over the course of my entire career, just through all of the mentoring that I was doing and the coaching and the championing of women.
Speaker2: It was something that was really important to me because I was seeing so many gaps, you know? I mean, there’s when you think about inequality, it’s like everywhere, whether it’s what we get paid. Women not getting promoted as much as men, sexual harassment, lack of child care. I mean, I can go down the list, right? It’s a lot of things. So it was something that was really important to me and I decided that I just really wanted to double down on it. And it was actually a very important moment for me as a as a human being, because it gave me a lot of clarity so that when requests came into my inbox, you know, around community service and philanthropy, it made it much easier for me to decide what to say yes to and what to say no to. Because up until that point, because I love making an impact and I love giving back and I was just saying yes to everything. And now, like, I really feel like I’m having an outsized impact in this one area as opposed to spreading myself too thin.
Speaker1: Absolutely. I think that’s so good for anyone is to focus because it’s you can do a lot of things and make little impact moments. But when you’re really focused and you’re passionate in one or two areas, you can really see change. And honestly, Fran, as you know, your impact in my life has been significant even from afar. We’re on different coasts and I want to share this story. I don’t know if you even remember how we met, but it was at the Create and Cultivate conference. You were a panelist and I remember when you spoke, it just really resonated with me and I thought I wrote it even in my journal. I need to find a way to meet her. And I was walking. I think I was a little late to a session and I was thinking, How am I going to meet Fran? She’s probably in the green room and I turned the corner and there you are. We are the only two people in the hall and we had a conversation. You were so kind. I felt very connected to you. And ever since I’ve showed up in your inbox and and you’ve done some great things just to lead my life through your book and through your voice, really. And so I want to thank you for that. And speaking of that, in my career, I really started off I was a speaker. I did advocacy work. I was in the ministry, in the Christian ministry. And I was reflecting this morning on so many times that leaders told me to take a step back and let a male lead or I was passed up because I was pregnant or had kids or, you know, I had all those challenges. What would you say to somebody? I’m glad that things are changing and you’re part of that. But what would you say to someone that’s in my shoes now, maybe where they’re being passed up or they’re concerned about a pregnancy or they’re in a male dominated industry and somebody telling them how to lead males so that they can so that they can feel like it’s their decision and things like that.
Speaker2: Well, one thing I would say for sure is that. Over the course of my career. You know, there’s just been so many instances where I’ve seen women not raising their hand, you know, and and in a lot of different ways, it could be that they’re not speaking up in a meeting or they’re not asking for the raise or they’re not going for the big job because they feel that they’re not fully qualified or maybe they’re pregnant and they haven’t announced it yet. And, you know, I’ve just I’ve seen this time and time again where women the words that you use kind of take a step back. They’re like, they’re in the background. And, you know, what I always say is like, first of all, you are capable and you deserve more. You know, we all do. And we talk a lot about diversity and how important diversity is. And I can tell you firsthand, I mean, I’ve led so many teams, I’ve looked so many teams, and the teams that were the most diverse were the ones that were the most successful because there were different perspectives. Right. And it was it was more creative. The energy was better. We were swapping ideas. And even just like for me to hear someone share a point of view that got me thinking like, Wow, I never would have thought about it that way.
Speaker2: It’s so interesting and it’s really, really, really important. You know, diversity is not just a buzzword, like it’s it’s it’s really critical. And I would say to women to push yourselves, like, even if you’re not feeling it, you know, there’s this study that Hewlett-Packard did that basically showed that men will go for a position if they’re 60% qualified. They read the job description, they’re 60% qualified. They’re going to go for the job. Women, we feel like we need to be 100% qualified. And so just so much of it is mindset. You don’t need to be 100% qualified, right? Even if you’re partially qualified, if you go for the job, it shows that you’re ambitious. You know, it shows that you care about progressing in your career, that you want to make an impact even if you don’t get the job. It’s an opportunity to meet someone new and to now have this person, the hiring manager in your network. There’s so much good that could still come out of it. So push yourself to go for it even when you’re not comfortable.
Speaker1: That’s great advice. And I’m thinking, too, so many things come to mind. This is really made me reflect on my journey, thinking through these questions, and I’m thinking of career identity. I don’t even know if that’s a thing, but, you know, kind of finding your way in what is my identity in the workplace or in my career? Kind of I guess it would be like brand identity. What’s my brand? How do you think women who live in seasons, you know, those that choose to have children or get married, you know, they’re kind of going in and out. Not everyone, but some are going in and out of the workforce. It’s intimidating to do reentry. You know, COVID really impacted a lot of women having to re-enter the workforce. How do you find your place in the room again after a season change and how do you find your career identity as a woman?
Speaker2: I think a big part of career identity is your values. And for me, this is why I wrote The Myth of the Nice Girl. Yes, kindness and compassion and empathy have always been my values. They still are. And I don’t check those qualities at the door when I go to work. They’re important to me as a human being, and that’s who I’m going to be at work. And I really believe that I’ve figured out a way to be all of those things and still be strong. You know, I always say you don’t have to choose between being kind and being strong. You can be both. You can care for your team and you can still have high expectations of them. When you’re making an important decision, you can be inclusive, right? Get people’s ideas, but then stand firm in the decision that you make. Like you can live with these things side by side. And I really believe that that’s what I became known for. You know, as a as a leader at work is is really I became known more for my style, you know, for my leadership style and for someone who’s able to operate and execute really well and get things done and. That became my career identity. And it’s not something that anybody can take away from me know, even after maternity leave. When I came back, I was still that person, right? So it’s like so I do think really kind of tapping into your values and the values that really give you strength at work because that’s what you want to be known for. You know, like, look, you could also be known for being a spreadsheet wizard or, you know, someone who’s really good in like a technical area that those are all really great things. But I think what’s even more important is like, who are you really? You know, and and that part of it, like, who do you want to be known for and what do you want to be known for? So I do think that that’s really important because like I said, nobody can take that away from you.
Speaker1: That’s great.
Speaker2: Even when you even when you dip in and out, even when you go through the seasons that it’s who you are.
Speaker1: That’s really good. And I think that’s something I’ve been trying to do more and more of is is own my values. And if people don’t understand that fully, it’s okay because it’s true to my convictions. That’s something that’s really important to me lately. And I think COVID is kind of the COVID 19 experience of of having to reflect has really had a lot of people thinking about their values and what they’re looking for in the workplace. And I do want to go into that and your new book, which I cannot wait for, but I kind of going back to that thought of owning your values and who you are. When I was a youth advocate, we would constantly talk about taking off the mask for young people. You know, my story is that I look a lot younger than I am and then being a woman. So I kind of had that challenge going into the room and being heard. And I’ve always find myself kind of announcing how many children I have. He has like my tool, you know, right away I’m like, I have four kids, so I can’t be 22. You know.
Speaker2: That’s like my.
Speaker1: And or like I’ll say something like, I was in a meeting as a consultant for a school board and I could tell that that they were treating me like I have never had children and I’ve never taught or and so I just mentioned how, what year I graduated high school and and they’ll actually react and say, oh, I thought you were I mean, I get I thought you were 23. I thought they’ll tell me straight up how old they thought I was every time. And so it’s challenging to be heard sometimes and I feel like I have to do those qualifiers. How do you navigate that? I mean, is it wrong to have to have this kind of like statement to position myself or what’s your suggestion for all of us that are kind of facing these these barriers?
Speaker2: It’s it’s actually really funny. I just wrote a blog post a few weeks ago on being the youngest person in the room and like the imposter syndrome that comes with that. So if anyone is interested, it’s on. Fran Hauser It’s, it’s on my blog. But one of the things that I talk about is. How much you how much value you have to add regardless of your age and. You know, I, I had this young woman who reached out to me on LinkedIn and, you know, like a lot of people would reach out and I wish that I could get back to everybody. But, you know, I just I just can’t physically. But she was really smart because she had taken a look at my portfolio because I do startup investing. And she noticed that there were two companies in my portfolio that could really use some social media help. So she asked me for my time, but she also said, look, I, I looked at these companies and I’d love to give you some ideas for these two companies in particular, because they specialize in social media. And that was the asset that she brought to the table. And she also approached it in a very mutually beneficial relationship kind of way, as opposed to just, can I pick your brain? Right.
Speaker2: And the reason I share the story is because really taking stock of what your assets are, whether it’s an area of expertise, whether it’s a network that you have. I had a really young woman when I was a timing who became a friend of mine. She asked me for mentoring and honestly, I feel like she ended up mentoring me so much more because she was very connected in the New York City tech scene. So she was the one who basically gave me the idea to do angel investing because because of what she was seeing, she was seeing a lot of her female friends who wanted to launch businesses, but there were no female investors and advisors. And she had that insight. That I didn’t have, you know, so I just I feel like really thinking about what are your superpowers, what are your strengths, what what are your assets? And casually bringing them up in conversation is not a bad thing because it’s important to remind people of of what you’re capable of. And I think you can do it in a way that’s not awkward or off putting. The other thing that I’ll say is, especially when you’re going into a meeting that you’re nervous about. By the way, I still experience this. If I’m going into a meeting where I’m like, Oh my gosh, there’s going to be 20 people in the room and they’re all amazing.
Speaker2: Like, what? What can I possibly have to contribute? I actually will think ahead of time about a couple of things that I think might be really interesting, insights that I can share. Soundbites, whatever they are. And honestly, it even just makes me feel more confident, like knowing that I have something to contribute. Going into the meeting as opposed to having to do it a little bit more on the fly. Right. So I think all of that is is really important. And, you know, like a lot of this is when we’re talking about taking stock of your strengths and your superpowers and your assets and being prepared, like really thinking about what insights you can add. So much of this is is rooted in mindfulness and intentionality. And I think that’s like a really big part of making an impact, right? Because if you’re not mindful and you don’t have the space and the energy to be intentional, it’s it’s really difficult. It’s difficult to make a contribution. It’s difficult to make an impact. So you kind of. Have to start there. Are you doing the work or are you doing the work every day so that you can be mindful?
Speaker1: That’s so good. Mindfulness and reflection. I have a mentor in my life who’s always telling me to stop and reflect. You know, I tend to run fast and I think you can take that into every area of your life, whether that’s career, relationship, family, every area of your life. Just take a pause and sometimes you’ll get a lot more accomplished in the pause than you do while you’re running. Right.
Speaker2: I love the pause. I talk a lot about that in my next book. I love it. I love especially if you’re having a very difficult conversation with someone and you know, you’ve probably been there right where you can see the conversation is going to start to escalate and maybe get emotional and it’s no longer going to be productive. It’s not going to be a thoughtful conversation. And I think that’s like the perfect moment to press pause and just say, like, I need a minute, let’s come back to this. Maybe you even need a night to get a good night’s sleep and come back the next morning and pick up the conversation again. There’s nothing wrong with that, you know, just pressing pause before you react.
Speaker1: Yes. Yes. And I love that tip as well as where a lot of us are still working remotely, you know, with the kind of heated slack messages or emails or sometimes you just got to write the draft pause and come back to it later.
Speaker2: Exactly. And then do like a major edit and edit. But it does feel good to get it down. Right. Get your thoughts down. Yes. And edit it before you press send.
Speaker1: Yes, read it first. Absolutely. Such good insights with the myth of the nice girl. You know, when you when I first read that book, I highlighted the stink out of it, you know, and I think I was putting it on Instagram, all my highlights and all my favorite quotes, and it just made me feel.
Speaker1: Compelled to be me and authentic in my workplace. And if it wasn’t a good fit, then it’s not a good fit and you can move forward. And you know, I’ve already mentioned just the time to reflect during this time of working remotely and what’s important. And not many people know, but I’ve lost both of my parents as well as some others that are close to me. And so the fact that time is short is not lost on me. And we spend so much time in our workplace, we spend so much time with our coworkers. And so I am very excited and eager to learn more about your book that’s coming out. Embrace the Work, love your career and what’s the motivation behind this? How do you find your right fit and love what you’re doing every day?
Speaker2: So, you know, I, I actually came up with the idea for this book during the pandemic, and it was just gosh, it was just earlier this year. And what I was noticing was that so many women were feeling stuck. Like, I just had a lot of women around me who were feeling very stuck in their careers who are questioning their paths. Because talk about reflecting, right? We had a lot of time to reflect on is this what I want to do for the rest of my life? Do I want to do something different? Am I ready for my next chapter? And then, oh, by the way, we had millions of women that were forced out of the workforce. So looking at that, I was really thinking about what can I do in terms of creating content that could be helpful to these women? And I came up with the idea for a guided workbook, so it’s different from the myth of the nice girl and that it’s more you’re going to love it, breathe, because it’s there’s so much reflection. It’s a very interactive book. It’s beautiful. It’s it’s for color, you know? Do you want to see the cover?
Speaker1: Yes, absolutely. Actually, I’m looking at it right now on Amazon, too.
Speaker2: Oh, you are. So I just got the proof. Oh, look at that.
Speaker1: Oh, my goodness. I love that.
Speaker2: It it’s just it’s a beautiful book. Illustrations. At the end of each chapter, there’s a meditation and a coloring break.
Speaker1: Oh, good.
Speaker2: It’s really special. And so it’s got all of the advice, like the really tangible advice and the practical, like the myth of the nice girl, very practical, lots of takeaways. It’s really important to me that it’s not just inspiring, that it’s not just about your mindset, but it’s very tangible. So it’s got all of that. But then it is very interactive and and it just I think what it really does for women, the women who have been my beta readers, is it’s really given them the time and the space to reflect on what’s working for them in their career, what’s not working for them, what do they want to do more of? What do they want to do less of? And it’s also like there’s a whole chapter on how do you how do you create time and space? How do we do a better job of setting boundaries and saying no to things so that we can be working on the things that we love and that we enjoy doing? There’s a whole section on mindfulness, on on reflection. And so it’s it’s a much more, I would say, holistic book and. I’m just. I’m so excited about it. I really, truly can’t wait for you to read it.
Speaker1: Yay! I am incredibly excited. One thing I’ve been trying to do lately is create. I’m very visual. So that’s why this book is going to be so good for me to be able to map it out visually. But I’ve been creating these buckets and I’m not adding anything to my life that doesn’t fit into the buckets. And it sounds like that’s kind of what we’re going to be doing with this book, which is just intentionality. I think this was an opportunity before the pandemic. I was doing way too much and my family life and my health and my emotional well-being was suffering. And so being able to push, pause, literally actually stopping everything and then deciding I am only adding what fits in these buckets back. It has been a commitment and I think that your book is going to be such an essential tool to sticking to that commitment, because that’s hard. It’s hard to not say yes to everything and just keep running.
Speaker2: It is it is hard. And one of the things that I talk a lot about and I talk about this in the myth of the nice girl as well, is, you know, once you have those buckets and you have your priorities, it’s the discipline of checking in like once a week and really looking at your calendar for the upcoming week and your to do list and comparing what’s what’s there to those priorities. Because if it’s off, then that’s an opportunity to realign. You know, there are times where I look at my calendar and I’m like, Whoa, wait a second. There’s like nothing on my calendar in the coming week that has anything to do with my priorities. Like, how did that happen? And, you know, and I need to really make a decision around like, okay, do I, do I, can I delegate this meeting to someone or can I even shorten it instead of an hour, 30 minutes, like, can I defer it? Just try. I’m always trying to figure out how to create time in my calendar because then when I have extra time, I can be creating content, whether it’s writing or working on a talk, or even just putting something on social media that will inspire women. Or I have my portfolio of companies that they all need my time and attention. So.
Speaker2: But again, it goes back to being intentional.
Speaker1: Yes, I love that. I do remember that from your book and I’ve taken that. I’ve owned that in my own life to audit the calendar. And I remember you mentioned that you look back over the last year and audit it to see how you can make changes for the upcoming year. So that’s such a great practical tip. So as we move forward, by the way, everyone, I’m going to link in the show notes and everywhere else on my social media and anywhere I can put the link to the book, because I do think that this is an incredible asset and tool for all of us that are transitioning into just being more happy in everything we do. And I think that’s for everyone. I love it.
Speaker2: So much, Bri.
Speaker1: Yes, absolutely. So I have a few rapid fire questions that I’ve been asking everyone, if you don’t mind, as we’re closing up. But these are just some things that I’ve been as doing impact work, let’s see, about 17 years now. There’s a few things that seem to come up in my own life and in the community that I’m a part of. So if you don’t mind just answering some of these rapid fire questions, that would be awesome.
Speaker1: What’s your purpose or motivation for change?
Speaker2: To make things better.
Speaker1: Yeah. What are your well being tips? So I like to kind of explain this one and I know wellbeing is near and dear to your heart. So people that I know, including myself that do impact work or change agents or all these kind of buzzwords, it’s really easy to get burnt out. It’s really easy to not put yourself first in any way and and often not put your family first either. A lot of people statistically lose their families because they’re giving out to the community so much. So that’s why I asked that question. What are what’s maybe like one or two of your top wellbeing tips for change agents?
Speaker2: Yeah. So one which is always at the top of my list and we talked about it briefly, is saying no. So I really believe that saying no is the best form of self care because again, like our time and our energy, like those are our most precious resources. So I’m very protective, you know, and I and what I find is that when I say no, it actually like I feel better physically. It’s almost like I can take a breath. I feel relief because I think about, gosh, if I had said yes, that would have been 5 hours of my time, you know. Right, right. So I saying no for me is the best form of self care. And then the only other one that I’ll share is I do think it’s really helpful to start the day with a morning ritual and it could be a minute or 2 minutes, but just sort of a way to kind of ground yourself for the day in my book and embrace the work of your career. I actually have like a Chinese menu of of options where you could create your own ritual, you know, and it could be things, you know, it could include a minute of meditation, gratitude, even just writing three things down in a journal that you’re grateful for.
Speaker2: I usually like I like to sit in my living room and I look out the window and I always start by thanking God for this beautiful day. It could be like the ugliest day. The luckiest day. But just saying those words. Thank you for this beautiful day. Thank you for this beautiful day. I do that. I write down a few things that I’m grateful for. I do like a minute of meditation, and then I stand and I really make sure that my feet are planted firmly because I just want to feel grounded. And I do a little stretch and like, the whole thing is like two, two or 3 minutes. I do some variation of that every morning and it’s just such a beautiful way to start the day instead of picking up my phone, you know, so. So I would really recommend that whatever that looks like for you, it could be stretching. It could be a minute of stretching. You know, whatever works for you. That was not Rapidfire. Sorry.
Speaker1: No, I loved every piece of that. I love every piece of that, because I also have been trying to practice gratitude and it’s really changed my mindset and outlook and feeling grounded. I was just teaching my 11 year old how to be grounded in your seat, you know, because he was having a moment. And it’s important. It’s very, very important. So thank you. And then lastly, how can I, meaning those that are listening and myself, make an impact, maybe just the little things or in a big way?
Speaker2: I would say don’t let the idea of doing something big prevent you from doing anything at all. You know, like it could be. It could be the smallest thing. It could be sharing something on social media. It could be an hour of your time where you’re volunteering. You know, all of those actions. They all matter. You know, they’re all making an impact. So. So I would say that and I would also say to really think about what your strengths are. And, you know, if you’re if you’re a great communicator, if you’re really good at executing, you know, if you’re really creative, like think about what that is and how you can leverage that in making an impact. So, again, be intentional, right? It’s not just like, oh, this sounds good, I’m going to do it. But if you want to have an outsized impact, I think it’s important to play to your strengths.
Speaker1: That’s great intentionality. What you do matters and use your gifts. Those are three incredible takeaways. And Fran, there are so many takeaways from this conversation that I’ve taken and I’m sure all of us will drop them down and relisten. And I just want to thank you so much. Everyone needs to get this book and needs to get the myth of the nice girl as well. It’s really for everyone. And I’m just thankful, as always, that you would give your time to me and to our audience. And I’m just really grateful. My husband said, oh, are you are you meeting with that mentor of yours? I said, Yes, but she doesn’t know that she’s my mentor.
Speaker2: Oh, my gosh. That’s that’s.
Speaker1: Amazing. Literally call you my mentor from afar because I just I just taken all that you’re doing and I really have followed your career. And I and I try to emulate you as much as but be myself in my own values. Oh, my.
Speaker2: God. First of all, it’s such an honor to hear you say that. That’s amazing. And I just want to thank you for everything that you do, because I feel that you put so much positive light and energy out into the world, really, through everything, through everything that you do. So thank you. Thank you for that. And thank you for having me. It was such a fun conversation.
Speaker1: Yes. Thank you so much.
Speaker2: Thanks, Bri. Right.
Speaker1: I like to say a huge thank you once again to Fran. That was such an honor to have that conversation with her. I hope you’re enjoying the podcast. This was episode three. We’d love to know what you think. So please drop a review, subscribe on YouTube, make sure you hit that. Plus sign on all of the different ways that you get your podcast so you can get episode after episode. Also, if you want more information about social impact consulting, startup consulting and all the other services that we provide, please find us at the Social Impact Echo. Or you can hit me up on social media at BRI Underscore Jensen Underscore. Next week on the podcast, I’m going to be discussing digital wellbeing and responsible tech with David Ryan Polgar, who is the founder of All Tech Is Human. This is a collaborative organization of people that are in the digital space, that are coming together to make sure that our kids, as well as ourselves, stay healthy on social media and in all the cyber worlds that we live in. I’d love to hear your social impact story and how you are making a difference in this world or through your business. So don’t forget to reach out to us on our Web site and we’ll talk to you soon.