Beyond Work
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Beyond Work

More Diverse Women Will Be Given the Opportunity to Rise Up

Founder Katharine Zaleski on her family/work life and the positives that could come out of this pandemic

This is the eleventh interview in the Beyond Work series looking at how founders and innovators work from home during the global pandemic of Coronavirus. In this interview, we head to New York to speak to founder Katharine Zaleski.

Katharine Zaleski is the co-founder and President of PowerToFly, the recruitment platform connecting women, non-binary and gender nonconforming people with jobs at companies that care. They are hosting Diversity Reboot 2020, a mega virtual summit from June 15th-June 17th where attendees can connect with hiring managers for free and listen to fantastic talks by Arianna Huffington, Sallie Krawcheck, Representative Val Demings and more leaders focused on rising from this crisis stronger through diversity.

Prior to founding PowerToFly, Katharine was Managing Editor of NowThis News, Executive Director of Digital News at The Washington Post and Senior News Editor at Huffington Post.

Amagansett, New York

What does a typical day look like for you now?

5:30am — My two-year old son gets into our bed and demands a bottle

5:45am — I stop fighting with him and get the bottle

6:00am — Up making coffee to start working (toddler is back to sleep or watching videos on my phone. My daughter sleeps in).

6:15am — Write down my three impact goals for the day and the to-do’s underneath them

6:25am — Meditate using Headspace

6:35am — Work on the most important thing for my day — usually a deck or a product mock review or a talk track to motivate my team. I focus the best before the house wakes up.

8:00am — Wake up my daughter for her homeschooling

8:45am — She’s up! We eat breakfast and go over the kindergarten schedule (my son is still watching YouTube)

9:00am — First virtual school meeting (I work on a deck in the background)

9:30am — I help with her reading or math… my husband helps too

9:30am — I meet with various teams to go over items that are blocked (daughter “working” or watching my phone in the background)

10:30am — Standup with our client success team (daughter “working” or watching my phone in the background)

11:00am — Marketing Stand up (daughter “working” or watching my phone in the background)

11:30am — 3:00pm — Client meetings (daughter “working” or watching my phone in the background)

3:00–5:00pm — Team 1:1s to check in with people (daughter “working” or watching my phone in the background)

5:00–6:00pm — try to work out on a stationary bike (kids beg me to get off)

6:00pm — 7:00pm — wine and some dinner

7:00pm — 8:00pm — bath and bedtime

8:00pm -9:00pm — fall asleep with a child on top of me

How has Coronavirus impacted your life/work?

PowerToFly, overall, is actually growing because we match women with roles and most of them are remote now. I am very motivated that our mission to fast-track gender equality is accelerating through the crisis.

I’ve worked remotely since 2014, but I would go into an office everyday after dropping off my daughter at school. Now I’m at my parents’ house, working from a cabin. I’m one of the lucky ones. Homeschooling has been tough but I have my family here to watch my son which is fantastic… Grandma and Grandpa do get exhausted.

What productivity tips have you found useful whilst working from home?

I love the Pomodoro method. I block my work in 25 minute increments to stay on track. You can download Pomodoro trackers easily for Chrome.

What five books would you recommend during this time at home?

When this is all over, what will the opportunities look like?

Many more people will be working remotely. For that reason, more diverse women will be given the opportunity to rise up in high-visibility roles that were previously filled by people who could move to expensive cities and who came in through undiverse referral networks.

This will all happen as tech companies spend more on talent in secondary cities to rise out of the crisis stronger like Amazon and Netflix did out of past recessions.

Katharine on Twitter




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Danielle Newnham

Host of Danielle Newnham Podcast — interviews with tech founders and innovators. Writer. Author. Recovering Founder.