CEO & Co-founder
Access Innovation Lead
Healthcare Innovation Center @ Pfizer
VP, Applied AI & Growth
Chris Hemphill: And we are now live. And this is an extremely exciting conversation to have. Folks, hello, LinkedIn, hello, healthcare. Hello, everybody. We’re doing something extremely special today. This is our first panel that we’ve put on for International Women’s History Month. And we have people on this call, Ann, Dorothy, Heather, who have all made great accomplishments in healthcare, especially when you hear Dorothy and Heather stories in terms of enabling access for patients in various ways, Dorothy, with her background from Pfizer, enabling access that ultimately helped have a representative group of populations, people among all races and backgrounds for vaccine testing and for the vaccine rollout that’s been happening. And Heather, in terms of enabling on the consumer end, enabling access there for a frictionless, seamless scheduling process. So lots to talk about in terms of access for patients in response to COVID-19 and respond to other challenges and consumer challenges in healthcare, but also just lots to talk about in the barriers and challenges that as women, everybody had to break past to get to the position of being able to solve these challenges. So before we jump into it, just wanted to give the opportunity, Ann, Heather, for introductions. We’ll start with Heather. Heather Fernandez: Sure, quick introduction. I’m Heather Fernandez, I’m the CEO and co founder of Solv Health. We’re focused on enabling access to high quality care for consumers across the country. We started the company trying to answer three very boring questions. Where should I go for the problem I have? When can I be seen? How much does it cost? We recognized that easy in every other category, very hard in healthcare, and we do that by building a SAS enabled consumer marketplace. My background is very nonlinear. I started my career in politics, bought a one way ticket to Capitol Hill, a very, very long time ago, moved back to the Bay area where I worked with a number of startups, spent some time at Morgan Stanley. And then most relevant, is I spent a decade building a very different marketplace in a very different category, which was in real estate. I was employee number 12 at a company called Trulia, and built that over a decade, until our exit to Zillow in 2015. Started Solv in 2016, and super proud and happy to be here with all of you. Chris Hemphill: Really appreciate that background. We want to get deeper into that, Heather, those are really exciting things that you brought. Dorothy, introduction from you too. Dorothy Hoffman: Yeah. Hi, everyone. I’m Dorothy Hoffman. I serve as access innovation lead in Pfizer’s healthcare innovation center. Pfizer is one of the premier US pharmaceutical companies based in the United States. We do R&D to find treatments and cures to treat people for chronic diseases, and rare diseases. So I’m really happy to be here to join Heather, Ann and Chris in this conversation. Chris Hemphill: Strongly appreciate that background, Dorothy, and really appreciate the things that you’re doing and the things that you’ve been able to do, the things that we were talking about before the call. Everybody watching, welcome. We’re happy that you’re spending some time with us. We know that everybody here has had journeys and had challenges and stories or even questions that you might want to ask or share. So we invite you to do that. The reason we’re using the LinkedIn live platform is so that you can drop comments, you can share your stories, and we’re going to have a conversation. We have some pre determined questions that we will kind of guide our way through. But if there’s any stories or questions that you’d like to bring to the table, Ann is going to kick us off with the questions, but feel free, say hello, we want to know where you’re from, we want to talk to you, and we’ll work with you and we’ll have a conversation with you. But I’m just going to turn it over to Anne for introduction and jump into the questions. Ann Stadjuhar: Sure. Thanks. Ann Stadjuhar here, VP of sales and growth now at Symphony RM. Dorothy, you and I go way back. I might dare us, I remember your Camaro in high school. But you’ve had a fascinating journey from the standpoint of where you’ve gone in your career from a policy background at Eli Lilly, we ran into each other again at UnitedHealth Group when we were there together, which was fabulous. And then now at Pfizer. I would love for you to go into a little bit about your journey kind of who helped you along the path and then some of the focus that you have right now specifically with COVID and the impact as access and innovation are part of your role Pfizer. Dorothy Hoffman: Yeah. Well, great. So there’s a lot there in that journey. I started with a public policy background. So by turning back the clock, I graduated with a master’s in Public Policy from the Korbel School of International Studies in the early 2000, with a desire to work at that intersection of pharmaceutical and innovation, access to medicines and trade policy, which at the time was really hotly debated at the World Trade Organization and at the WHO. And it actually still is hotly debated today. For me, I really wanted to understand the perspective of the pharmaceutical industry and to try and lead change from within. And that led me to the role at Lilly. With time my responsibilities grew, and I was offered new roles focused on US access and reimbursement. But I’d say the turning point in my career journey happened a few years ago, where I co developed a partnership with Anthem, the large US health insurer. And that partnership with Anthem was focused on the question, how might the healthcare system pay or reimburse pharmaceuticals based on the health outcomes that they deliver in the real world? And this was really important because the Affordable Care Act introduced that shift from fee for service to value-based payment models. And while other parts of the healthcare system were leading and making the change, we weren’t really doing the same within the pharmaceutical industry. So we co authored a white paper that outlined a set of policy recommendations, and internally within Lilly, started to develop and pilot value-based contracts. And that partnership really opened a lot of doors for me that I could have never really foreseen to be honest. And from there, I joined UnitedHealth Group working on transformation initiatives within OptumRx, looking at pharmacy care services and the capabilities that they were developing, and they still continue to develop at today. And then more recently, I joined Pfizer’s healthcare innovation center. Our healthcare innovation center at Pfizer is really focused on reimagining the healthcare system of tomorrow, again, based on those concepts of value, real world evidence, outcomes. And for me, I’m focused on social determinants of health and health equity, which is something that the COVID-19 pandemic has really exposed and has laid bare some of the health inequities across our health care system. A recent example of my work is a partnership with a leading health care system that’s focused on preventative cancer screening. And this partnership, the objective of that partnership is to identify those social determinants of health barriers associated with patients not receiving guideline recommended preventive cancer screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers. The goal of that partnership is to characterize how patients are being impacted by social determinants of health barriers, and then what can we do about it. Can we put in place mobile screening initiatives? Can we put in place non emergency transport solutions, or targeted health literacy and outreach efforts? So, that’s kind of a taste of my journey. Honestly, I would have never imagined when I started to pursue the policy degree and walk down that path, that I would be in this space, creating novel partnerships. But it’s where I’m at now, and it’s been an exciting journey. Ann Stadjuhar: Awesome. Thanks so much. And Heather, I know you went through a little bit of your background, your roles in government, PR, tech, Trulia, what made you decide to go down the path you did with Solv specifically? And then really truly, what has the impact of COVID been on your business? Heather Fernandez: Yeah. Thanks for the question, Ann. My background is nonlinear. And much like Dorothy, at any point in my career, had you said, your job in 2020 was going to be the CEO of a digital health company with a meaningful role in a global pandemic, I would have told you, you’re out of your mind. Everything about that is not who I thought I was going to be even 10 years ago. So why did I start Solv? The line through my career is a bit of a power to the people play. I have a bit of righteousness around how I think things should be for us, for consumers. And that was true when I worked in politics, when I worked at Trulia and then after Trulia, I spent a decade there, I had three kids while I was at Trulia. And at the end of that, I looked up and I thought what is happening in the world? I have no idea because I’ve been so focused on building this business from zero to something very real. And it was really time for me to go and get the big girl job. Which one does after you build a real company and have a really big exit? And when I looked at a bunch of companies, I thought, “I don’t want to join any of these companies.” I had the fire to build and I also had the passion to put my talents into something that really empowered consumers. And when you start putting that hat on, you very easily end up in one of two categories in the United States, and that’s healthcare and education. And then within the first month of my exploration, I couldn’t stop thinking about the problems and opportunities to make healthcare better for all of us in the United States. And so how did I start Solv? I had a partner in my CTO who was truly a CTO, we committed a year to each other to figure out, “Can we bring our superpowers into this incredibly important category and figure out if there’s something a big business that we can build, a very strong mission orientation to make things better for consumers?” And it was really that simple. And what we came up with a year later, was the thing that we know how to do is build marketplaces. Trulia and Zillow are marketplaces in real estate where we think equally about the supply side of the market as well as the consumer side. That’s what we know how to do, that’s our superpower. And we identified an opportunity as consumers were very, very focused on those three questions, “Where should I go? When can I be seen? How much does it cost?” While at the same time, how much they’re paying out of pocket is going up. While at the same time there’s more financial insecurity, while at the same time the traditional model of how healthcare worked in the United States, one doctor one patient over your lifetime has really changed and is not the reality for most consumers. And so a year later we had a business plan for Solv focused on building a software for the supply side of the market, those are providers and building a consumer app in front end for consumers to answer those questions. And that was early 2016. If you will ask about 2020, it was a transformative year for us. In many ways the software that we built is the core consumer experience, online booking, wait time management, SMS based communications, contactless registration, then integrated into your clinical workflow, went from a nice to have, to a must have in 2020 where consumers needed digital to access care. Some data points in terms of telemedicine and all of 2019, we did 9000 telemedicine visits. It’s nothing, drop in the bucket. In 2020, we did 1.2 million as an example. In terms of COVID testing became really, really powerful on our platform because on Solv today, we have 100 million Americans within five miles of a bookable same day appointment. We worked with them to enable COVID testing across the platform and so when we look at all of 2020, we did something like seven million total COVID tests across the country which got some press COVID testing, but really became an important tool to managing the pandemic pre-vaccine and I think we’ll continue to do so post-vaccine. So for us it was an accelerant because what we did on the provider side became much more required to have and then on the consumer side, the need, getting me what I need today given where I am, what my insurance is, when I’m available became frankly incredibly relevant to the tune of more than 10X our overall consumer traffic during that period. So that’s how it went. I’m flat… I tell friends that I’m shocked that were part of the… That the pandemic was something that we were playing an active role in and I’m thankful in such a crazy year that we got to be able to play a part. Chris Hemphill: It is powerful to hear both of these perspectives on enabling access for so many consumers. And Heather, extremely impressive to hear this gap where there wasn’t kind of an existing marketplace and models that you’d seen in real estate before, but taking that thinking and bringing it into healthcare and it’s exciting to hear about those results. So in being able to get to the place to enable these opportunities, I wanted to go into the specific challenges and unique challenges as women who are driving these opportunities either within our massive pharmaceutical infrastructure like Pfizer, and of course from the entrepreneurial edge as well. So Heather, I wanted to direct this question at you, is that there’s a statistic from the Harvard Business Review that came out in 2018, that only 3% of venture capital in US companies went to companies with a woman CEO. So I was curious about, like in this journey of establishing Solv and making it what it is today, could you talk to us about the challenges that in terms of accessing needed capital and needed resources as a woman striving to transform healthcare? Heather Fernandez: Sure. I remember telling someone that I was going to start a company. And this is someone who has my back. A woman who I respect very, very much. And she said, “Don’t do it, they’re going to doubt you, you’re over 40, you have three kids, you’re a woman, you are not… The pattern recognition doesn’t really exist for your profile. And so you should just go get a big, impactful job somewhere.” And she’s not wrong. And so I think part of the way I’m going to answer your question is, as someone who is not like everyone else, you sort of need to own your own power, and know what you bring to the table. I talk to a lot of founders who get really hung up on the things that they don’t have. But my approach was that’s irrelevant. But I have a set of attributes that are unique to me, my superpowers that I’m bringing to the table. Because oftentimes, I think the answer to your question, Chris, is the biggest impediment can often be how we are seeing ourselves. So, one is I just owned my power. At this point, I built a company that was sold for two and a half billion dollars from zero, from basically no users and no revenue. I had the experience of running multiple functions. And so I just backed myself and believed that it was going to happen on my own behalf. The second thing that I also had to do, and I think is very relevant for women in particular, actually let me tell their story. I was pitching Solv for our first round of funding, and an investor, female investor pulled me aside, and she said, “You are underselling Solv. You need to be way bigger in how you tell the story.” And I’m so thankful for her. And she’s right. I think one way that women can often… And there’s lots of data, orient themselves is around here are my accomplishments, here’s what I have done. Here’s the proof in why you should believe in me. When a lot of venture investing and pitching yourself is about the big story and the dream. It took that conversation by this investor pulling me aside to reorient how I talked about Solv. So I guess the second thing I’ll share is, for me, I had to get out of my own skin. And I think this is often true for many women, of talking about what I have done, and instead pitching what is possible. Chris Hemphill: That’s absolutely fantastic to hear. And I love the way that you frame that story, especially in terms of thinking about all the content, all the media, all the different things that you’re told and we’re told, ultimately about how we don’t measure up to some invisible norm that we could never achieve. Like we [crosstalk 00:18:42]. Heather Fernandez: Mm-mm (negative). And just know what you bring and lean into that when you’re doing your pitch. Chris Hemphill: And I wanted to direct the next question at Dorothy, kind of in the same vein, but we were thinking in terms of access to capital, but there’s also of course, discrimination and blockers, like we call this breaking the ceiling for a reason. And we’re curious if you’d like to share any kinds of instances where you might have been confronted with gender bias in the workplace and discrimination based on being a woman? Dorothy Hoffman: Yeah. That’s a really great question, Chris. I’m biracial, and there have been times when I’ve met people for the first time, who will say something like, “Oh, I didn’t expect you to look the way you do.” Or, “Oh, you don’t look like a Dorothy.” And that’s always really startling. Because you don’t expect somebody to just kind of say something like that just to your face, first of all. But secondly, I was raised to be colorblind. And So I just think of myself as me. And so I don’t necessarily think of how others may perceive me. And I think it’s also startling for the person, the other person in the moment. Because at that moment, they’re recognizing their own bias, maybe for the first time as they’re engaging in that way. So it’s a reminder to me, I never take it that there’s negative intent behind it, but it’s a reminder to me that, we form judgments as people based on something as simple as somebody’s name. And we all have these biases that we bring to the table. And so in those moments when that happens, it’s a learning moment to be honest. It’s a learning moment for me just to reflect on my own bias, for me to consider how I interact with others who may not look like me, who may have a different name. And it also has oftentimes kind of opened up a space, a space for a conversation with the other person. Because again, there’s that recognition on the other side. So, I don’t know if I’ve been confronted with a gender bias per se, but just that bias, kind of based on assumptions about a person on simple things. Definitely something that I’ve experienced throughout my career. Chris Hemphill: And there a… So I had a… Ann was about to ask a question, but I saw a really interesting one coming from the comments from Okoye Blessing. I think was directed at Heather, around how do you get out of your own skin? Like all of the weight that people are putting on and all the preconceived notions. What’s kind of your thought process in pushing those past and moving forward and selling Solv the way that it needs to be sold? Heather Fernandez: I can never be the other thing. There’s just no version of me being the thing that I’m not. I’m not the 25 year old, white kid that’s an engineer who’s working out of my garage. I’m not that kid. Right? I’m not… I’ll talk about a very tactical thing. I’m on the board of a company called Atlassian, which is the makers of Jira and Confluence which some of the audience might know. I’m on the board with incredible people. The CEO of Intuit, a very senior Mark Zuckerberg’s number two within the engineering org, J. Prick. Part of how I think about my role there, is not I need to be like them. I’m not them. I am a startup founder and business builder. And so I need to own who I actually am and bring that to the table, versus worrying about whatever check boxes other people have, or might believe that should exist, because I just have no option to be that other person. So, that has often helped me. There’s this concept of imposter syndrome. That is my top track for myself, whenever I start feeling that way, another example is when I go and talk to large health system executives, or people within the industry who’ve been there for 30 years, and they’re accustomed to seeing people who’ve worked in the industry for the 30 years. That’s not who I am. And so I lean into my story, which is I’m a founder, I focus on consumer products, I focus on transforming industries. And so that’s my answer. That’s how I do it. Is I have a bit of a top track with myself on what is the power that I’m bringing? And just own that, versus worrying about whatever set of check boxes which don’t apply to me. Chris Hemphill: Thank you very mu, Heather. That goes with the theme of our conversation. I want to throw it at Ann for the next question. Ann Stadjuhar: Oh, well, I think that we’ve all kind of grown up from the standpoint of sometimes being our own worst enemies and everything that we asked on ourselves, and thank you, Heather, for again reminding us to look in the mirror and own what we need to. Historically there’s been… I think we had the lean in movement. And the lean in philosophy, and that’s definitely kind of transformed itself and changed over the years. And I think we’ve all felt a sense to that. Sometimes women [inaudible 00:24:50] best friends that are always leaning in, or what do we need to do where we had opportunities to remove barriers for other people? I think introductions and both Heather and Dorothy being friends, the opportunity for me to bring you guys together here and even meet each other and see how we can help each other out in some of the COVID vaccinations and the work that we’re doing collectively is important. But in your networking and in your own circle, and in your movement of really discovering who helps you and who’s kind of helped you in your career and where to look for the lights that can cooperate and coordinate with you, we’d love to share some stories of just the help and assistance that we can offer each other. Dorothy, you want to start off? Dorothy Hoffman: Sure, I’ll start off. I’ll answer this question both in the workplace, and then just kind of personally at home. So in the workplace, the biggest help for me has been, not mentors. We have a lot of conversations around mentors, who’s your mentor? You need to get a mentor from the start, when you’re in graduate school, you’re in school, you’re earlier in your career, you need a coach, you need a mentor. But honestly, the biggest help that I have found, has been the role of sponsors throughout my career. And a sponsor, these are the people who are going to go to bat for you, the people who are in the room who have influence over a decision that’s being made, who’s going to advocate for you when there’s an opportunity open, or there is a job that’s available. And it’s kind of tricky in a way, because you don’t necessarily go up to somebody and say, “Hey, can you be my sponsor?” It is one of those relationships that you cultivate over time. It’s relationship based, you’re often working with in partnership, or in tandem with this individual, you are delivering yourself consistently and with excellence over time. And sometimes you don’t even know that somebody is actually going to be your sponsor. You may have a sense of who they are, but you actually may not know that there are people out there looking out for you and advocating for you. So it’s a matter of making sure I think, number one, you’re showing up, you’re committed to your job, and you’re constantly pursuing whatever it is you’re pursuing with consistency and excellence. So that’s kind of one thing with sponsor relationship. The other thing that’s been a really big help of mine, and this was talked a lot about in the leaning book as well, honestly, is my husband in his absolute support for my career and the moves that we have made to different companies, to different geographies. And honestly, without his absolute support and dedication, that’s really helped enable the success in my career, or it’s enabled me to make choices about my career or take on roles that may be I would not have taken on before. So that idea of making your partner, a partner, and the role of the sponsor in advocating for you and going to bat. Those are the two biggest kind of sources of help for me throughout my career journey. Ann Stadjuhar: Very good. I think now we’ve all kind of graduated certainly into positions where we can be allied, and we can open doors, and we can help people too. And I think that’s incredibly important. Heather, do you want to share some stories about the light being left on for you? Heather Fernandez: Yeah. I will share the one best thing that I got out of Stanford Business School, which is where I went for my MBA. Was a group of women that I have now met with once a month for the past… I graduated in 2004. So, however long that’s been, 17 years. So I think my answer to you is, I surrounded myself with equally professionally ambitious women, because it helps to one, normalize what we are doing, and help everyone see that you can in my case, in our case, be a mom and be a professional and be very, very ambitious. And so with this group of women that I’ve met with once a month for that very long time, we support each other on all things from salary negotiations, to complex issues at work, to trying to manage things that are happening with our kids as they go through various stages to our partners. And that has probably been the single most impactful sort of professional organization. I don’t even want to call it that, that undermines it. It has been one of the most impactful things to my career, is having this group of women have of similar profile to me to help me be successful across all of it. And so one piece of advice I try and give to young women who ask me the question, is surround yourself with people like you, because you can support each other through the really hard stuff. A very tactical one I’ll share is when we were looking for a new community to live in, it was really important to me to find a place where dads dropped off as often as moms because I’m a great mom and what I want is signal in my community for me and for my kids that both parents drop off. Because it’s very easy as a professional woman to start beating yourself over the head if you’re a parent saying, “I’m not good enough,” because the people around you’re doing something different. So those are two tactical things that have been very helpful to me as a woman, as someone who is oftentimes one of only sitting around the table. Chris Hemphill: I just want to… Well, first of all, I want to thank everybody who has stayed with us, we’ve gotten a little bit over that 30 minute mark. I apologize about that, but it’s such a broad topic. We should be at the 30 hour mark pretty soon. But ultimately, we’re really thankful that you’re staying over with us and we actually have a few more questions that we’d like to go through as well. So keep the comments rolling, loving seeing the comments especially about understanding and owning your power. And Dorothy and Heather, both appreciate the thanks that they’re getting. So to keep that rolling. The next question that we have is kind of on the other side. We’ve been talking about what you do and how you cope with discrimination. But there’s the challenge of the people who are doing the discriminating that could be anybody on the gender spectrum, but really, when it comes to what men should be doing or how people should be checking their own biases and thinking about the challenges and barriers they might be creating for others, curious… And this is open to anybody, but curious what’s your perspective on how people check their own biases know when they’re being unfair and start making the course correcting to change? Heather Fernandez: Chris, I’ll just quickly answer that one by saying I think what we saw through 2020 with the George Floyd murder and more and more of the narrative around more exposure around what actually happens with discrimination, is that all of us need to ask ourselves the questions basically all the time. Am I thinking this about this person because they are different in profile? Whatever the difference might be. I don’t think this is just about men advocating for women or white people advocating for people of color, I think the reality is we all come with some set of biases based on our experiences and in order for us to break through those, we need to ask the questions of ourselves and of our colleagues clearly and honestly. And then be willing to accept that, “Wow, maybe I did say that because I’m biased against women. Maybe I did say that because I have this bias that women are supposed to be more warm and fuzzy every time I meet them. Maybe I did expect X, Y, or Z.” I just think asking the question and normalizing that dialogue for all of us is what’s required to move forward. Chris Hemphill: Strongly [crosstalk 00:34:00]. Dorothy Hoffman: Just a little bit more… I think it’s really… It can be challenging to experience empathy and understanding for others experience. And I have to say I’m a huge fan of employee journey mapping, I’ve been a part of a couple of organizations who have done this. And when you do this… In the pharmaceutical industry we do a lot of mapping about the patient journey, what will they experience from the time they start to feel ill to diagnose, to their treatment. But if you take that same process and turn it around and apply it to the employee journey, you start to uncover insights about not only the experiences that colleagues have, but also the bias you may not have considered. For example when I was at Lilly, they did a tremendous amount of work at mapping that employee journey. And one of the elements that emerged on the insights that emerged in mapping the African American journey for example, was that some of the colleagues would have this experience of, as they were traveling from their home to the workplace of being followed by the police. There were examples of this happening, that’s something you wouldn’t necessarily know about a colleague or an executive. But when you start to do this mapping, and start to uncover these insights, you realize that individuals are experiencing discrimination, racism in ways that maybe you haven’t contemplated. Another good anecdote was several of the male executives had wives who didn’t work. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But that also kind of casts a light on how they may view potentially women in their careers as well. So just a couple of just really kind of anecdotal examples. But again, if you’re looking for practical examples and tools to gain the insight, I think that employee journey mapping exercise is really important to consider pursuing to really uncover the insights, the examples, the biases that may exist, across your organization. Chris Hemphill: That’s extremely powerful. And I’m really happy that you brought that up, I actually wasn’t familiar with using an employee journey map, and then using that to look at what are the experiences that different people experienced based on race or gender or what have you. But in a lot of scenarios, I believe that a lot of people are walking around thinking that their corporations and where they work, are doing the right things and not discriminating, but what that would do, just sounds like something that would surface that data and just kind of make [inaudible 00:37:16] that some sort of change needs to happen. Ann Stadjuhar: Well, we’ve got a lot of wonderful comments and questions and things like that coming in. I think we’ll begin to kind of wrap things up. And one of the considerations that we’re seeing come up a little bit here is mommy guilt. How do we manage the mommy guilt? There’s no doubt as the mother of a 15 year old daughter, my goal is certainly to set the example for her, but there’s been times I’ve maybe not been, or I feel guilty where I’ve not necessarily been, where I felt I needed to be or being in two places at once, et cetera. How do you guys manage your mommy guilt? Or do you need to? You have a good partner? In just kind of thinking about that, how do you manage that? Dorothy Hoffman: Ann, I think it’s always there. I have an 11 year old son, and you try and find that balance, it’s tough. It’s really tough. I try to make it to as many soccer games, soccer practices, if I can schedule it in and actually do the drop off and pick up, I’m going to do that, I’m going to be there. There are times where I’m relying on my husband to be able to do that. So it takes balance. I don’t think that guilt ever goes away. I always want to be present more. But it’s finding that balance. And you’ve got to… I’ve had to find ways to schedule it in and also find ways of when I can actually say no and just even carve some limits out or put some boundaries around my day to make sure that I’m present and I’m there for those moments that I need to be there. Heather Fernandez: I’m going to see something slightly controversial, which is I don’t have a lot of guilt. And one way that I’ve managed that for me, is I’ve sort of set guidelines for myself on what is okay. And that way, because I always wish I could work more, I always wish I could do more stuff with the kids. And I believe very strongly that I’m a better mom, because I do the things that I do. I’m not saying that’s right for everyone, but that is how I feel. And these guidelines so for example, pre-COVID I had a… And this change over time as the kids changed in age. I have a 13 year old girl, a 10 year old boy and a seven year old boy. But it was, I will not be away from the kids for more than three nights a week, that might not be right for everyone else, that was my line more recently in 2019. Whether that’s travel, or that’s work events, and there was an expectation with the kids, they knew that that was part of what I did. And that’s what I was comfortable with. There were times when it was one night a week, there was times when my rule was, I’m always home, especially when the kids were younger, I will always be home by 5:30, unless it’s an exception. I found it helpful to give myself guidelines, because if you’re always judging yourself, versus what someone else is doing, you will always fail. But if I had my own guidelines, which I am flexible to change as circumstances change, then I can have comfort that I’m sort of doing what I think is appropriate to do. And it’s a little righteous for me to say, I don’t have guilt. But I feel like there are in all parts of life, you can’t do 100% of the things all the time. So I just accept that that is part of life, and then I try and create the guidelines that feel really good to me based on what’s going on in my family. And then I can’t underscore enough Dorothy’s earlier point on having a partner who is equal to me. I think a lot of mommy guilt comes from 80% of what’s supposed to happen in our house is my job, me the mom, that I found a partner, thank goodness, that is not how we operate. And that helps tremendously. But I will say, on this topic, people ask me how I do it. And I saw this a couple of times in the thread. People ask you how you do it. This part is not that complicated. There are logistical things that need to happen. And so someone needs to do them. It’s you, it’s your partner, it’s your mom, it’s your cousin, it’s your village, it’s your nanny, it’s your au pair, however, you’re going to construct the logistics of life, those are hours that need to be spent. And for me, I make sure that the hours I’m spending are the ones where I’m going deep with the kids and I tend to do at this point now, as a CEO of a fast growing startup, this window is I’m doing less of the logistics and more of the deep experience stuff together. And that will change as the kids grow. That’s my answer. Chris Hemphill: Appreciate it. Appreciate it all around and thank you for being there and hearing what the challenges people were bringing to the table in the comments are. And while I wish that we could go on forever and ever, we are running up against time. So I just wanted to maybe give everybody the opportunity to kind of think back to hey, why am I here? What’s the message that I want to share?” If there was anything that I’ve said today or anything that I’d like for people to leave this conversation with and kind of have as their final thoughts. I just want to kind of allow you to share what that final thought that you came to express today was. And we’ll start with, Dorothy. Dorothy Hoffman: Yeah. Chris, I would say find those moments that matter and act on it. I think I have found that the most impactful change or learning throughout my career has come from those small moments. If you’re in a meeting for example, and somebody knocks it out of the park, let them know about it, reach out to them and tell them that moment was great, and tell them why it was great. And conversely, if something didn’t go, well reach out to that person and let them know about that too. And give them advice on how they may be able to make a different choice or do something different. I think we go through our days, and very few people ever engage in this way. And again, my most powerful learning moments and growth moments have come from those experiences. So again, find those moments that matter and take action on it. That’s what I would leave with the audience today. Chris Hemphill: And from you, Heather. Heather Fernandez: I guess I would just reiterate what I think has been my core theme of the session, which is don’t worry about the thing that you’re supposed to be, or the profile you’re supposed to fit. Figure out who you want to be and how you want to run your life, and then go do that. And part of why I do these sessions, and why I said yes when Ann reached out to me was, I think it’s important for people to see profiles that are different than what you see across the mainstream media more typically, or in the boardroom more typically. And part of what I try and do is provide some of that visibility with a little thing that I do. And so for those of you in the audience who are making it happen in your day job in your life, I would say just make sure that’s visible to the other women or underrepresented folks that you are around because I think seeing examples matters. Chris Hemphill: Ann. Ann Stadjuhar: Oh, well, in closing, I would say they continue to definitely offer the hand. And as we all grow up, the one thing that I’ve found myself in the position to do is open doors, and be the light and ultimately, really give people the opportunities that were given to me in the mentorship that were given to me. And now it’s kind of that passing of the torch. And that is that opportunity and we need to realize that some of us are in positions of power now, and the recognition of how we got there is very much so with the help of others. And that is definitely incredibly important is that we continue to kind of pass that on and open doors for other people. Chris Hemphill: Well, I appreciate this, everybody. And I got to say that I’m flattered and honored that you all would come on with us and share the story and be so honest about the background and some of the things, the issues that you’ve confronted. I want to also share that with the audience too, there’s been a lot of energy shared today. And it looks like a lot of what Dorothy and Heather were bringing to the table, is kind of resulting in things that people are going to take with them and that they’re considering to change in their own personal lives. So I appreciate everybody hanging out with us for a while and talking about these issues. There’s just so much to unpack, Heather and Dorothy, that you all have done in your roles at Pfizer and at Solv that are opening up access to so many people. So hope to have you back for future conversations, digging more into that aspect as well. But until that moment, thank you everybody very much and we will see you soon. Heather Fernandez: Bye, everyone.
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