The Juggle: Mita Mallick!

It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

It’s all about finding the balance.
These are the kind of truisms women are told every day in myriad ways. And while they may be truisms because there is truth in them, the fact remains that for us to find our way, run the race, keep the course, we must all too often do so without the infrastructural support necessary to stay in the game, much less thrive. And, yet, here we are, storming the corridors of power, at home and at work, rewriting the rules, questioning the “facts.” Stride by stride, brick by brick, we are walking new paths, creating new infrastructures. And we are boldly giving voice to our own idiosyncratic, individual, and very personal truths.
We contain multitudes, that’s for sure. And this deserves more than mere recognition. It deserves celebration. Enter The Juggle, a new column from The Second Shift and PureWow, that seeks to explore, understand, illuminate, and elevate the ways in which women navigate the nitty gritty of their daily lives. This isn’t about the major achievements—the corporate promotion, the company launch, the hard-won path to motherhood—but the small successes of keeping all the balls in the air, or just trying to. Here is where we embrace the sweetnesses and struggles, the triumphs and imperfections of the everyday.

Our first feature is Mita Mallick— Head of Diversity and Inclusion and Unilever, mother of 2, wife and our friend. We are thrilled to showcase the many ways she is a total badass. This feature will run weekly and the group of women are a total inspiration!

Excited to share this with you!

Sallie Says: Just Buy the Latte!

Sallie Krawcheck busting myths about women and money in an article on the ways women are spoken down to when it comes to money and equity. Her message– buy the latte! Don’t let society tell you to save the latte cash and you will be rich or you have to choose if you are a Carrie (buys shoes) or a Miranda (saves money). This is a distraction from focusing on the systemic issues that keep women from gender equity.


“….as infuriating as it is to be patronized, that’s not the biggest issue. All this nonsense about lattes and shoes is shifting the attention–and thus the blame–for the underlying systemic money challenges women face, to the women themselves. The pink tax, the wage gap, the debt gap, the funding gap, the domestic work (and emotional labor) gap, and–my personal crusade–the investing gap.”


Sallie and her company Ellevest are taking power back into the hands of women with skills building, investment advice and financial tools to level the playing field.  Because, she says, “As Gloria Steinem has said,– We will not solve the feminization of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth. So, ladies, buy the f***ing latte, because I’m going to need you caffeinated when we do this thing.”


Oliver Guide Founders Q and A

Oliver Guide is a crowdsourced travel platform where user share their travel recommendations for the community. It’s founders, Cynthia Pillsbury and Courtney Leary,  are two mothers who love to travel with their families and created a platform to aggregate the information and tips they got from friends. In the spirit of celebrating family and travel and our community they are hosting a sweepstakes for our members to win some of their fave travel accessories.



What is Oliver Guide?


A platform for capturing and sharing travel recommendations.


You are both busy mothers with jobs– what inspired you to create this platform?


A need. We were both traveling a lot and asking friends for recommendations on where to stay, eat and what to do as friends and friends of friends are the people we trust the most when it comes to travel. At the same time were being asked to share our travel information which meant that we were going back to old emails and doing a lot of time consuming cutting and pasting. Oliver Guide solves that– once you create a guide, you can share it with others forever. And, you can access travel recommendations from friends with ease.


Cynthia– as a Second Shift member, do you have advice for any other women thinking about standing up a new business venture but feeling overwhelmed?


Remember to have fun with it. If you don’t love it and believe in it, don’t do it. Also, take it one step at a time, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day and often times the best ideas evolve with time, trail and error (yes error!).


What are your favorite travel destinations?


Courtney: Always love France, Santa Barbara and New York, but someplace new is the best.


Cynthia: I have my stand-bys – Vail and Nantucket, but have made a promise to take my children somewhere NEW and different every year. We loved Belize and Laos.  Next on the list is (hopefully) Greece for kids and Japan for adults.


Best advice/tip you’ve learned through an Oliver Guide?


Courtney: How to do Art Basel, Miami.  It was something overwhelming that turned into absolute fun once I knew what to do!


Cynthia: Traveling with children is not for the faint at heart. I love to go go go, but that does not always work for so we do… a little culture, a little beach (chill time), a little culture, and so on. I also download Google maps before I get to a location and have my Oliver Guide accessible via a screen grab (if I am not able to have cellular) so I have a plan of attack on the days’ activities.

We All Shine Together!


I recently learned a new term that I love, Shine Theory, coined by Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow, their basic premise is “I don’t shine if you don’t shine”– meaning women are more powerful if we collaborate and support each other rather than competing and undermining ourselves. What’s interesting to me is how much has changed since they created this theory in 2013.


When Gina and I started The Second Shift in 2014 we could never have predicted the front row seat we would have to witness the social and political changes that would give birth to a new wave of feminism. In the past few years we have seen the rise of #metoo movement exposing the ways women are held back by unfair power dynamics in the workplace. To take matters into our own hands, women are founding businesses at a rate of nearly 2000 a day in the US. Yes, we still account for only 2% of Venture Capital investment, but we’ve gone around the system and created our own venture capital firms and investment avenues to nurture and support female founders.


Consider Wingable_able Partners, a boutique venture capital fund with an emphasis on supporting female founders, partnered with The Wing to create an investment accelerator providing both funding and mentorship. Partner Lisa Blau says, “ A great deal of success—for better or worse—lies in your network. Men have worked this to their advantage for years. We’re bringing that type of network effect to a group that has been overlooked and left out of the network far too long: women. It’s instinctual for women to collaborate so this partnership with The Wing to support talented women was a natural fit.”


Today there is a women’s affinity group, co-working space, networking breakfast for even the most specific interest or community. If you’re entrepreneurial you can join The Riveter, political join The Wing, mid-career leveling up look into Chief, founder join Female Founders Collective, creative sign up with Heymama. As Katya Libin, Heymama co-founder says, “collaboration is the new competition.” This new feminist moment is about finding or creating your own space and seeking comfort with women who make you feel strong and powerful — but not at the expense of anyone else. There is a “more is better” attitude that is a remarkable change from old-fashioned trope about women’s cliques and competitiveness. I should know– I float between them all doing career building and speaking events across the country– and what I have seen is a level of collaboration and cooperation that proves that Shine Theory works.  


For those who say we are operating outside the system and will never crack the glass ceiling of the male-dominated corporate world– I say look at successful female-founded businesses, like iFundWomen, nurtured and funded by female-founded investors to help provide capital and skills for other women founders. Instead of focusing on the glacial pace of change and stagnant statistics… why not focus on the points of light where women are shining and making real progress. It’s a remarkable moment to bear witness to and an exciting time to be in the women’s empowerment business.


Ladies– let’s #shinetogether!


Older and in Charge!

“Women, we’re nurturers, that’s what’s expected of us. We have our children, we have our husbands if we’re lucky enough, and our partners. But we have to find personal fulfillment. We have to follow our dreams. We have to say, “I can do that, and I should be allowed to do that.”


Glen Close famously said that in her Golden Globes acceptance speech last Sunday. She is just one of a growing group of successful women over 60 coming into their own power in this present moment. Think Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Susan Zirinsky who was just named the head of CBS News.  This is a demographic of women who are sidelined and silenced no more.  But why now? A recent NY Times article points out a few unique reasons that 60+ women are taking center stage:


  • The overall aging population is staying healthier and working longer than ever.


  • The #metoo movement forced a reckoning with power dynamics and unfair gender structures that have historically kept women from reaching the top.


  • Women who started working in the 70s and 80s are now at the height of their power and success… as their male counterparts are dealing with the fall out of their poor behavior.


The rise of women as a political, cultural and professional force can’t be ignored. Let’s hope it spreads and companies fill their leadership roles with older, experienced women. The pipeline of female talent to senior level roles is depleted because, according to Pew Research,  39% of mothers say they have to take time off to care for family and 42% reduce their hours. This is a fact that is talked about a lot about in articles, conferences and summits but there are very simple answers:


  • Hire and promote more women
  • Create family-friendly policies including fluid parental leave,  flexible hours and remote options.


The more the workplace changes to accommodate the needs of women early in their careers the more women will remain engaged, rise up the ranks and take home the ultimate prize– power!


Cate Luzio- founding a new path!

Cate Luzio, the extraordinary Founder and CEO of Luminary, can’t recall a time when she wasn’t passionate about empowering women. She ran several global women’s initiatives and events, mentored young women, and serves on the National Board for Girls Inc. But with the opening of her work/wellness/ collaboration hub Luminary, she has taken this passion and turned it into a mission, creating a dedicated space, and vast ecosystem, within which women can connect, support, uplift, and advance one another. Luminary’s tagline—We are in this together—comes directly out of Cate’s own playbook. It is our pleasure and privilege to shine a light on this bright light. Because, to quote Cate, “Real change can happen in the world when women work together on behalf of all women, raising each other up.”


Tell us the story of Luminary. When and how did the idea come to you? Was there an aha moment or something specific that precipitated its creation? And what was the turning point that enabled you to transform this vision into something tangible and real?


After almost two decades in banking and a successful career, I continued to notice the lack of senior women at the top. We read about it, we talk about it, we write and tweet and post about it. However, when I look around, we’re not only lacking women at the top, we lack women in the middle. How can we move the needle if we don’t have more women moving up? I felt a real passion for investing in talent in the organizations I worked for, but I felt like I wanted to do more and needed a bigger platform than one bank or one industry.


After a discussion with my (male) mentor in November 2017, he challenged me and asked, What do you really want to do with my career? I honestly couldn’t answer. I just figured this was it. But that conversation stuck with me. I couldn’t shake some of his comments about figuring out what I was passionate about. I left banking to figure it out and, three months later, I was writing a business plan for Luminary.


One of my strongest skill-sets is taking an existing idea or business, creating a better way of doing things and then executing. I’m a builder. While a great deal harder without the infrastructure of a big corporation, this project is similar. I started with writing a full business plan in March and we’re opening our doors in November. We worked extremely fast because 1) I know there’s a need for this space 2) I know how to execute. I have to credit my experience in banking and 20 years in corporate America for giving me the insight, tenacity and credibility to do this.


Throughout your career, your interest in connecting, supporting, and promoting women has been a recurrent theme. Where does this passion come from? And how do you think women can change the workforce for one another in the years ahead?


I learned at an early age to help others. My parents raised me to stand up for myself and those around me, to do the right thing. Over the years, I received a lot of support from many of the men around me but rarely women, partly because there weren’t that many in banking above me. As my career accelerated, I was very aware of helping others, investing in people and working with them in any way possible – 1:1s, roundtables, speed mentoring, etc. but how many times have you been asked or have asked to have a coffee with someone for career advice? We can fill our calendars with these meetings. I believe there is a better, more efficient, and impactful way to get good advice and build relationships. How can we broaden the impact? That’s the challenge Luminary is trying to solve.


We need ways to get more women into top jobs but in order to do that we need to develop the pipeline in our workforce, specifically women. And we need to commit to helping each other get there. Attracting, retaining, and promoting women is a huge need for so many companies, large and small, and commitment to helping each other is critical – raising each other up. Connectivity amongst one another is paramount, developing a broad network of support. We should be confident in competing and driving for success, but we also need real collaboration. Let’s focus on inspiring each other.



You’ve had wonderful male mentors and bosses, and also those who led you to second guess your worth. Can you share a little bit about all this and what role Luminary has carved out for men?


I’ve had some amazing male mentors (in fact almost all of them), managers, and peers. Throughout my career they have supported me, provided guidance and opportunities. Every single job I was recruited for came from a man. They are a big part of our journey, career influencers, and half of the workforce. They need to be at the table with us, helping to promote gender parity and pay equality. The statistics show that the number of women at the top won’t change or improve without men’s support.


But I have known many men who made me second guess myself, too. Or tried to diminish who I was or my performance. One of my former managers actually told me (a few times) that I did too much, that others couldn’t keep up. He said Cate, you go 100 miles per hour. Not everyone can keep up with the way you work. We need you to go 50 mph here. That’s our speed. Basically, he meant ‘slow down’ so I didn’t outshine him or others. I should have realized then it wasn’t the environment or culture for me to develop and succeed.


Knowing the positive and negative, I wanted to promote working with men while also having a space dedicated to advancing women; although Luminary is focused on female members, we want to include men in various programming, events, workshops and more. We work with men and we need to keep working with them. We’ve developed Luminary in a way that is safe and secure and for women but doesn’t exclude men, particularly for select events but also for meetings. We have private meeting rooms that are for “co-ed usage” should one of our Members want to bring a male in for a meeting or one of our Corporate Members has an offsite or team meeting where they want men to attend. It’s our way of being female-centric but also being pragmatic.


What advice would you give to other women about valuing themselves? On getting pay commensurate with performance? On promoting themselves? Are there common pitfalls you’ve observed? And what’s the antidote?


Be yourself. Stay true to who you are and stand up for yourself, ask for the new job/role, for the raise or promotion or flexible work. You have to ask for what you want but you have to demonstrate why it should be yours. I’ve always worked hard, and then worked harder. And don’t give up. When I was little, growing up with two brothers, my dad told me early on that if I fell down (or was pushed), I had to get back up and walk it off. Get back out there and give it everything I’ve got. I live that every single day.


As far as pitfalls, I think it’s the same old lack of confidence, feeling like you need to check every single box before you go after that new job or role, or falling victim to playing politics. I’ve always tried to let my work speak for itself. As my career accelerated, I believed if I was good enough, I wouldn’t have to play the game. We’re constantly coerced into playing the game, so it’s hard not to join. As a woman, there is heavy competition with men but there seems to be an even bigger competition with women, mainly because there are fewer of them. What do you think those younger women looking to us for guidance see when they look up? If they can’t see it, they can’t be it. They need to see female role models.


Women are constantly pitted against one another and part of what we must do is to stop allowing and engaging in this behavior; and yet, almost every question/comment I get is about the other women’s businesses I’m competing with and how will I “win.” Why? Well, it’s easier to foster competition than collaboration. But can’t I just support those women and what they’re building without explaining how I’m better? I’m giving it my all to foster an environment that encourages women, not hinders. There is room at the table for all of us. Let’s avoid this pitfall or at least narrow the gap!


Lastly, not every woman is an entrepreneur or freelancer. What are ways we can support entrepreneurs and freelancers, but also women who are still in the traditional workforce? And women who are looking to transition from one kind of work to the other?


Whether small or large, we need to build communities made up of female leaders of all ages whilst empowering all of us to make informed decisions to build our very best personal and professional lives. Taking a leap into entrepreneurship or a new role or just trying to advance your career is definitely difficult; there are so many factors against you. However, regret is far worse. Get in the driver’s seat and take control. Invest in yourself and the other women around you. Work together to support, inspire, and help one another. Focus on collaboration over competition. Raise each other up. Both women AND men. Let’s surround ourselves with luminaries of all kinds.


Come check out Luminary and meet Cate in person on Dec 12th at our event with celebrity divorce attorney/ founder of It’s Over Easy Laura Wasser 9-11 am. Register here and bring friends!

Meet Super Woman/Lawyer/ Entrepreneur Laura Wasser!

Laura Wasser is most often referred to as LA celebrity divorce attorney with clients like Angelina Jolie, Maria Shriver and Britney Spears; she is one of the most powerful matrimonial attorneys in the country. These days Laura is also trying on a new role, entrepreneur, as the founder of It’s Over Easy, an online marriage dissolution tool that takes her knowledge and experience and democratizes it for anyone to use. Laura will be joining our founders, Jenny and Gina,  for a talk on Dec 12th in NYC (info at the bottom) – in the meantime, we have a lot to learn about career and finances from someone who has seen the mistakes women make and how to avoid them.


You are a high profile divorce attorney charging big bucks— where did your entrepreneurial spirit come from?


I’m not certain that I actually have an entrepreneurial spirit. I am and have always been, a problem solver. This serves me (and our clients) well in my private Family Law practice as the more efficiently conflict is resolved, the less acrimonious and costly the dispute will be.  After about 20 years of working in this field, it became clear to me that a larger overarching problem to be dealt with is how divorce is perceived and approached. Our system is broken and as parents, couples and humans, in general, we cannot put our fates into the hands of others when we are or could be equipped to amicably and cost-effectively resolve issues near and dear to us on our own. I want to change the face of divorce. If my startup can do that, I guess I’ll embrace my entrepreneurial spirit!


How has the transition from a full-time lawyer to the owner of a tech-enabled business platform been? The transition has been awesome! I love this new world and the possibilities it holds. Marrying (excuse the pun) my knowledge of the Family Law field with the needs of a wider user base is really exhilarating. Educating families as to how they really can do things better is gratifying and I am passionate about it.


What are the top 3 questions you get from your female clients worried about divorce and starting over?


-Will my kids be ok?

-Will I be ok?

-How long will it take to get to a new normal?


Money is obviously a huge part of splitting up— what should women know about their finances that they don’t? What mistakes do they make in the negotiation process? How should they think about the next phase when they are a single parent?


Often women do not know enough about finances at all. What the family makes, spends, owns and owes are items that we should all check into now and again. One of the bright spots about divorce is that we have access to all of this information and are unlikely to ever live in the dark again once we have gone through it. A big mistake in the negotiation process is not seeing things from the perspective of the other person. As insecure as you are about finances he may be about custody (and vice versa). Think about who this person is on the other side of the table. It’s likely you know them better than anyone. How can this be used to your advantage?


For women out of the workforce or not the breadwinner, getting a job to support their families is a necessity, yet the demands of being a single parent vs the price of childcare make navigating that divide tricky? What have you seen as a successful path?


Get a job! It is an amazing opportunity to recreate yourself outside of your home/comfort zone. The first six-twelve month period may be tough but once you have gotten into your groove and made yourself indispensable you will likely earn more and the child care balance will make more financial sense. Also, it takes a village. Don’t be afraid to ask friend or family for help. Then, reciprocate!


You are a single mother of two— how do you make work work for you??


You have to try to find a balance. Kids are super adaptable, particularly those of working moms. Sometimes it works seamlessly, sometimes it is a disaster. There is an excellent Ralph Waldo Emerson quote which I often cite:


“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”


That and a lovely glass of wine usually helps at the end of one of the crappy days.


Come hear Laura speak live on this topic and more at our NYC area member event– 12/12 at Luminary. Register here to join us. We will be live streaming on Instagram if you are not in NYC. We will be live 9:30-10:30! Join us!