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Work and Life with Stew Friedman

Welcome to the Work and Life Podcast with Stew Friedman -- bestselling author, celebrated professor at The Wharton School, and founder of Wharton's Work/Life Integration Project. Stew is widely recognized as the world's ... More
Latest Episode
2019-7-17

Ep 132. Christie Smith and Kenji Yoshino: Covering Your Identity at Work

Christie Smith, Ph.D., is Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Apple. Previously she was Managing Principal for Deloitte Consulting’s West Division where she was also the most senior diversity partner leading the Deloitte University Leadership Centers for Inclusion and Community Impact. She has decades of experience building and leading high performing teams and she’s a known expert in the field of Human Resources and Inclusion. Kenji Yoshino, a Rhodes Scholar, is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law and the Director of the Center for Diversity Inclusion and Belonging.  He was formerly the Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He’s written several groundbreaking books, including Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights.  


This episode begins with Stew and Christie discussing some common struggles experienced by LGBT individuals in the workplace. Christie explains how she dealt with these issues in the beginning of her career by hiding who she was. Kenji then joins the conversation to talk about the research on covering -- disguising aspects of one’s true identity in order to fit in at work -- and how this is not only applicable to the LGBT community. He describes how he had to cover in his early career experience as a Yale law professor and brings up surprising examples of others who feel compelled to cover at work, including veterans and people suffering from various illnesses. He provides a helpful framework for understanding the different types of covering people use at work in their efforts to protect themselves from discriminatory attitudes and actions.  Together, Christie and Kenji explore the emotional cost of not being able to be your authentic self at work and what can be done to break through.



2019-7-17

Ep 132. Christie Smith and Kenji Yoshino: Covering Your Identity at Work

Christie Smith, Ph.D., is Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion at Apple. Previously she was Managing Principal for Deloitte Consulting’s West Division where she was also the most senior diversity partner leading the Deloitte University Leadership Centers for Inclusion and Community Impact. She has decades of experience building and leading high performing teams and she’s a known expert in the field of Human Resources and Inclusion. Kenji Yoshino, a Rhodes Scholar, is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University School of Law and the Director of the Center for Diversity Inclusion and Belonging.  He was formerly the Guido Calabresi Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He’s written several groundbreaking books, including Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights.  


This episode begins with Stew and Christie discussing some common struggles experienced by LGBT individuals in the workplace. Christie explains how she dealt with these issues in the beginning of her career by hiding who she was. Kenji then joins the conversation to talk about the research on covering -- disguising aspects of one’s true identity in order to fit in at work -- and how this is not only applicable to the LGBT community. He describes how he had to cover in his early career experience as a Yale law professor and brings up surprising examples of others who feel compelled to cover at work, including veterans and people suffering from various illnesses. He provides a helpful framework for understanding the different types of covering people use at work in their efforts to protect themselves from discriminatory attitudes and actions.  Together, Christie and Kenji explore the emotional cost of not being able to be your authentic self at work and what can be done to break through.



2019-7-10

Ep 131. Scott Behson: Working Dads Survival Guide

Scott Behson is a professor of management at Fairleigh Dickinson University. He is author of The Working Dad’s Survival Guide: How to Succeed at Work and at Home.    This practical volume provides useful advice and encouragement for working fathers, helping them to achieve success in their careers while being the involved, loving dads they want to be. Scott writes the popular blog, Fathers, Work, and Family, dedicated to helping working fathers and encouraging more supportive workplaces. Scott has won Teacher of the Year award and he’s a nationally-recognized scholar in the work and family field, having earned numerous research awards.


Stew and Scott discuss the stigmas, the work and life conflicts, and the unique challenges fathers face in the workplace.  They talk about steps working dads can take to increase their autonomy and freedom, for the benefit of both their careers and their families. Scott offers helpful guidance on how to approach managers about paternity leave, create a more flexible work schedule, and overcome internal fears fathers often feel about receiving backlash for putting family first. 



2019-7-3

Ep 130. John Baldoni: Grace

John Baldoni is an internationally recognized leadership educator, executive coach, and author of 14 books including GRACE: A Leader’s Guide to a Better Us; Lead with Purpose, Lead Your Boss; and The Leader’s Pocket Guide.  He’s been named a top speaker and leadership guru by Inc.com, Trust Across America, and Global Gurus. 


In this episode, Stew and John discuss his book Grace, which focuses on how and why it’s essential for leaders -- for all of us -- to pay attention to common courtesy, comity,  and civility in building connections in all parts of life. They note that in today’s toxic and sometimes vulgar public square these old-fashioned values are needed now more than ever. John defines grace as a combination of generosity, respect, action, compassion, and energy. He describes some inspiring examples of leaders who exemplify and model these important qualities.

2019-6-26

Ep 129. Jamie Ladge and Danna Greenberg: Maternal Optimism

Jamie Ladge and Danna Greenberg are co-authors of Maternal Optimism: Forging Positive Paths through Work and Motherhood. Jamie Ladge is a Professor of Management and Organizational Development at Northeastern University. Her research explores the psychological and career implications of working parents.  Danna Greenberg is a Professor of Organizational Behavior at Babson College. She studies work/life transitions. Their work has been published in top management and human resources journals and in the popular press.


Stew talks with Jamie and Danna about their findings, including the ways in which the transition to motherhood (and fatherhood) can, despite popular notions,  have a salutary effect on your work life. They’ve found that many mothers report becoming more empathic toward coworkers and that, forced to prioritize, they tend to delegate more to others, thereby helping to develop people at work. Ladge and Greenberg found there is no one-size-fits all solution; every working family requires a different set of solutions and these vary over the course of the life cycle. Talking with others, including those at work, helps you to see not only that you are not struggling alone, but that there are countless workable strategies;  you have to figure out what works right now for your own unique family circumstances. What is essential is to have a personal vision, to understand your own identity and who you want to be as a working parent. As a working mother, you have to muster the courage to choose what is right for you, at this moment.



2019-6-19

Ep 128. Mike McDerment: No Work Face

Michael McDerment is CEO and Co-Founder of FreshBooks, the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed exclusively for service-based business owners and independent professionals, with more than 20 million users worldwide. Mike has spent the last decade making accounting software accessible to small businesses and is co-author of Breaking the Time Barrier, which helps professionals better price their services, and has seen more than 350,000 downloads since its release in 2013. Since its inception, FreshBooks has scaled to almost 300 employees and is consistently recognized as one of Canada's best places to work.


In this episode, Stew and Mike talk about how Mike has created a workplace culture in which his employees don’t have to wear what he calls a “work face”; where they can feel safe to bring their whole selves to work. They discuss some of the creative “culture hacks” Mike uses to build an environment that breeds empathy.  Examples: every hire starts by working in customer service for a month, everyone can reward another employee with a gift card for embodying and demonstrating the core values of the organization, people are invited to go to coffee on “blind dates” with those in the company whom they don’t know, and team members are trusted to use their own judgment and structure their time as long as they’re accomplishing their work goals. Mike’s approach at Freshbooks is indeed a fresh take on leadership and culture and it’s been proven successful in the employee and customer loyalty it breeds.


2019-6-12

Ep 127. Caitlyn Collins: Seeking Work/Life Justice

Caitlyn Collins is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Washington University in St. Louis and author of Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving. Her book is a cross-national interview study of 135 working mothers in Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the United States. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals and has been featured in the popular press including The Atlantic, Forbes, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She is a 2019 Nancy Weiss Malkiel Scholar, a 2018 Work and Family Researchers Network Early Career Fellow, and a contributor for The Atlantic, The New York Times, and Slate.


In this episode Stew and Caitlyn discuss the cross-national differences Caitlyn observed in her research on working mothers in four countries. It was only the American women who blamed themselves for the stresses and strains of life as a working mother. In the other nations, women understood there were external constraints, out of their immediate control, that affected the stress they feel from conflict between work and the rest of their lives.  And they expected the community, the society, the government to collectively invest in the essential tasks of caring for rearing the future generation of tax payers and employees. They grasped that this is not a private, family responsibility, but a shared one. Apart from voting to create change in our social policy, which of course is essential, Caitlyn offers other ideas for how we Americans can orchestrate ways of being exposed to people different from ourselves, outside of our own immediate community, so we can better understand and feel part of the commonweal and compassionately invest in all aspects of our society, especially our children.



2019-6-5

Ep 126. Shawn Askinosie: Meaningful Work

Shawn Askinosie is CEO and Founder of Askinosie Chocolate as well as author of the book Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul. Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch, award-winning chocolate factory located in Springfield, Missouri, sourcing 100% of their beans directly from farmers in regions all over the world and sharing the profits with them. The Askinosie Chocolate mission is to serve farmers, their neighborhoods, their customers, and each other by leaving the world a better place than they found it. So far the company has provided over a million school lunches to malnourished children in Tanzania and the Philippines, without any donations. Askinosie Chocolate was named by Forbes as “One of the 25 Best Small Companies in America” and Shawn was also named by O, The Oprah Magazine, as “One of 15 Guys Who Are Saving the World.”


In this episode, Stew and Shawn discuss Shawn’s remarkable personal journey from being a phenomenally successful criminal lawyer, who never lost a case, to a life-changing moment that caused him to realize he needed to leave the law. Shawn speaks candidly about the imperative to explore one’s grief, one’s “pain point,” helping others to help oneself. He co-founded a The Lost and Found Grief Center and worked in a palliative care unit, “searching, searching, searching” for five years before finding his way to chocolate making and working intimately, and directly without delegating, with indigenous cocoa bean farmers in the Amazon and Tanzania. Shawn’s story is honest, sometimes wrenching, and inspirational.