Broad Experience Shorts: Non-Mom

Ironically today in America more than ever before there are fewer mothers. And we have made motherhood the ultimate way to be a woman.
— Melanie Notkin
Photo by Maridav/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Maridav/iStock / Getty Images

This week, a short show on professional women with no kids. I covered this topic last year and got more responses than I had on any other show.

This time I'm using part of my interview with Melanie Notkin that didn't get an airing in the original podcast. She's a big advocate for women with no kids - specifically women who always saw themselves as mothers but for whatever reason, haven't yet had children. She's the author of a book on these women called Otherhood.

I'd love to hear from you, so if you have a comment on this topic, please post it below.

And about that T-shirt I mentioned in the podcast: this is a one-woman show and I do it because I think the stuff we talk about here is truly important. If you can support my work with a $50 donation I'd be very grateful. You can donate via the donate page. After that  please go to this Google form to fill in your name, address, email, and most important, size. The order will be sent once the shirts have arrived and the donation has been made. Shirt is 90% cotton, 10% polyester. It displays the graphics from this website's banner, including the text 'a conversation about women, the workplace, and success'.

Episode 66: Men on Women

I was told [the job] was going to my female co-worker, and it enraged me. I thought, ‘This isn’t how it’s supposed to go. I expressed myself in the masculine...and you gave it to a woman.
— Benjamin DeBoer
I think it’s very easy for men left alone without any women in a group to have a boys’ club environment...and maybe there is a young man who feels uncomfortable with that but he doesn’t feel empowered to speak up.
— Erik Michaels-Ober

Benjamin deboer

In this episode two men share their views on women and men in the workplace. One is straight, one gay, one works in tech and one in the arts.

We talk about how gay men can be sexist too, why society values masculine qualities over feminine ones, and what one company, SoundCloud, is doing to increase the number of female engineers who work there (including making its job descriptions less exacting).

Erik Michaels-Ober

And don't forget to check out my sponsor for this week at - they make setting up meetings a lot easier, and the basic service is totally free.

And now for the T-shirt news I mentioned on the show. Anyone who donates $50 to the show via the support page will receive a Broad Experience T-shirt like the one below. Yes, this is a ladies' shirt, but guys, if you're interested, I can definitely get a man's shirt made up as well.

Please go to this Google form to fill in your name, address, email, and most important, size. The order will be sent once the shirts have arrived and the donation has been made. Shirt is 90% cotton, 10% polyester. It displays the graphics from this website's banner, including the text 'a conversation about women, the workplace, and success'.

If you're female here's what I can tell you: these T-shirts are not overly large. I'm 5'8 and broad shouldered and I wear a medium, whereas with other T-shirts I can easily wear a small.


Episode 65: Transcending tradition - women in India

Women face this one universal problem, which is that men mostly cannot deal with women around’s the whole ego issue.
— Shaili Chopra
Shaili Chopra

Shaili Chopra

India is the world's largest democracy, with a population of more than 1.2 billion. Still, just a third of women are in the workforce. India-watchers say if more women contributed to the economy the country's GDP would shoot up. 

In this show I talk to Indian journalist and author Shaili Chopra. She says Indian women lack role models. She's out to change that with her media company She The People. We talk about the obstacles Indian women face that western women don't, the influence caste still has on society, and why Shaili's nanny has a nanny of her own. We also debate the meaning of the word 'feminist'. 

Don't forget to check out my sponsor this week at - it's free, and it takes the hassle out of arranging meetings.

India has a huge problem with sexual violence and sexual molestation (imagine sitting in your car when a hand comes through the window to grab your breast). In this video Samhita Arni talks to Meghna Pant about the problem and her initiative, Mapping Sexual Violence

Episode 64: Forced out

 June 1, 2015

"This person was already gunning for me, I could tell...there was undermining and erosion of my spirit, that's the only way I can describe it." - Marion Kane

"I prefer not to get mad but to get even. Every time I've been dumped by a man I've upgraded the next time I've gone out with one. And every time I've been sacked I've made sure I've gone out and got a better job next." - Mrs. Moneypenny

24 minutes.

Most of us have a bad breakup with work at some point. You don't have to be fired for things to end on a sour note - maybe you were bullied, you couldn't get on with a manager, or the job they advertised was completely different from the one you ended up doing. But however the end comes, leaving a job under duress is one of the hardest experiences to go through.

Marion Kane In this show we meet two women who know this first hand (so do I - more on that in the show). Marion Kane was a longtime food writer at some of Canada's top newspapers. She loved her work - but not her editor. She chose to leave, but still fantasizes about giving that boss a piece of her mind.

Heather McGregorAnd regular listeners will know Heather McGregor, otherwise known as Financial Times writer Mrs. Moneypenny. She's been fired a few times and has plenty to say about that, and about how to to pick yourself up and move on after the most painful of job losses.

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Episode 63: Getting your hands dirty

May 19, 2015

"Their world is talking about sports and getting through the day in construction, and they're outside all day. And so they're looking at all the eye candy...and you realize every woman that walks by is being observed and objectified." - Renee Mercado

17 minutes.

What could be more male than a construction site? Only 9 percent of US jobs in the industry belong to women, and even fewer involve manual labor. So what drove Renee Mercado to spend her days outdoors, managing a crew of curious and sometimes suspicious guys?

Renee Mercado

In this show we talk about what drew her to this work, the sexist comments she hears on a regular basis, and how she feels she's making a difference in a man's world.

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Episode 62: Claiming credit

May 4, 2015

"I think many women feel this, that it is through your relationships with different people in your company that you make things happen, but you just don’t get the credit." - Mary Kopczynski

"This is not about promoting lesser qualified women over more qualified men...this is about seeing that when we put a team together...the quality of the work done will be better if it's diverse." - Curt Rice

18 minutes.

In this show we hear from four familiar guests, using parts of our conversation you've never heard before. Mary Kopczynski

Lauren Tucker is co-founder and CEO of Cooler Heads Intelligence, although when I spoke to her she was the head of a tech division at an ad agency. She talks candidly about race and whether bosses ever see your full potential at work. Mary Kopczynski of 8of9 Consulting says women have to claim credit for their work or others won't notice their achievements. Curt Rice of the University of Tromsø talks about what it's like being a man advocating loudly for women in the workplace. And Financial Times journalist Simon Kuper reminds us it's not just women who make career sacrifices for their families.

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