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Fairygodboss of the Week: Lisen Stromberg

Lisen Stromberg, Chief Operating Officer of the 3% Movement

Photo credit: Chrissie Kremer

TAGS: Fairygodboss of the Week, Women in the workplace, Work-life balance, Career advice

Lisen Stromberg, Chief Operating Officer of the 3% Movement – which aims to increase the number of women in leadership in advertising – is the ultimate advocate for those who want to start a family without sacrificing their career ambitions. In fact, she’s just published a book all about the subject: “Work Pause Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood without Killing Your Career" is now on sale, and Lisen will be speaking about the book at the 92nd Street Y in NYC on March 1. Her #1 career tip? “Whatever immediate work/life 'balance' issues you are facing right now will change in time. Free yourself from guilt.”

Fairygodboss of the Week: Lisen Stromberg

Chief Operating Officer – The 3% Movement

San Francisco Bay Area, California

FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?

LS: Well, it certainly wasn't a straight path – that's for sure! I started out in brand management at Nestle, left because it sucked to be a mother there. Moved to advertising at Foote, Cone & Belding and left because it sucked even more to be a mom there. Pivoted to become a social entrepreneur. Pivoted again to become a journalist. Now I'm back to advertising trying to help the industry (and others) become more family- and female-friendly.

FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

LS: I am so very proud of my first book, “Work Pause Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career,” which was published on January 31st, 2017. It's the book I wish I had when I was trying to figure out how to integrate kids with my career.

FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?

LS: I've faced the same challenges women, and in particular mothers, face in the workplace each and every day: conscious and unconscious sexism, motherhood bias, ideal worker bias, and flexibility bias to name a few. But, in truth, the biggest thing I have had to overcome is my own self-doubt and fear about disrupting the traditional career paradigm to build the life and career I want.

Lightning Round:

FGB: Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? And why?

LS: Without a doubt, my Fairygodboss is the 3% Movement founder and CEO, Kat Gordon. She embodies all that you could want from a boss - she is passionately committed to helping each of us reach our full potential.

FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?

LS: Right now I am busy with three key initiatives: 1) promoting my book, 2) speaking around the country on building the career that truly works for you and on how to create workplaces in which we all can thrive, and 3) building The 3% Movement beyond a conference to a full-service company dedicated to changing the ratio of women in leadership in advertising.

So...I'm pretty much always working right now, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But, I do love to ski, see movies, read, run, mountain bike, having dinner with friends, and cook with my husband.

FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?

LS: Table of 8: Michelle Obama, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abigail Adams, Margaret Sanger, Sacajawea, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Aung San Suu Kyi.

FGB: What is your karaoke song?

LS: Let's be clear - I can't sing. But if we could totally auto tune my voice and I had many martinis, I'd would have sung these songs (by decade): In my 20s: You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman; In my 30s: Teenage Dream; In my 40s: Landslide; In my 50s: Dog Days Are Over.

FGB: What is your favorite movie?

LS:  Really? That's like asking which child is your favorite.

FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?

LS:  Middlemarch by George Eliot. It's long, mannered, and based in the cold, green English countryside, which should help offset the hot sun on that desert island.

FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?

LS: Shopping vice? Sunglasses. I really don't need another pair and yet...

If I won the lottery, I'd finishing paying off my children's education and then set up a college fund to pay full tuition for as many under- resourced first generation women and men as I could. I believe a well-educated populace is the cornerstone of a thriving democracy.

FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?

LS: Careers are long. If you chose to be a mother, you'll be a mother the rest of your life. Whatever immediate work/life "balance" issues you are facing right now will change in time. Free yourself from guilt and take confidence that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

FGB: Why do you love where you work?

LS: I get to work with inspiring people each and every day. I get to control my time and work where and when I want. I get to do work that has purpose and deep meaning for me. I believe what we do is making a difference for women AND men in the workplace.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women. So each week, we celebrate a woman who makes a difference in other women’s careers. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate and thank her by nominating her here.

 

 

Related Community Discussions

  • I need some advice. I recently took maternity leave, which ended up turning in to Temporary Disability Leave because of some medical complications I had after the baby was delivered. I returned back to work after being off for 24 weeks. I have returned to the same job and have tried to get back into the swing of corporate life + new baby (first time mom here) and have the opportunity to take an additional 4 weeks off paid by the state, but it needs to be taken and completed before my child turns 12 months old and that's fast approaching.

    I submitted a request to HR to take temporary leave of absence and my HR department is denying me the ability to take this leave, stating that I exhausted the 13 weeks FMLA that the company offers (has to offer) to all employees. They are saying that I don't qualify for this leave until a full 12 months after my initial leave started. Everything I have read online and everyone I have talked to say that FMLA and TCI leave are completely different and separate. Technically, I think I am allowed to take this leave, the State says I qualify for it, but it's now in my employers hands and I am afraid if they deny me, and I choose to still take the leave, that I will not have job security. The brochure talking about TCI doesn't say anything about FMLA being the deciding factor "http://www.dlt.ri.gov/tdi/pdf/TCIBrochure.pdf."

    Does anyone know what my rights are? Can I legally take the 4 weeks off, and still have a job to return back to? Given that I had to take so much time off, do I still qualify for job protection and benefits?

    Thank you for any an all help.

  • My friend just told me (she was trying to be nice) that I'm limiting my career potential because I don't wear makeup to work. Do you think she's right? Do I need to wear makeup to be "professional?"

  • I am highly skilled with a background in marketing management (MBA in Finace and Marketing), process improvement (Six Sigma), project management and research. I have been ranked number 3 in quality performance and recognized by a CEO for my innovativeness. I have taken serval (3) years off from the corporate environment to take care a relative that has significant chronic medical issues. I am ready to go back to work, but I have contraint. I want to be available - so I do not want to travel more than 20%. I do not want to work extreme hours - I want a balanced life. I am trying to relocate to the Raleigh/Durham area in North Carolina, so that I can oversee my relative's care, but I realize that this may not be possible.

    Watching this health crisis unfold has taught me that I do not need to make 6 figures. I want work that makes a difference and pays well. I am not a spring chicken (59 years olds). I documents that show the quality of my work.

    Where do I find a company that will provide the mental stimulation and flexibility. I like to think, solve hard problem and significantly change companies in positive way. I like the think tank environment.

    How do I search for and find a good fit?

  • I am highly skilled with a background in marketing management (MBA in Finace and Marketing), process improvement (Six Sigma), project management and research. I have been ranked number 3 in quality performance and recognized by a CEO for my innovativeness. I have taken serval (3) years off from the corporate environment to take care a relative that has significant chronic medical issues. I am ready to go back to work, but I have contraint. I want to be available - so I do not want to travel more than 20%. I do not want to work extreme hours - I want a balanced life. I am trying to relocate to the Raleigh/Durham area in North Carolina, so that I can oversee my relative's care, but I realize that this may not be possible.

    Watching this health crisis unfold has taught me that I do not need to make 6 figures. I want work that makes a difference and pays well. I am not a spring chicken (59 years olds). I documents that show the quality of my work.

    Where do I find a company that will provide the mental stimulation and flexibility. I like to think, solve hard problem and significantly change companies in positive way. I like the think tank environment.

    How do I search for and find a good fit?

  • Hi Fairygodbosses! I am writing here on behalf of my mom because I love and want the best for her. She has been working at a non-profit for the last 9 years and has become miserable at work. She wants a career change but doesn't know what she wants to do or how to get there. She is only now making the salary she should be making at 58 years old and I think that holds her back from taking a chance and leaving her company. Do any fairy godbosses here have some advice or resources for a middle-aged woman looking for a career change (and feels like a life change)? How can my mom build her confidence and self-worth to go after what truly makes her happy (or at least start trying to figure it out?) Appreciate any of your thoughts.

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Fairygodboss of the Week: Lisen Stromberg

Fairygodboss of the Week: Lisen Stromberg

Lisen Stromberg, Chief Operating Officer of the 3% Movement – which aims to increase the number of women in leadership in advertising – is t...

Lisen Stromberg, Chief Operating Officer of the 3% Movement – which aims to increase the number of women in leadership in advertising – is the ultimate advocate for those who want to start a family without sacrificing their career ambitions. In fact, she’s just published a book all about the subject: “Work Pause Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood without Killing Your Career" is now on sale, and Lisen will be speaking about the book at the 92nd Street Y in NYC on March 1. Her #1 career tip? “Whatever immediate work/life 'balance' issues you are facing right now will change in time. Free yourself from guilt.”

Fairygodboss of the Week: Lisen Stromberg

Chief Operating Officer – The 3% Movement

San Francisco Bay Area, California

FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?

LS: Well, it certainly wasn't a straight path – that's for sure! I started out in brand management at Nestle, left because it sucked to be a mother there. Moved to advertising at Foote, Cone & Belding and left because it sucked even more to be a mom there. Pivoted to become a social entrepreneur. Pivoted again to become a journalist. Now I'm back to advertising trying to help the industry (and others) become more family- and female-friendly.

FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

LS: I am so very proud of my first book, “Work Pause Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career,” which was published on January 31st, 2017. It's the book I wish I had when I was trying to figure out how to integrate kids with my career.

FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?

LS: I've faced the same challenges women, and in particular mothers, face in the workplace each and every day: conscious and unconscious sexism, motherhood bias, ideal worker bias, and flexibility bias to name a few. But, in truth, the biggest thing I have had to overcome is my own self-doubt and fear about disrupting the traditional career paradigm to build the life and career I want.

Lightning Round:

FGB: Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? And why?

LS: Without a doubt, my Fairygodboss is the 3% Movement founder and CEO, Kat Gordon. She embodies all that you could want from a boss - she is passionately committed to helping each of us reach our full potential.

FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?

LS: Right now I am busy with three key initiatives: 1) promoting my book, 2) speaking around the country on building the career that truly works for you and on how to create workplaces in which we all can thrive, and 3) building The 3% Movement beyond a conference to a full-service company dedicated to changing the ratio of women in leadership in advertising.

So...I'm pretty much always working right now, and I wouldn't have it any other way. But, I do love to ski, see movies, read, run, mountain bike, having dinner with friends, and cook with my husband.

FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?

LS: Table of 8: Michelle Obama, Gloria Steinem, Eleanor Roosevelt, Abigail Adams, Margaret Sanger, Sacajawea, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Aung San Suu Kyi.

FGB: What is your karaoke song?

LS: Let's be clear - I can't sing. But if we could totally auto tune my voice and I had many martinis, I'd would have sung these songs (by decade): In my 20s: You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman; In my 30s: Teenage Dream; In my 40s: Landslide; In my 50s: Dog Days Are Over.

FGB: What is your favorite movie?

LS:  Really? That's like asking which child is your favorite.

FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?

LS:  Middlemarch by George Eliot. It's long, mannered, and based in the cold, green English countryside, which should help offset the hot sun on that desert island.

FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?

LS: Shopping vice? Sunglasses. I really don't need another pair and yet...

If I won the lottery, I'd finishing paying off my children's education and then set up a college fund to pay full tuition for as many under- resourced first generation women and men as I could. I believe a well-educated populace is the cornerstone of a thriving democracy.

FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?

LS: Careers are long. If you chose to be a mother, you'll be a mother the rest of your life. Whatever immediate work/life "balance" issues you are facing right now will change in time. Free yourself from guilt and take confidence that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

FGB: Why do you love where you work?

LS: I get to work with inspiring people each and every day. I get to control my time and work where and when I want. I get to do work that has purpose and deep meaning for me. I believe what we do is making a difference for women AND men in the workplace.

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women. So each week, we celebrate a woman who makes a difference in other women’s careers. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate and thank her by nominating her here.

 

 

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