Claire Wasserman, founder of Ladies Get Paid, is on a mission to help women advocate for themselves at work. After working in various industries, Claire launched the startup in the summer of 2016 -- and has since cultivated a community of over 5,000 members worldwide! She fills us in on what she believes is the key to success.
Fairygodboss of the Week: Claire Wasserman
FGB: Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?
CW: I had a stint as a child actor so I've been working practically my whole life! My career has been a constant reinvention, though looking back, there's definitely a through line of storytelling and community. In short, I've worked as a film producer, nonprofit fundraiser, in experiential marketing, and in recruitment (I was head of marketing for the Art Directors Club and then Working Not Working).
FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?
CW: I'm proud of my ability to get shit done and do it fast. I'm definitely action oriented and can't stand to let a good idea or an opportunity to pass me by.
In terms of something specific I've accomplished, I am by far most proud of creating Ladies Get Paid. I get emails from the community every day that make me cry; I'm so touched.
FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?
CW: I'm my own worst enemy. I can be really hard on myself and put a ton of pressure on myself to be perfect. (Something that many women struggle with!) I am definitely still working on it, but I've made strides in recent years to embrace the journey, rather than just judge the outcome.
FGB: Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? Why?
CW: By far, my mother. She's the artistic director at an opera company and is unbelievably good at balancing both the public facing role of inspiring others as well as doing everything back of house like fundraising, casting, dealing with personalities (it's the opera!) and making everyone feel heard. Despite all the late nights that being in the opera industry required, she always made it home for dinner - and cooked it!
FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?
CW: I'm in total startup mode so there's never a time when I'm not working.
FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?
CW: Oprah. Obsessed with her (who isn't?!).
FGB: What is your karaoke song?
CW: Hotel California.
FGB: What is your favorite movie?
KC: To Kill a Mockingbird.
FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?
CW: All the New Yorker magazines that have piled up since I don't have time to read any more.
FGB: What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?
CW: Connect others. I believe connecting others is the key to success. For those intimidated by the idea of networking, Professor Adam Grant lays it out perfectly in the book “Give and Take.” He reframes networking as connecting others (or what he calls “the five-minute favor”) and that perfectly articulates how I’ve grown my network and essentially built my career. I’ve recommended this book to more people than I can count.
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.