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IAM1734 – CEO​ ​and​ ​Co-founder Creates a Community to Improve the Workplace for Women

Podcast Interview with Georgene​ ​Huang

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”: In episode IAM139 of the I AM CEO podcast, host Gresham Harkless interviews Georgene Huang, CEO and co-founder of Fairygodboss. Fairygodboss is the largest career community for women, providing information on work-life balance, salary, maternity leave policies, and how companies treat women.

In the interview, Georgene discusses her passion for improving the workplace for women, her background in business and finance, and the challenges she faced in starting and growing Fairygodboss. She also shares insights into effective leadership and offers advice for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to make a difference in their communities.

Overall, the episode provides valuable insights into the world of women's career development and the mindset and strategies needed to succeed as a CEO and co-founder of a community-driven organization.

I AM CEO Handbook Volume 3 is HERE and it's FREE. Get your copy here: http://cbnation.co/iamceo3. Get the 100+ things that you can learn from 1600 business podcasts we recorded. Hear Gresh's story, learn the 16 business pillars from the podcast, find out about CBNation Architects and why you might be one and so much more. Did we mention it was FREE? Download it today!

Previous Episode: https://iamceo.co/2018/12/28/iam139-%E2%80%8Bceo%E2%80%8B-%E2%80%8Band%E2%80%8B-%E2%80%8Bco-founder-creates-community-to-improve-the-workplace-for-women/

Transcription:

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Georgene​ ​Huang Teaser 00:00

Women are really having conversations on site with each other. It's not always about their specific job, but it might be something like, should I change my last name using it professionally after getting married? Or it might be about something in the political and news sphere, there are active conversations about the Brett Kavanaugh hearings for example, with what's going on.

So these conversations have become sort of the lifeblood of the community and are helping us become a weekly and daily habit or even when they're not looking for job.

Intro 00:31

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs, without listening to a long, long, long interview?

If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of.

This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:56

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories or topics or as I like to call them, the business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, and what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month we are focused on our greatest asset: talent management, and hiring. Think from great resignation to the great renovation. And if you disagree with me, maybe these episodes might be especially for you. Life and especially business has changed. It has forced those that are within organizations to look differently at talent and how it's being managed. When we talk about change, think about it, we have to realize that business as usual is no longer here and that's evident in attracting and retaining clients, but also in setting up people within organizations to succeed. Think onboarding, think DEI- diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. How it is working from home and even going back into the office.

Things are different in this month. We are going to explore these topics by featuring CEO hacks and CEO nuggets, but also interviews that focus on these changes and how organizations can make sure they care for and attract the most valuable asset, their people. Sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

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Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today I have Georgene Huang of Fairygodboss. Georgene, it's awesome to have you on a show.

Georgene​ ​Huang 02:26

It's great to be with you.

Gresham Harkless 02:27

I appreciate you for taking some time out what I wanted to do was read a little bit more about Georgene so you can hear about all the awesome things that she's doing.

Georgene is obsessed with improving the workplace for women. She's a CEO and co-founder of Fairygodboss, the largest career community for women to discover the hard to find intel on work life balance, salary, maternity policies, and how companies treat women. Previously, she ran the enterprise business at Dow Jones and was a managing director at Bloomberg Ventures. She's a graduate of Cornell and Stanford Universities.

Georgene, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Georgene​ ​Huang 03:02

Yes, I am.

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Gresham Harkless 03:04

Awesome, awesome, awesome. So the first question I had was just to hear a little bit more about your CEO story and what led you to start your business.

Georgene​ ​Huang 03:10

Well, Gresham, about three and a half years ago, I was running a big business unit. I like to say I had a bad day at work, so Fairygodboss was born out of an experience I had while job searching. I was pregnant two months and not showing, and I happened to be laid off during a management shake, so my boss was fired and this had nothing to do with my pregnancy, but it put me in a really awkward situation as you could imagine.

I was going on the job market wanting to find out things about companies' maternity leave policies and whether they're executive women in management positions, and I just didn't feel like I could talk about any of these things. So Fairygodboss is really a place meant to help women who are struggling with getting insight intel about what it's really like to work somewhere with other women.

Gresham Harkless 03:55

Awesome. Awesome, awesome. Well, obviously sorry to hear that you had to go through all of that, but I always say sometimes it's darkest before dawn. Sometimes those bad things happen, but good things come about from them. And it seems like through your process, looking for all those kinds of nuances for a job and all those kinds of criteria that you were taking into account, you couldn't find it, so you decided to create it in true entrepreneurial form.

Georgene​ ​Huang 04:15

That's right. And I think having that experience was my aha moment that women do really experience career indecisions and issues differently than men.

Gresham Harkless 04:23

That makes perfect sense. I wanted to drill down a little bit deeper to hear a little bit more about what you can do on Fairygodboss, what kind of information you have there, and a little bit more on how it's serving the clients.

Georgene​ ​Huang 04:33

Sure. So we're free for women and what women do on our site. Long time ago, all we had was just a job. So we ask them in our community, 15 different questions ranging from their salary range, their title, their department, and whether they think women and men are treated equally at their companies. Do they take maternity leave? How flexible are the companies?

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These questions really are the ones that women in our community want to hear about. So we used to only be able to do that, but since we have grown, we now reach over two and a half million women a month on the site, women are really having conversations on the site with each other, and it's not always about their specific job, but it might be something like, should I change my last name using it professionally after getting married? Or it might be about something in the political and news sphere.

There was an active conversation about Brett Kavanaugh hearings for example, on what was going on. So these conversations have become sort of the lifeblood of the community and are helping us become a weekly and daily habit for women, even when they're not looking for jobs.

Gresham Harkless 05:35

That makes perfect sense. It's funny a lot of times we solve one problem and then all of a sudden all these other, I guess I shouldn't say problems, but things you can help support end up coming about.

Georgene​ ​Huang 05:46

Yeah, and I would say that we're the largest career community, and so jobs are always gonna be at the forefront of what we do, but there's so much that happens between first job search, which typically now happens every two and a half years.

Gresham Harkless 05:58

That makes perfect sense. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce and this could be what you feel kind of distinguishes you or your organization that kind of sets you apart.

Georgene​ ​Huang 06:06

Well, I would say that if you think about the career communities out there, LinkedIn probably comes to mind. What LinkedIn is essentially doing, it's a great company, but it's putting your face next to your resume. This means that while it's great to research who people are and understand who you're connected to, what it's really bad at doing is helping you have authentic conversations around things that you might feel less than secure about you. You're supposed to be the best version of yourself.

So the way we bring companies and jobs to light is by going into the really personal stuff that you wouldn't necessarily put right next to your resume. So the stuff about, how you manage your day in terms of work-life balance, how you rose up through the ranks on a more storytelling basis. These are the things that I think attract women to the site. Also, help us convince employers we are a B2B enterprise sales revenue business model, it helps customers to partner with us because it's hard to find a place to tell your story through sharing your personal needs.

Gresham Harkless 07:07

That makes perfect sense. Now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but it's something that makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Georgene​ ​Huang 07:19

Well, we are a venture-funded startup and that means that we're growing and changing very rapidly. So for me to constantly get better, means that whatever got me here probably means is not gonna be enough for getting into the next milestone. So that's really hard to do and I often have to force myself to stop and be really critical about how I'm spending my time with my energy.

Gresham Harkless 07:42

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I'll oftentimes just say, wherever your next step is, you have to give up your previous step or your future business where you end up growing your business too. You have to give up some of the things. So it kind of sounds like you go through that exact same process when you're thinking about growing your business.

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Georgene​ ​Huang 07:55

Yeah, I'd say every six months I consider myself having a new job. Because the company is so different.

Gresham Harkless 08:01

Awesome, awesome, awesome. Now I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or piece of advice or something you can tell your younger business self.

Georgene​ ​Huang 08:10

I would say that the most helpful people in my journey as a CEO are other founders and CEOs who've done it before me and are a little bit ahead of the curve. So I don't mean somebody who may be 20 years ahead, but literally a year or year and a half ahead of where my business is. Those are the people in conversations that have been most eye-opening and helpful.

Gresham Harkless 08:30

That makes perfect sense. I always say success leaves clues, so a lot of times you can pay attention to those people that you know, have done what you are hoping to do and have accomplished that, and you can kind of learn a lot from them and you can implement it into your overall activities and your business.

Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show. So Georgene, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Georgene​ ​Huang 08:55

It means, first and foremost, being aware of how to get the best out of people. No person, especially CEO can do it all. Therefore, it's about leveraging the people that you collected around you, and your team, and making sure that you are giving them what they need.

Gresham Harkless 09:14

Awesome. Well, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule Georgene. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know and then of course, how to find out more about Fairygodboss and get in touch with you.

Georgene​ ​Huang 09:28

I would just say that our social mission is to improve the workplace for women, and we do that with every single woman that joins our community. So anyone who wants to partner, because they have women in their lives or women in their organizations like customer base, user base should reach out, easy to find on the internet with a unique name

Gresham Harkless 09:46

There you go. Yeah. Just in case it's a little bit too difficult, we'll have all the links in the show notes just so they can follow up with you but I appreciate you again. I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 9:56

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast, powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google Play, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five-star rating. Grab CEO gear at www.ceogear.co.

This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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