In today’s world, having two kids and a full-time job is a lot for most women to handle. So when I listened to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki talk about how she manages raising five kids — ages 8 months to 15 years old— while running a multi-billion dollar company, I wanted to bow down and kiss the ground on which she walks.
Wojcicki shared the stage with actress and founder of The Honest Company Jessica Alba and CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King at the Women in Leadership Keynote at Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco this week.
King, who moderated the discussion, quipped, “Five kids by the same husband? I love hearing that.”
The inaugural Women’s Leadership Summit was Salesforce’s innovative approach to continuing the conversation on how to advance women in the workplace and close the gender gap in technology. In addition to Wojcicki and Alba, other influential women took the stage throughout the conference, including Academy Award winner & activist Patricia Arquette, CoderDojo CEO Mary Moloney, and Re/code’s Kara Swisher.
Rather than bemoan “why women still can’t have it all,” Wojcicki and Alba discussed how to balance work and family and what still needs to change to attract and retain more women in tech.
“Computer science has a reputation that isn’t accurate and has scared away a lot of women,” said Wojcicki. “When you think of computers, Silicon Valley and startups, you think of a bunch of guys sitting at computers.”
Indeed, television shows like Silicon Valley and The Big Bang Theory have helped perpetuate the stereotype of the nerdy “boy genius” programmer, or “brogrammer,” coding alone in a dark room into the wee hours of the night.