“Pretty funny Hunter, you looking for a girlfriend?” That was the common reaction from my Stanford classmates when I asked to join the Women In Management (WIM) club while studying for my MBA. Ha ha, no. WIM had the stated purpose of creating community among women and raising gender-based issues for discussion. My interest wasn’t inserting myself into places that needed to be safe for women to talk amongst themselves, but rather play a role in the programming that was intended to appeal to both male and female students. Like the “Dual Career Couples” roundtable which showcased partners at various phases of their life together, managing the stresses of two professional lives. That flyer had Superman and Wonder Woman debating whose turn it was to watch their kid. I was pretty proud of that flyer.
Fast forward 15 years and I’m happily married to a third-wave feminist who works at Twitter while I hustle to get Homebrew, my early stage venture fund, off the ground. Oh yeah, and we have a three year old. We’re that event flyer, just without capes, invisible jets and superpowers. We try for 50/50 parenting but it’s not always that easy when our daughter demands for Mommy to put her to bed instead of Daddy. Or Daddy indulges his tendency to sometimes disappear from the house early weekend mornings to read a little of the Sunday New York Times.
My wife continuing to work after we had our daughter wasn’t just important to us materially (although I am on her health care plan), but also in role modeling. When Mom works late, Daddy makes sure to be home. Not to ‘babysit’ but to be a father. Mom comes from a line of fierce strong women who made themselves known in whatever domain they worked. My daughter sees that her Mom walks the talk and that’s what Leaning In means to us.
Let’s #LeanInTogether for equality. Visit leanintogether.org to learn more.