053: The Parenting Playbook with Anna Mackenzie

September 16th, 2020 · 35 mins 42 secs

About this Episode

Parent Driven Development

Episode 053: The Parenting Playbook with Anna Mackenzie

Sponsor: Nurture Life

Welcome, Anna Mackenzie

Anna Mackenzie is a Software Engineer who is dedicated to improving parental leave policies in tech. She is currently working at Voiceflow, a software startup that specializes in workflow tools for building voice experiences. She is the co-author of “The Expecting Playbook,” a toolkit that helps start-ups of all sizes to roll out supportive parental leave policies. Her follow-up book, titled “The Parental Playbook,” provides start-ups with the necessary tools to support parents upon their return to work. In 2018, Anna was named as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada, as well as one of the Top 30 Women In Tech Making a Difference by the DMZ.

02:40 How did you come up with the idea? Why write these books?

  • Being a minority in the industry
  • Starting to ask difficult questions to companies she was interviewing for
  • No startup policy that lead to leadership roles for women
  • Companies need a better hiring practices for women

05:50 Asking about parental leave during interviews

  • Maternity AND paternity leave
  • Are companies set up to have employees transition easily in and out of leave?

08:40 Changing perspective in the workplace

  • The work place was designed for a world that no longer exists
  • The necessary reason to be LOUD about things you believe in

13:35 Good policies get great people

  • Employer thinking about childcare > parents thinking about childcare
  • Diversity includes parents

17:10 How are companies adjusting to parents during COVID19

  • Moms are typically affected more
  • How can we restructure what work looks like - long overdue!

18:40 How to be inclusive of parents when they come back from leave

  • Changing activities other than happy hour
  • Adding a lock to the pumping room
  • The importance of having diverse leadership and voices

20:45 Psychological safety

  • What’s OK for parents to mention to their team?
  • Will the team think less because a parent is sleep deprived
  • Employees do better work

26:15 Genius / fail moments

  • KWu gets her son to help with the dishes one utensil at a time to keep him from making a mess in the living room. #genius
  • Allison creates an obstacle course to keep her kids occupied, which includes a captain’s hat! #genius
  • Arit stays consistent potty training her daughter and finally gets onto the other side of potty training! #HUGEwin
  • Anna’s dog gets sprayed by a skunk at a friend's house, cleans him off and then goes home, to only get skunked again in her backyard!! #fail

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Allison McMillan
Arit Amana

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