Ancestry CEO Deb Liu Says Women Need to Reframe Their Relationship to Power

Ancestry CEO Deb Liu Says Women Need to Reframe Their Relationship to Power

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[MUSIC PLAYING] ADI IGNATIUS: I'm Adi Ignatius, editor in chief of HBR. And welcome to The New World of Work. Every week on the show, I talked to a leading CEO about the challenges that he or she is facing at our company. We have a great guest today.

But before I introduce her, I want to read a word from our sponsor, Unisys. The way you see the world depends on how you look at it. Where some see barriers, others see breakthroughs.

Unisys creates technology solutions so that you can see one breakthrough lead to another. Unisys, keep breaking through. All right, so my guest today is the CEO of Ancestry, Debra Liu. She began her career as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and has since worked for some of Silicon Valley's most recognized companies. At PayPal, she was director of Corporate Strategy and Product Management. At Facebook, she held major positions in app commerce, platform monetization, and games.

And two years ago, she took over the reins at Ancestry, the nearly $5 billion consumer genealogy platform. Deb also is author of the book Take Back Your Power-- 10 New Rules for Women at Work. And she has a lot to say about gender issues in the workplace. Now, due to some scheduling conflicts related to-- this is Thanksgiving week in the US.

We had to pre-record this conversation yesterday. So now, here in full is my conversation with Deb Liu. All right, Deb Liu, thank you very much for being with us today. DEB LIU: Thanks for inviting me. ADI IGNATIUS: So let's jump right in. So I read your book, Take Back Your Power-- 10 New Rules for Women at Work.

But before I get into questions, I'd love to hear your take. What would you like to be the primary takeaway for people from that book? DEB LIU: I actually start the book saying, power is not a dirty word. And that is absolutely true. I think we have this weird impression that actually wielding or having power is actually a bad thing. But the actual definition of power is just the ability to influence people and events around you, which is something we should all want with every single day of our lives.

It just means having impact. But it's really that you have more power, which means that in the circumstances that you're in, actually taking advantage of the things that you can do to move things towards justice, move things towards the things that you're passionate about, that you're actually delivering to your customers. That's what I want everyone to walk away with. ADI IGNATIUS: So in the book-- I'd say the book attempts to be inspirational. But it's also quite clearheaded about the problems that women have faced and continue to face in the workplace. Have you seen progress? Are you-- in recent years, is there notable progress that you could talk about? DEB LIU: Yeah, we have made so much progress over the years.

I've talked to a lot of women. And some of the women I interviewed actually came of age and led through decades when things were really different. I talked to Lenore Blum. She was one of the first professors of math at Berkeley. And she was talking about how difficult it was and how she was-- eventually, her contract was not renewed, how she was almost kicked out of her next university, before she went on to a great career and success. And what you have to realize was that overt discrimination was happening back then.

Now it's actually much more covert. It's actually really unconscious bias. Very rarely is a woman told, you can't have this job or you can't accomplish x. But instead, it's just the small things.

And so the small things being, for every 100 men that are promoted into management, only 86 women are. We don't tell the other 14 women that they didn't get promoted because they're a woman, like they might have done 20, 30, 40 years ago. But instead, there's these subtle stumbling blocks that we're facing. And the challenge now, though, rather than having something to point to, is that if you're one of those women it didn't make it, you always wonder, is it me, could I have done something different, when actually, structurally, the system is a little bit set up so that there's a slightly tilted playing field. And yet that small slight change actually makes a huge difference in the lives of the women that actually face it. ADI IGNATIUS: So this is Harvard Business Review's 100th anniversary.

And as part of the celebration, we've been talking about some of the great articles that we've published and that have had the most amount of impact. We've also unearthed some of the howlers that we're, frankly, embarrassed about. And it took us a long time to start to get gender right.

And I was recently at a public event on stage, and I read from a 1956 article that talked about how women needed to support their husbands' career, and they should tolerate and even encourage their husband, always husband, to work late, to go on trips. And then speaking to the husband, it sort of said, you know, and you might just find you need to find a new wife who will accommodate this lifestyle. So it is-- again, this is 1956. I wasn't in the job then.

But we did publish it and have to own it. So there is a lot of progress. And yet, I think a lot of women feel a lot of frustration still in the workplace. And I guess one question for you is-- you've decided to write this book, even as you are CEO of a nearly $5 billion corporation. What was the calculation there to try to be able to do both? DEB LIU: Actually, I had been thinking about this book for a long time, so even before I became the CEO of Ancestry. Part of it was, eight years ago I started an open door policy.

I let women who wanted to reach out, needed an ally, to reach out to me. And over the course of eight years, I've coached over 1,000 women. And I realized it wasn't scalable.

And so one of the things I wanted to do, actually, with this book was to say, what are all those lessons, what are the themes I was hearing? Women were asking, hey, why wasn't I promoted? Why is my peer now my manager? What am I doing wrong? Women would say, hey, I don't know why I'm not given stretch opportunities. I don't have a sponsor. And I realized if I just shared those lessons and took all of the things I learned from those 1,000 conversations and put it in a book, I could scale that to hopefully tens of thousands if not millions of people.

ADI IGNATIUS: How has your life changed since you published the book? Now you're sort of out there as an authority. Has that changed your life? DEB LIU: My life is-- I was literally, before running in here, cooking lunch for my family. So I feel like, in some ways, having a family of three-- with three kids and my husband and my mom, who has cancer, living with us, has kept me humble. And in fact, it reminds me that so much of our life is not lived on what you see on social media.

The successes, getting the amazing job or joining x board or getting your book published, that so much of life is actually the day to day, which is what keeps me-- reminds me that we can have influence in small ways and big ways. ADI IGNATIUS: So one truism-- and I want to know if you think it's true-- is that the MeToo movement in some ways has run out of steam. But let me ask you the question, to what extent do you think the MeToo movement has changed the status of women in the workplace? DEB LIU: Well, I think it's changed the conversation.

It's made us so much more aware of things that were hidden for so long. I think that the MeToo movement itself is not about the actual just talking about what happened. But it's really changing our behavior and what is acceptable in the workplace.

You look at what happened 30, 40 years ago, the kinds of sexual harassment that was very open. And now, as we evolve, I think that we're learning, every single year, every decade, how we can be better and more sensitive, and how we can actually call each other into account about some of these things. Things that were acceptable 10, 20 years ago are no longer acceptable today. And that will continue over time. And so I think each of these movements, there's two steps forward, one step back.

And then we keep moving forward towards more equality and more opportunity for everybody. ADI IGNATIUS: So what would you say to women who are enormously capable but feel that somehow they just don't have the right stuff to be in the C-suite, to be CEO? DEB LIU: I felt that way not that long ago. In fact, I share this story of my friend Fidji Simo. She is the CEO of Instacart. And many years ago, we were-- I don't know. I went to her office.

I was upset about something at work, and I just was grousing about something. And she goes, you know what, Deb? We're going to be CEOs someday. And I laughed because I just thought that was such a crazy idea.

And you know what? This time, like about two years ago, when I was talking to Blackstone about the Ancestry role, and she eventually became CEO, we joked about how she knew where we were going to go and I didn't. But regardless, I was the person who never aspired to this. And she was somebody who has such clarity of vision. She knew the world-- the mark she was going to make in the world.

And both of us ended up in similar places. And that means that it is possible. You don't have to dream since you were a little girl that you wanted to be a CEO. But it is possible if you just take back your power and you take those opportunities as they're given to you.

ADI IGNATIUS: So one issue that comes up with women in the workplace is this idea of imposter syndrome, that-- not just women, but women in particular feel that they just don't belong where they, in fact, do belong. It's been written about so much that we ran a piece recently that actually said, stop talking to women about this idea of imposter syndrome. But what do you think? There's imposter syndrome.

There's also the sort of "fake it till you make it" idea, the sort of act like you belong until you get there. Where do you come down with some of these concepts? DEB LIU: Well, recently, I went to a CEO conference. And there were over 200 CEOs there. And in that room, I was the only woman of color.

And it was probably less than 10% women. And I had to think for a second. I stopped for a second, and I thought about it. And I said, you know what, I can think about it as, I'm an imposter, I don't belong here. Or I can think of myself as, I'm the first person that looks like me in this room. And that means that next year there will be two, three, four, five, and that it will change.

And over time, we will change this together. And so I have always taken this idea of imposter syndrome-- because everyone feels it, men and women. There's been a lot of studies that say that. But the bigger thing is, what do you do about it? Do you let it cow you? Do you let it put you inside of yourself? Or do you actually say, you know what, I'm going to take that energy, and I'm going to use it as fuel to get to where I want to go, which is-- I might feel like an imposter, but I'm going to turn it on its head. One idea of turning it on its head and how I do it is I say, you know what, I might not be the expert at x. And I might not be as smart.

I might not look like everyone else, but I bring something really special to the table. I'm going to learn faster, I'm going to try harder than other people. And that has given me the ability to overcome that when the time comes. ADI IGNATIUS: So another truism that people casually throw out there is this idea of the queen bee syndrome, that women who have made it to the top, I guess, hold on to it so tightly that they actually are not encouraging other women, instead of being a role model and a sponsor and a helpful hand, actually the opposite, preventing other women from rising similarly. Is that a real phenomenon, or is that an incorrect perception? DEB LIU: I wrote about this in my book. Because I had just done so much research in the book, and there was-- actually, I had to shove a note in at the end.

It says, a note about Queen bee syndrome, in the middle of the Allies chapter. And it's because it's something we hear a lot. Women are terrible mentors and leaders, and they push other women down. And actually, I was reading a number of studies. One of them, the most salient, said that that's only true in a circumstance where there's only one slot.

So when women are competing for the one slot, say in a law firm partnership or in the C-suite, then yes, it's absolutely competitive. But actually, if you look at all the studies, when women make it onto boards, when they're the CEO or in the C-suite, when they run organizations, they actually bring more women, more diversity in. And so if you look at it on a broad scale, it actually is the opposite.

And I hate the idea of queen bee syndrome because it's saying women push each other down. But that's absolutely not true, unless it's set up in a competitive way. Instead, you actually see transformation happening because women are in leadership positions. ADI IGNATIUS: So one of the takeaways from your book is that women really will benefit from having allies and, particularly, sponsors in the workplace. I think there are some people who feel like, yeah, I've had that, or I've had that all my career, and some people who-- how do I do it? And so what is your advice, people who-- let's say for sponsors in particular, how do you get a sponsor who can help you in your career? DEB LIU: Well, first, I want to define what a sponsor is. We often hear about mentors.

People give you advice. And there's tons of-- women are over-mentored and under-sponsored, as they say, which I think has-- they've been researching that for a long time, which is, women are given a lot of mentors, people giving them advice. But a sponsor is someone who puts their career on the line to open doors for you, to actually say, I vouch for this person at my own expense should this go wrong. And women actually have less sponsors. And part of the issues with sponsors is that people tend to sponsor people who are most like them.

When I sponsor somebody, I'm much more likely, any individual is more likely to sponsor somebody who says, I can see myself in that person 10, 20 years ago. I can see them becoming me someday. And I can remember what it felt like to be in their position.

But in a workplace where we're not equal in a number of different ways, it means that those who get sponsored tend to look like the people who are already there. And so it's so important to cultivate sponsors. And I often ask, how many of you in the audience have a sponsor? And when you look around, a lot of people don't know. And the answer is, if you don't know, you don't have one.

Because a sponsor is a tailwind in your career. You can feel it. You can feel people pushing you towards something greater, giving you opportunities you never thought, opening doors for you. And I greatly benefited of that.

I absolutely would not be where I am today but for the handful of people I wrote about in my book, who actually accelerated my careers in ways that I could never have imagined. And without each of those individuals giving me the tailwinds I needed to get to here, I would not be here, absolutely. ADI IGNATIUS: So let's talk more about how did you get to where you are today. You talked about having people on the way. But were there one or two crucible moments in your career that kind of made you who you are today, Deborah Liu, author and CEO of Ancestry? DEB LIU: Well, I just remember, when I joined PayPal, I actually accidentally stumbled on a job at PayPal because I stopped by a career fair. And when I first became a product manager, I remember having to admit that I had no idea what the role was.

And I went to the VP I worked for, Amy Klement. And I said, I got this job, but I have no idea what this is. And she actually taught me the ropes. She showed me what it was to be a successful product manager. And I was leading the buyer experience.

And we were at PayPal. We were acquired by eBay. And suddenly, I was in charge of a big chunk of the integration.

And she took a huge risk on me. I had only been a product manager maybe two or three years when she, in fact, chose me to run that team to lead the integration. And she gave me such confidence that-- she had a choice amongst many seasoned professionals. And she picked somebody who was really new and made me not only a manager but the head of the team, the biggest line of business at PayPal. And this is the kind of career accelerant that you can only dream of. It would have taken me 10 years to earn that role.

And but I didn't want to fail her. I worked incredibly hard. And I built that team out and built that integration out. And the same thing was true.

I was really stuck after six years of having kids. I was working at PayPal. Then I went to eBay. And then I went to Facebook. And I felt really stuck. For six years, I not only didn't get promoted.

I took a demotion to go to Facebook. And I had gone from a manager of the buyer experience at eBay managing 18 product managers to being an individual contributor in product marketing. And along came my seventh manager at Facebook. And he said to me, after 2 and 1/2 years, he said to me, you'll be a vice president here someday.

And I remember laughing at him because he wasn't a vice president. And he had bet his career on me. And when you see that, you feel it. You can be nothing but grateful and want to pay that forward. ADI IGNATIUS: So when you look inside and look at your own skills and capabilities, what counts as your superpower, do you think, that, again, has gotten you where you are? DEB LIU: So I talk about how your superpower is something that comes easy to you but really hard to other people. And as a result of it, people can't see it.

I just-- I love strategy. I love kind of unwinding and weaving through and saying, hey, here's what we should do. Because it's gathering all the information, the customer research, the data, and then powering through and saying, here's a recommendation. I started my work, actually, as a strategy consultant.

And I have carried that through, through products through as I became a GM, and so on and so forth. It's really a clarity of understanding of what our strategy should be. And so I have spent my career honing that, and then building out teams to actually execute on those strategies.

ADI IGNATIUS: So I'm going to ask one more personal question, then I want to talk more about what you do at Ancestry. But you write and you've talked about how you're an introvert. And I'd love to hear a little bit about how you've made it as an introvert in a world that seems to demand extroversion. DEB LIU: There's a-- I don't know if you've read Susan Cain's book, Quiet, but it's like the world has a huge bias, a huge bias that we don't talk about, which is towards people who are extroverted, who don't need time to process, who are able to speak on any topic on a dime, and be comfortable in all circumstances.

And that was not me for a long time. And it took me a long time to get to here. And I worked very hard at it. But I had to work at it like as a skill, as a second language.

It does not come natural to me. It is very difficult for me to speak. And yet at the same time, by treating it as a skill, I believe you can learn almost anything, if motivated and you put enough time into it. And I think for me, I really taught myself. I would force myself to speak.

I would grade myself. I would count how long I'd speak, how much I spoke. And eventually, it got me to a level of comfort. I took multiple speaking coaches-- I had multiple speaking coaches.

And it did take a lot of time to get here. But I think that's a reminder that almost anything is teachable. The thing I hope, though, is that we don't have to conform ourselves to what leadership looks like today.

I hope that there are more ways that people feel like leaders could look like, that there could be quiet leaders, extroverted leaders. There could be leaders who lead in different ways and have-- that we can honor all of those things. But in the meantime, we do have a model of leadership that is strongly biased towards extroversion. And that's something which I felt like I needed to conform and learn.

ADI IGNATIUS: My guess is, once you started to speak openly and maybe publicly about that character trait, a lot of other people said, you know what, me too. I've never been able to talk about it, but me too. DEB LIU: Absolutely.

I share a lot about it. And people seem surprised that this was such a struggle for me. But then it's given a lot of people hope too.

A lot of people write me notes and say, if you can do this, I can do this too. And so it's been really a great learning experience for me to talk more about some of these challenges because I see so many people say, it's so great to see how far you've come and that you're willing to share it. Because I think a lot of times, we don't talk about it either. ADI IGNATIUS: So let's talk about Ancestry. You've been in the CEO role for maybe nearly two years. I'd love to get a quick sense of what you've accomplished to date and what you want to accomplish coming up.

DEB LIU: Yeah, when I first got here one of the things that was really important to me was that we look at the next chapter of where we want to go. We've had a successful company in business for so many years. It's a 35-year-old company and an innovator in the space of discovering and documenting your family story and history. And so our next chapter was really something we call Ancestry for all. So how do we make the product more accessible to everyone who loves their family? 80% of people have said that they want to learn more about their family history.

And we have such an opportunity to help them. But we don't necessarily have all the records today. We don't have the connections to all the archives.

We don't have as rich an opportunity, as rich a database in certain communities. And so a lot of the work we've been doing over the past two years is really moving towards Ancestry for all. The second thing we've done is really work from me to we. And so for a long time, a lot of the work on Ancestry was a solo activity. And we want to make it a family and a community activity.

Because people do this not just because they want to document their family history or story for themselves, but it's because they want to share it with their family. They want to talk about their memories. They want to actually make their family a part of their experience. And so a lot of the work we've also been doing is actually moving from me to we and actually connecting people and their families through their history. ADI IGNATIUS: So you talked about how there are limitations to material, source materials. Is there any-- do you envision a technological breakthrough or some other kind of breakthrough that could significantly change that, where we'd get access to information that is unthinkable right now? DEB LIU: Well, I think, first, digitization costs are going down.

And so that's going to help access more records. And more handwriting recognition has made it much more possible for us to get access to records that would have been really difficult and expensive to key in many years ago. And so I think that those two things will make a huge difference. I also think it's a matter of focus as well.

We've focused on areas where we could easily get access to the records. And I think as we grow our record database, we have the largest exclusive database of historical records in the world. And one of the things that we want to do is to continue to grow that archive in areas that-- in countries where it might not be as easily accessible. And so there's some work that we've done there. But technology is only making this easier over time.

And so we're going to continue to invest and grow that. ADI IGNATIUS: Have you been able to learn anything about your own family and your own background through Ancestry? DEB LIU: Well, what's been amazing is the delightful moment when you are doing your family history, and you realize-- I actually was able to pull my mother-in-law's immigration papers, actually, her immigration card. And I showed it to her. And I showed the-- I found the record that was the attestation of her good character.

And I showed it to her. And she said, oh-- my husband saw it, and he goes, oh, that's Aunt Mary from church. And so just to see that the story comes to life.

They never told me the story of how they came to America and how she got her green card and how she stayed in America. And so it was just opened up that conversation. And that's why we're here. It's not just, you have this record. It's the story behind the record.

It's actually the story of a person who left her home with almost nothing and came to America to go to college, not knowing how she was going to go back and the life that she's unfolded here. ADI IGNATIUS: Yeah, I'm torn because, in some ways, everything is being recorded now. Everything is digital. Everything is sort of for history. On the other hand, I look back at letters that I used to exchange with friends and family.

And they were these wonderful detailed records. We don't do that in email. So Sometimes I worry that the quality of the raw material that we're creating now is not nearly as rich as what we had before. DEB LIU: Well, when you look at your photographs, like Google Photos has probably like 10,000 photos of my family. And it used to be that even a single photograph was so hard to get for a family in the early 1900s because it was so expensive and it was so difficult.

And so those precious archives are so important. And I think we're losing them. There are boxes, shoe boxes, we call it, in closets and attics that are deteriorating. But they're so precious because they're so rare as well.

And so one of the things we hope to do is make it easier to digitize. With our app, actually, we recently did a partnership with Photomyne that allows people to take photos, a large number of photos, and actually crop them automatically and store them in Ancestry. And so it's really powerful to really bring things that might be a letter or something, an archive or a photo to life.

ADI IGNATIUS: Well, I assume facial recognition technology can now help identify previously unidentifiable photos from the past past pas archive. DEB LIU: Yeah, I think there's a lot of technology that's helping. One is also communities are helping each other.

People say, hey, there's a photo of my-- this is my great grandfather. Where do you think he is? And you see communities come together and help people. And so I do think the technology is making it easier. Also if there's a damaged photo, being able to restore it easily through AI is so much more powerful because restoration used to be so incredibly expensive. ADI IGNATIUS: So OK, so you're nearly two years into this job.

I'd love-- and by the way, I'm going to-- this is the last question I'm going to ask. Then I'm going to go to some audience questions that we asked for before this taping. But you've been in this role for a couple of years. Tell me what you think is the secret to leadership. Or what does good leadership look like in 2022? DEB LIU: I think the biggest thing is people's lives are so different than they were even just three or four years ago.

We have a flexible first flexible work policy. And it allows people to live their lives, as well as come into the office if they choose. And that's changed so much.

If I had told you-- if I told you that you're going to write an article in 2022 about people working from home primarily in 2019, I think you would have been really surprised. And so life has changed so much. And we've reorganized our lives in the last three years. And I think that is the biggest challenge, but it's also the biggest opportunity.

It just gives us a chance to rethink how we structure lives and our work. And it gives us the opportunity to really look to the future and shape work how we want it to be. ADI IGNATIUS: So OK, so I am going to go to some questions that we solicited before the interview. And this is from Rachel in New York.

The question is, with growing concerns about data security, what is Ancestry doing to ensure that customers' data is protected? DEB LIU: So first, data, it's really important that you can control it. So you can keep your trees private. You can request to delete certain-- your DNA. You can choose so many different things in our system to ensure that you are protected the way you want to be.

Second, though, is also ensuring data security so that no third-party is actually accessing it as well. And we really take that very, very seriously. ADI IGNATIUS: OK, another question, this is from Nicole in Atlanta.

She says, she's been told over and over again, don't share too much of yourself at work. She says she struggles with that idea because she's part of a-- she's a remote worker. She imagines it helps others get to know her personally to make them comfortable with her. But she doesn't want to be unprofessional. So the question is, how do you in a leadership role know what's the right-- or how would you define what's the right role balance between sharing your authentic self and keeping it professional? DEB LIU: Yeah, it's interesting.

I think that the line, the blurring line between work and home is changed a lot during the last couple of years. But many years ago, I was one of the few people at Facebook who had children. It was a company where everybody was in their 20s, and I was definitely not. I was in my 30s when I joined. I had two kids already. And it was just a very different culture.

And I was really worried people didn't think I took my job very seriously. The challenge, though, was that you shared everything in your life on Facebook. And you friended every coworker after every meeting, which was really daunting to me. And so I would style these little stories about my kids called #mommyschool. And I actually have if you want to see some of them.

It's a comic strip. But I used to share it just on Facebook as a funny thing. And I realized that it helped people connect to me. A lot of people who didn't have kids would laugh, and they would reference it. And I realized that there are things where people want to get to know you.

They want to know that you're human and that you have things going on. They want to know who you are. But doing that well and doing that so that it's professional is the narrow line we're all walking. But I don't think we should hide some of the challenges we have because it makes it harder for us to connect with one another. We're not automatons.

We're not computers and AIs talking to each other. We're humans with challenges and dreams and desires. And sometimes in the background, you can hear our kids sick and crying. And I think it builds empathy for us to actually know each other a little bit better, especially in a remote environment where you might not meet people more than once or twice a year. ADI IGNATIUS: So I got one more audience question.

This is from Julie in Boston. It's really kind of pressing you on women in tech. I think we all have this impression that a lot of the Silicon Valley companies have a sort of bro culture and that it is particularly difficult for women to break in, to rise. And she'd love to hear more about, is there progress there? Or maybe it's-- what needs to happen there? It seems to be a uniquely difficult environment for women these days.

DEB LIU: Well, I think-- so I founded a nonprofit called Women in Product. And part of it was that I started out in a field product management, which actually, these are the people who decide what products you see, what apps are on your phone, how things are designed. Across hundreds of companies, thousands of companies where you interact with their products, it's the product manager who actually sets the roadmap in what gets launched. And when I started in that field, it was 50/50 men and women.

And then somewhere along the way, I woke up one day, and it was less than 10% women. And I just did not know what happened. And I spent years looking into it. And we realized that at some point in 2004, Google decided they wanted their product managers to have a computer science degree.

And less than 20% of computer science degrees are earned by women. So you're probably wondering why I'm telling you this story. Well, basically, we went from a field where lots of women, lots of diverse voices, to much-- many fewer diverse voices. And so while we think we're making progress, sometimes we see setbacks as well. And then we have to work our way back up towards more equality. But something interesting happens.

Amongst the field of product management, that is also where future founders come from. That's where they fund people with ideas because these are builders. And so again, you see fewer startups getting funded.

And all-women teams only make up 3% of VC funding, whereas even with mixed teams, like men and women, it's about 18%. So you can't tell me that 82% of the best ideas in the world are from one gender because that's not true. And so we still have a lot of work to do.

It doesn't mean that we can't change things. One of the things I did and advocated for across the entire industry was removing the computer science requirement. I advocated for removing the technical degree, the technical interview and over time, you see more people of diverse backgrounds actually entering the field. So each individual person, we can make a difference. We can change the arc of history. You don't have to be very senior to do that.

I did that when I was actually a relatively junior employee. And so there are things that we can do. But it's going to take time. And it's going to take people saying, this is a set of problems, and here's how we're going to solve it. ADI IGNATIUS: That is a great note to end on.

So Deborah Liu, I want to thank you very much for being our guest on The New World of Work. DEB LIU: Thank you so much for inviting me. ADI IGNATIUS: All right, so I'm back live.

That was the interview that I did yesterday with Deborah Liu, the CEO of Ancestry. I want to make a quick plug. If you like content like this, I want to plug another HBR offering that I think can help you better understand the world of business. And that is our flagship podcast called IdeaCast. So on Idea Cast each week, HBR editors discuss the most consequential business ideas with the world's leading minds in management, hopefully giving you insights that can help you manage your career, can manage up, can manage your life.

So tune in, check out the IdeaCast. You can subscribe on Apple or Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen. And now I want to tell you about next week's show.

On The New World of Work, tune in next week Wednesday, November 30 at 12:00 noon Eastern time, when my guest will be James White. He's the former President and CEO of Jamba Juice and is the co-author with his daughter of the book Anti-Racist Leadership-- How to Transform Corporate Culture in a Race Conscious World. We'll be talking about his thoughts on how to build a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive company culture. So I want to thank you all for tuning in today. I'm Adi Ignatius.

This is The New World of Work. [MUSIC PLAYING]

2022-11-24 23:11

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