By Her Way
Her WayMay 18, 2023
Digital Health and Startup Success with Charu Ramanathan, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Vitalxchange
In today’s episode, Her Way welcomes Charu Ramanathan, the Co-Founder and CEO at Vitalxchange, a digital health platform that provides a safe parenting ecosystem and network to coach parents in helping support their children’s needs. Charu describes herself as the “chief, cook, and bottlewasher,” where she does anything that needs to be done, but primarily drives strategy and product development. With a background in biomedical engineering and as the founder of multiple successful companies including CardioInsight and Lokyata, Charu explains how her love for creating and building from ground zero has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of her entrepreneurial journey. She describes the significant challenges, but also huge rewards that come with creating a unique company that aligns with her mission and authentic core values. Charu inspires us to nurture our ideas from a young age and let the world react, as this is the time to explore our passions.
Beyond the Headlines with Tracy Jan, Deputy Health and Science Editor at the Washington Post
On this episode of Her Way, we are thrilled to be joined by Tracy Jan, deputy health and science editor at the Washington Post. After joining The Post in 2016 to launch a beat on the intersection of race and the economy, Jan has covered immigration policies, racial and economic disparities, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on marginalized communities. In this episode, Jan shares about her vocational journey, reminding us to “dream big” when pursuing our passions. Jan walks us through how she assesses story potential and looks for underreported stories. She reminds us that storytelling is a tool that should amplify the voices of marginalized communities. Jan’s motivation, empathy, and intellectual acuity shine through her writing, and through her words in this Her Way episode. We hope you enjoy!
Producing with Purpose with Diane Moy Quon, Academy Award-Nominated Film Producer
In today’s episode of Her Way, we sat down with Diane Moy Quon, Academy Award-nominated film producer. Following her career as a marketing executive at NBC and Paramount Pictures, Quon has recently produced Oscar and Emmy-nominated films such as Bad Axe and Finding Yingying which highlight the neglected experiences of Asians across the world. She dives into the importance of Asian representation in the media and shares the challenges she has faced as an Asian woman in a competitive film network. With a focus on documentaries, she talks through the difficult tradeoff between profit and impact when trying to create sustainable films. Quon hopes that her social documentaries will not only allow viewers to see the world through a new lens, but ultimately inspire support and respect among our differences. Be sure to look out for Quon’s upcoming films!
Authentic Storytelling with Anita Pouchard Serra, Pulitzer Center Photojournalist
In this episode, Pulitzer photojournalist Anita Pouchard Serra discusses her unique storytelling approach to photography, in which she prioritizes the individuality of each story over capturing merely beautiful or unique images. She emphasizes the importance of honesty and presenting stories from her perspective, drawing motivation from her deep connections with the people and communities she documents, as well as her personal interest in uncovering untold stories. Serra also underscores the significance of journalistic ethics, particularly in respecting her subjects' privacy and maintaining transparency. Serra’s avid passion for storytelling allows her journalism to continue to evolve, ultimately influencing the subjects and communities she chooses to document.
Breaking Barriers Through Fearless Advocacy with Sucheta Narang, Accessibility Program Manager at Adobe
On this episode of Her Way, we are joined by Sucheta Narang, Accessibility Program Manager at Adobe and Recipient of the NAB Delhi Award for Excellence 2021. Today, Narang shares how she navigates the challenges of being a visually impaired woman of color in her competitive workspace. She acknowledges the recent growth of disability awareness, but still believes there is more work to be done for disability inclusion. She emphasizes the need to truly understand and listen to the specific needs of disabled students in education, and cautions us against generalizing disabled needs. When faced with challenges, Sucheta encourages everyone to seek help when needed and have the confidence to break barriers and pave the way for others.
The Power of Conviction with Madison McIlwain, Partner and Investor at Defy.VC
In today’s episode Her Way welcomes Madison McIlwain, partner and investor at Defy.VC, a venture capital firm that invests in early stage startups. Madison is also a co-host of The Room, a podcast featuring founders and funders of technology and consumer products. As a former product manager at Gap Inc, Madison shares how her retail experience helped her form a consumer-oriented mindset. She discusses the differences between being an operator and investor, along with key interconnections between the two roles. Madison reminds us that understanding your vocational ecosystem and trusting your peers and teammates is crucial to success. Throughout the conversation, Madison emphasizes the importance of tenacity coupled with self-conviction to be seen in the competitive venture capital industry.
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Change through Trust with Liz Kniss, Former Mayor of Palo Alto and Politician
On this episode of Her Way, we are thrilled to be joined by Liz Kniss, the former Mayor of Palo Alto and adept politician. Currently serving on the League of Women Voters’ Board of Directors, Kniss emphasizes the importance of policy consistency and maintaining public credibility. She reminds us that the hardest part of elected office is making tough decisions that aim to best serve public interest. With experience in both the public and private sector, Kniss shares the differences between the two fields, highlighting the value of political power checks to ensure that the community’s voice is heard. Kniss advocates for female representation in public office and advises us to not allow fear of failure limit our potential.
Empathetic Journalism with Muriel Alarcón, Pulitzer Center fellow and Chilean journalist
Her Way sits down with Muriel Alarcón, Pulitzer Center fellow and Chilean journalist working as a freelance journalist based in Santiago, Chile. With work published in the New York Times, Grubstreet, and Univisión, Alarcón walks us through her hopes for journalism’s societal impact. She reminds us that journalism has the power to create meaningful conversations, and that the best stories will reach people of all backgrounds. Alarcón explains how journalism has offered her an opportunity to express her positionality, helping her to foster cultural competence and empathy.
Earth Friendly Entrepreneurship with Beth Gerstein, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Brilliant Earth
On this episode of Her Way, we sat down with Beth Gerstein, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Brilliant Earth. Gerstein shares the inspiration and process of starting her ethically sourced jewelry company. She talks us through the benefits of leaving her previous corporate job to start Brilliant Earth, reminding us that controlling your own success motivates further growth. Gerstein discusses how the company balances realistic business goals with its core values of sustainability and transparency. As an entrepreneur, she emphasizes the importance of being able to adapt and evolve based on customer feedback. Enjoy the episode!
A New Perspective on AI with Ting-An Lin, Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University
To kick off 2023, Her Way welcomes Ting-an Lin, an Interdisciplinary Ethics Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University. Ting-An Lin explains how she navigated her current intersection of AI and social ethics. She dives into detail about AI's social impact, restructuring technology to recognize human biases, and the importance of approaching the field with an optimistic attitude. As a Taiwanese woman, Lin says her background helped shape the perspective of which she approaches the field she works in today. Enjoy the episode!
Defining Success and Exploring Superpowers with Gloria Chen, Chief People Officer and Executive Vice President at Adobe
On the first episode of Her Way, we are joined by Gloria Chen, the Chief People Officer and Executive Vice President at Adobe. In this conversation, Chen emphasizes the importance of being open minded to your definition of success, exploring your superpower, and having confidence in your abilities. As Chief People Officer overseeing 28,000 employees in over 35 countries worldwide, Chen discusses how she navigated through the many challenges the company faced with COVID. She provides valuable advice to young women and high schoolers hoping to pursue their own passions. Enjoy the episode!