WHO SHE IS
Stephanie Kumar, Insights Lead at Pinterest
WHERE SHE IS
New York City
Going from maternity leave right into a new role and company leading CPG Insights @ Pinterest
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Chloé, 8 mos.
‘No Chewing Allowed’ Chocolate Truffles
RECENT SMART READ
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman
Women’s Health, MIT Technology Review, Harvard Business Review
FAVORITE TV SHOW:
The Voice and The Mindy Project
We love to travel, and the TripCase app keeps all of our itineraries in one spot. Pinterest is my go-to for pretty much everything else in life from tonight’s dinner to organizing my closet!
BEST TIME-MANAGEMENT TIP
Babywear! When the only thing that soothes your crying tot is holding them, babywearing will let you send emails, take conference calls, or cook a meal.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO DO WITH YOUR BABY WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING?
We love to sing and dance with Chloé. There’s nothing more fun than letting your inner-child out!
HOW DOES BEING A MOM MAKE YOU GREAT AT WHAT YOU DO?
Being a mom has inspired me to be a better person now that I have this little girl to impress.
1. Tell us about your working mom journey. What are you doing now, and how did you get here?
When I found out I was expecting, I was leading an internal consumer analytics team at a large tech company where I had been since 2011. After the baby arrived, I excitedly made a transition to Pinterest. Now, I lead insights for our CPG partners, where I surface trends that can drive business for marketers across food, drink, beauty, and cleaning brands. Here’s an example of my latest work: Pinterest Blog: Pin Trends: This Thanksgiving, don’t forget the pie.
2. You’ve only been at Pinterest for a few months, which means you did a job search with a newborn! You told me that your baby was a big driver for the change — can you explain?
Having a baby changed my life in a big and unexpected way. Suddenly, I felt the need to become a role model to this little girl that I held in my arms every day during maternity leave. I made the decision to “lean in” and try something that would propel my career, even if it was a bit of an intimidating decision at times.
3. I’m really impressed with how intentional you are about the way you schedule your week and really try to avoid “mother’s guilt” — how did you know to do this?
I learned very quickly that it was impossible for me to give 100% of myself every day to every part of my life (daughter, husband, friends, ‘me’). Rather than feel guilty about it, I took control and chose moments where I could give 100% of myself to that person.
For my daughter, evenings are hers until she goes to bed around 7:30 p.m. I schedule date nights at least once a week with my husband, and reserve at least one day a week with my girlfriends (both happen after my daughter is in bed). On the weekends, my husband will take Chloé for long walks where I get time to myself to read a book or get a pedicure. With dedicated time reserved for everyone, including me, I end up being the best version of myself for everyone in my life.
4. You mentioned that both you and your husband are big planners — how does this manifest itself when you’re managing two big jobs with a baby?
Our friends tease us for being such Type A planners, but it really has been a godsend for managing our new normal. Here are a few of my favorite planning things:
- A whiteboard in the kitchen to capture a running grocery and “to do” list (has also been used to show our babysitter the last time Chloe has eaten or napped)
- A hanging calendar where we note upcoming holidays, birthdays, professional events, date nights and vacations so nothing gets missed
- Shared Google spreadsheets when planning big vacations (who is doing what, how much it will cost, potential destinations, etc.)
5. What is your best advice to other professional women?
Having a baby is a beautiful addition to life, but remember to maintain what drives you and makes you happy as a woman. I, for instance, love to travel the world, and decided very early on that my daughter would be a welcomed part of that. Many in my life still think that I am brave (and/or crazy) to travel with an infant, but after about 10 flights in eight months, I can happily say that she ends up charming all of her fellow fliers every time.