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Leslie Forde

When you’re consumed by the constant high-demand tasks of motherhood, how can you also focus on self-care, pursue your passions, and thrive in the career you love? Leslie Forde, founder and CEO of “Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs” highlights the complicated intersection between job, personal life, and motherhood — while sharing her revolutionary advice for influencing the pecking order of how things get done.

How can you take care of yourself, follow your dreams, and kick butt in your job when you’re always busy with the tough work of being a mom? In this episode, Leslie Forde from Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs talks about the ever-tricky balance between work, life, and being a mom — while sharing her revolutionary advice for influencing the pecking order of how things get done.

Leslie Forde is CEO and founder of Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs, a business that provides evidence-based tools for mothers to reclaim time from their never-done to-do lists for wellbeing.

We know most moms have a tough time finding balance for themselves in parenting, hobbies, self-care, and careers. It often seems like an uphill battle because the most basic responsibilities, such as looking after our children and our homes, never seem to end!

Leslie helps reveal how moms can reach the top of their “Hierarchy of Needs” more often, and not have to say goodbye to creative pursuits in favor of school drop-offs. Plus:

* Why “Mom’s hierarchy of needs” is a little different than Maslow’s
* How to balance the ‘desire to be excellent’ with the realities of parenthood
* The pyramid of responsibilities: why moms find themselves stuck in the bottom
* What’s at the top: all the things we would do for our mental, physical, and emotional health
* The shame of motherhood and self-care/self-actualization (and why we need to throw that perspective in the trash)
* How to reclaim time and make space without the guilt
* The ‘four pillars’ that organizations NEED to embrace to help working moms

About our guest: Leslie developed the Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs framework and has used research to inform growth and innovation strategy for over 20 years. She’s held brand management, product marketing and business development roles in consumer technology and products, market research, media and publishing companies. Leslie’s writing has appeared in The Washington Post, Slate, and Parents Magazine, among other publications. She’s been quoted in CNN, National Geographic, Fast Company, NBC News, US News & World Report, and several other outlets and books.

Episode 36: Leslie Forde

Danielle Wiley: Welcome to The Art of Sway, the podcast that uncovers the power of influence and its impact on all areas of our lives. I’m your host, Danielle Wiley. Each week we’ll explore the many facets of influence through candid conversations with industry insiders, from brand marketers to social workers, educators, leaders, and more. Let’s dive in.

Danielle Wiley: Leslie Forde is the CEO and founder of Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs. The business provides evidence-based tools for moms to reclaim time from the never done list for well-being and helps employers retain caregivers. Over 3000 parents have participated since March of 2020 in the Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs research study, the longest-running of its kind on the pandemic’s impact to work life, care, and wellness needs for parents. Leslie has used research to inform growth and innovation strategy for over 20 years. Most recently, she’s held leadership positions at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, and CSpace an Omnicom market research agency. And for over a decade, she’s focused on media and technology products for the childcare, eldercare, children’s mental health, media, and education sectors. She’s a frequent speaker and consultant to organizations on how to retain and support parents, caregivers, and people of color, including HubSpot, Scholastic, and The Bar Foundation.

Danielle Wiley: Her writing about well-being equity in the future of work has appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, Parents magazine, TLNT, directorship, and her website, Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs among other publications. She’s been quoted in CNN, National Geographic, Fast Company, US News & World Report, SHRM, Fairygodboss, and many other outlets. I was introduced to Leslie by a former colleague, and I am so glad he connected us. Leslie has an absolutely fascinating career and now dedicates her time to highlighting the specific needs of mothers in the workplace. I can’t tell you how much I wish this existed back when my kids were little. I hope you are as impressed with Leslie as I was, and I am so excited for you to hear all about the amazing work she is doing. Enjoy.

Danielle Wiley: So, Leslie, it’s so great to have you on. We had one phone conversation while I was like evacuating because my power was out from a crazy ice storm, so I’m glad to have to see your face and have a full conversation. It’s great to have you.

Leslie Forde: I agree. Well, I loved our last conversation, so I was looking forward to another one and under better circumstances for you.

Danielle Wiley: Yes. So, I wanted to start just kind of with the basics of your career. I was doing some research just prepping for this conversation, and there are certain LinkedIn profiles that you look at and you’re like, “Okay, that makes sense. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Obvious progression.” And yours was like, “Okay, progression culinary school, dah-dah-dah-dah.” Like working for… Was it Cook’s Illustrated or America’s Test Kitchen? Yeah. Stuff that’s super appealing and interesting to me but doesn’t necessarily fit in with a standard career in the world of marketing. So would love to just hear a bit about your journey from start to now.

Leslie Forde: Absolutely. Well, I did start my career very intentionally in marketing and actually marketing research because pretty early on I was fascinated with all of the things associated with bringing products to people and to life. And I started market research as a job outside of school in high school. And so, that was kind of the thing that I got pretty excited about. And I thought, “All right, let me learn more about this. I want to be into this.” And as my career progressed, I kind of added in a lot of the other aspects of brand health and growth. So, from marketing research and analysis to brand management and from brand management into channel management and business development and the ultimately international expansion and all of those aspects of strategy. But what happened along the way, the hiccup or the culinary school detour, was that I completely burned out. That was the first time I burned out.

Leslie Forde: And back then it was pre-kids, I was working in what was then the dot-com bubble where there was this hyper-growth in the economy driven by tech, and I was working in tech and I loved it and it was consuming, and I was always someone who loved to work. I found it exciting and stimulating, and I’m lucky to be healthy so I could work a lot of hours and I had a lot of capacity. And that fueled my career, especially in the early days. But after working 80-hour weeks and doing that consistently for years and then going overseas to do an assignment in London where I went from my then company to start our international division, I just reached a point where I started to feel a little emptied out. I didn’t have much to say other than business or marketing topics.

Leslie Forde: I didn’t really know a lot about what was happening in the world because I was so consumed by my professional life, and I felt just kind of tired and I felt like I was less myself. And I had all of these creative pursuits and interests throughout my life that one by one I let go of to make more space for work. So, I had moved overseas, my company was acquired, and I had the choice. I could either come back to the US to work for them here or I could stay on in Europe and work for them there. And I knew it wasn’t the place that I wanted to work. My company that I was with was incredibly innovative and thoughtful and passionate, and we were all kind of in it to do something really great. But the acquiring company was kind of doing it just for financial reasons. There wasn’t a lot of hard-

Danielle Wiley: Yeah, that’s sadly often the case.

Leslie Forde: Often the case. So, long story short, I thought, well, this is my chance. I had some savings. I didn’t want to return to the US right away. I’d always loved food and cooking. It was a passion of mine, and it was false, but I had this assumption that if I stopped doing this extremely cerebral work. And I do something that’s more physical, and more creative, and in a kitchen where in theory the work should stay in the kitchen, maybe I won’t take the work home with me. Maybe I won’t think about it all the time. Maybe I’ll be less stressed and have more-

Danielle Wiley: That’s so I have to interrupt you because I… And I’m going to let you get back to your story, but I had a very early in my career, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and I had always assumed I would work in an office, and I did not get as burnt out as you did. I think I was too young, but just something didn’t feel right. And so, I got a job as a cheesemonger. So, I was buying the cheese and cutting it and displaying it. And I always tell people, I just assumed same. You like, “Okay, I’m going to work in the store and I’m going to put out the cheese, and then when I go home, work will be behind me.” And it was then I realized if you’re type A… I mean, I would wake up in the middle of the night that blue goat cheese I bought is going to go bad because I didn’t convince people that it’s the best thing ever. And at a certain point, your personality is your personality regardless of what your vocation is.

Leslie Forde: 100%. And it was exactly that. I realized, “Oh, it’s not the career. It’s me.” It doesn’t matter if I work in a kitchen, I’m going to worry about tempering chocolate and whether my glaçage is shiny enough. And those things were consuming me outside of my work life in the same way that business and strategy decisions were. And I loved the loved the making things aspect of cooking. I think I should mention that because for others who are in a career where even if they’re not directly doing the hands-on making, I started off my brand management work in physical goods. I worked with contact lenses. I was at Bausch and Lomb, I then went to Xerox. I was working with hardware products, and it was satisfying to me to see physical things being made that I was part of. And when I went to pure digital work, I lost some of that.

Leslie Forde: So, cooking as a hobby and a passion started to kind of fill in some of that void for me before I started thinking, “Oh, what if I were to pursue this professionally because I love it so much personally.” And it turned out culinary life as I knew could be the case. It was not really a lifestyle that I wanted. It was do the work, do it fast, do it the chef’s way, and don’t care how creative you are, do it the chef’s way. And that was kind of the antithesis of the kinds of cultures that I had chosen to work in, where my opinions were valued and my thoughts were valued, even though I wasn’t the most experienced person in the room. So, that allowed me to realize that managing work life, creating some sort of integration, managing the stress would have to happen in a different way. And I returned into marketing and corporate life. And it wasn’t until quite a few years later, after my second child was born and after return to work for maternity leave that I burned out again. And that’s what led to Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Danielle Wiley: Got it. So, I’d love to hear a bit more about that. So, how things changed, how that burnout was different from the solo, the non-kid related, or non-mom related burnout. And then I want to hear all about and let you share more about Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs. But first, how is the way it felt? The levels of it? Yeah.

Leslie Forde: Yeah. No, those are really great questions. It felt different in a lot of ways. I think something I learned again later in hindsight was that part of what fueled so much professional growth for me and professional success so early in my career was that I could throw hours at problems. I can work a lot and I can outwork most people, and I have the capacity for it. Back then, I didn’t think I needed a lot of sleep. I was someone who could work in that way. And it’s now kind of expected that you work in that way. But early in my career, it was not. So, I differentiated myself-

Danielle Wiley: Got it.

Leslie Forde: … by being able to put in the time, in addition to I think having the creativity and the energy and the excitement about the work. But after having kids, I couldn’t throw hours at problems in the same way anymore.

Leslie Forde: I had much less choice and really discretionary time pretty much evaporates overnight. So, anything that I might have done the first time to manage stress, to bring myself back into a sense of feeling grounded or feeling kind of whole, reconnecting with my identity, most of those things really weren’t available in the same way after having kids and having children because I was fortunate in that I wanted to, and I have healthy children. So, there was also something just deeply fulfilling and meaningful about motherhood that was consuming my time, but also kind of consuming my mind share in a different way. And it was kind of a joyful pull toward that, which made everything else in my life feel like more of a constraint. And I love my career. I’ve always loved my career. I felt the trade-offs in motherhood and career at a very visceral level because they were both really important to me.

Leslie Forde: But after having kids, if you’ve got a crying baby or you have a diaper, you have to change, or if your child is sick, all bets are off. You’re not making a rational choice about what you have to do. You are out the door when the school calls and you have to go pick someone up. It’s immediate. It’s very clear what your priorities are. And I found the desire to be really excellent in all of the areas of my life. I think it’s true for most of the people that I meet was just starting to eat away at me. I wanted to still make gourmet amazing meals and fabulous desserts and spend a lot of time teaching my kids and teaching them how to read and teaching them the maps and teaching them all the oceans. And I wanted to be able to grow professionally and mentor my team and manage my relationships with my peers-

Danielle Wiley: A lot of stuff.

Leslie Forde: Yeah, I mean, I’m married too. There’s like my partner, all that stuff. Yeah, I’m married, I have a partner. I like to see him every once in a while. So, all of these things were suddenly, it all felt like it wasn’t really possible or sustainable to meet the level of, I think attention excellence or to provide the kind of presence that I wanted to provide to all these really important aspects of my life. So, that was a type of burnout that was both physical and that I was really exhausted, but also emotional, and that I was realizing that what I thought was possible in the way that I thought I could do it wasn’t really realistic.

Danielle Wiley: So, as a result of that, you ended up creating Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs. So, tell us all about that.

Leslie Forde: I did. It was in a moment after I had returned to work with my second child. So, this is now just over eight years ago. I was shriveling up. I was shriveling up and dying from the inside. I was sleeping in 90-minute increments. Neither of my kids slept through the night until they were 14 months old each I was driving to work-

Danielle Wiley: I have you beat my daughter was 16 months, was just my neighbor has a newborn. And I was like, “I hate to tell you.”

Leslie Forde: I was wondering, who are these people who have the sleeping babies? Why do I not get the sleeping babies?

Danielle Wiley: Not me.

Leslie Forde: Well, so solidarity, because it’s-

Danielle Wiley: Yeah, it’s terrible.

Leslie Forde: It’s terrible. It’s really terrible. So, I wouldn’t remember driving to work. I wouldn’t remember getting home. I would get there, run through the parking garage, and realize I’d left the breast pump at home, and I would’ve to drive all the way back. And I was suddenly just like a zombie. I couldn’t function. I couldn’t think well, people who didn’t know me asked me if I was okay because I did not look well to others either. And I was short-staffed. When I returned to work, the company had changed direction. I had several people in one of my teams go out on different FMLA leaves, completely unplanned. I had been promoted while I was pregnant, so I had taken on a new department in addition to my existing one.

Leslie Forde: So, all of that really converged into what became an impossible situation. So, I did what I thought I’d never do. I downshifted, I went from managing these two departments and being a vice president and a public company to really being a very senior individual contributor in a much larger public company. And I negotiated a four-day workweek. I took a huge pay cut, and it still took over two and a half years to rebuild and recover from that burnout. And in that recovery period, someone had asked me, I ended up doing some advisory work for a stress wearable, and the founder said, “Well, why are moms so stressed?” I’m like, “Well.”

Danielle Wiley: Let me tell you.

Leslie Forde: Let me tell you. There’s Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and then there’s Mom’s Hierarchy of Needs. It just clicked for me. I said, it was out of my mouth. I felt it. I thought, what would this look like for other moms? So, I drew it on a little piece of paper. I turned it into a PowerPoint, and then the researcher in me, because that’s how I solve problems, thought, “What would other mothers say? Would it look the same for them?” So, I sent it out to a few people, and about 150 moms later. That was the first study, which is now in the first of many, many studies around stress, self-care, and growth. And I kind of tweaked it a little to what it looks like now. But everything at the bottom that we would do that we prioritize really our children’s health and well-being and milestones, our professional roles, our household roles, all the things we’re responsible for at home.

Leslie Forde: And then way up at the tippy top are all of those aspirational categories, which in the world of moms are the things that we would do for our mental, physical, and emotional health. So, in my paradigm, that’s sleep, stress management and nutrition and healthy adult relationships, interests, learning new things, fun. And the reason that we don’t get there, which became just apparent to me as soon as I drew it, is because everything in the bottom two-thirds is never done. You could spend 24/7 just doing childcare, just doing children’s activities. And when it’s never done, we’re not really encouraged in our society to give ourselves the permission to do the things at the top. We’re kind of praised for doing all those things at the bottom. That’s what you see. If you’re looking at your social media feed, it’s you’re working hard or you’re taking care of your kids, or maybe you go on a girl’s trip or something, but not so much.

Leslie Forde: You’re in service. And if you’re not doing too much in service, then you’re selfish. And we’re socialized that way. We’re shamed for being up in the self-care categories. So, what happens is what we’ve seen, many of us have seen our mothers and grandmothers do. We’re spinning around tops trying to do all the things all the time, and women are at greater risk for so many stress-related health conditions. Women are at greater risk for anxiety, depression, hypertension, I mean, you name it. And this paradox of care, often childcare, but also eldercare. This paradox of care really is not set up for us to take care of ourselves. So, I had to become pretty ruthless about my time, pretty ruthless about carving out space at the top. And then I wanted to research and continue to research all of the internal reasons, it’s hard. All of the systems reasons that it’s hard in the environments that we live and work in. And then what are those, frankly, they’re workarounds, right? Absent major systems change, you’re carving out some iterative path that really works in your own life.

Danielle Wiley: Do you have two kind of paths where one path for businesses to maybe change how they work to make some change in this area, but then also for just the regular mom who needs to understand what can I do. My business is not going to change the way we implemented a four-day workweek, which has been so amazing for all the moms at our company. But I mean, we’re a small company and it was just the choice of me and my two partners. It wasn’t a big bureaucratic thing. I don’t kid myself that this is easy for larger companies. So, the two paths, one, what can businesses do to make change in this area? And then if you’re just a mom in the world and your business doesn’t care about it, what can you do personally?

Leslie Forde: 100%. I’ll start with the business side. And first of all, kudos to you because now as an entrepreneur myself, I think it’s in some ways harder for a small organization to really embrace and internalize and implement the kind of flexibility that the workforce needs. So, kudos to you for doing that. There’s four pillars I talk to employers about when I’m working in organizations, and one is just psychological safety, creating the kind of environment where you model vulnerability, where it’s okay to be vulnerable. It’s okay to have a bad day, allowing people to show up with whatever is happening and feel safe and supported and not threatened with their jobs or their longevity in the career because of that. Because stuff happens, especially in these past few years.

Leslie Forde: And the second is flexibility, and not just remote work or flexible hours, it’s really, it’s flexible expectations. It’s really being thoughtful about what you’re asking people to do and how you’re asking them to do it. And when you’re communicating that in a way that’s inclusive, I tell managers, you don’t need to send that Slack message at 10:00 at night. You might be working then, but you can schedule send. No one needs to know that you’re working then because people will break themselves in half trying to be responsive to you even when they don’t want to be. So, being able to really allow for flexibility, allow people to do what is possible with the resources they have is critical. I keep seeing people telling me my surveys, they have half the staff and half the budget, but the same goals. So, women in particular, but I think people in general are very tired of being gaslighted. They don’t want to opt into box-checking anymore.

Leslie Forde: And the other two, childcare and eldercare, either curating them, destigmatizing them, hopefully paying or subsidizing for them in a large company. And then the fourth is mental healthcare. Same thing, curating, destigmatizing, and ideally in a larger company, subsidizing so that people really do have the kind of tools they need to manage the incredible amount of stress and strain that is happening in their lives. So, that’s kind of on the employer side, on the parent’s side, or the mom’s side, first thing is self-care has to be the thing that happens every day. It can’t be, “Oh, I’m going to get a vacation in a few months, or I’m going to take a trip away, or I’m going to have a night out in three weeks.” That’s just not good enough anymore. I don’t think it ever was, but it’s certainly not good enough now.

Leslie Forde: Even if it’s five minutes. I tell moms, if you just have to close the bathroom door and splash some water on your face and take a few deep breaths, do that and give yourself five minutes or give yourself ideally 30 minutes or give yourself an hour, but put it on your calendar and make it a repeating recurring thing. Because in most workplaces, no one’s going to ask you what that time is for. And it doesn’t really serve your employer, it doesn’t serve your family, and it certainly doesn’t serve you if you burn out. So, carving out space, the number one thing that moms asked for in all the research studies, including the pandemic one, where I’ve now heard from over 3,400 parents, 97% of whom are women. If they want time, they want time and choice over their time and not to feel like they’re on and in service to everyone else at all times of day or night.

Leslie Forde: So, creating that space for yourself and letting all the people around you at work and at home know that you’re not asking for permission for it. You are taking that time. And that means setting boundaries. Setting boundaries is like it stings doesn’t feel good. No one likes it because the other person is not going to react well, and then we’re used to being pleasing. So, it just doesn’t feel good, but it’s required. And the third thing that I encourage moms to do is really to choose a North Star, for lack of a better description, but one or two things, maybe three that are priority. And that allows you to eliminate and have clarity about what you’re going to say no to, what you’re going to make time for in this season.

Danielle Wiley: So, creating your own personal hierarchy. There’s the big broad one, but I know for me, which being able to sit quietly with a book or being able to go, if I’m having a bad day, just watching love is blind by myself and losing myself in the trash TV, but that’s not going to be the same for you perhaps. But that’s like the Danielle hierarchy-

Leslie Forde: Exactly. Exactly.

Danielle Wiley: Right.

Leslie Forde: And this is the thing I tell moms, like, “Hey, if it’s Netflix, if it’s ice cream, if it’s cookie dough.” Whatever it is that you want, embrace what you want. Don’t feel ashamed about it and take the time to do what you need at that moment or in this season of your life, because it’s not going to be every single thing. You’re going to have a couple of things. I mean, you do have to do top of the hierarchy things. You do have to care for your mental, physical, and emotional health. That’s just the way it is. But outside of that, is this the season for career growth? Are you a business leader? Are you a business owner? Do you want to achieve something of impact in your professional life? Do you have a health need or concern and you really need to focus on your own restoration and healing? Whatever that thing is, you just have to realize that it’s probably just one or two things that you can say yes to as a priority.

Danielle Wiley: So, you mentioned the pandemic, and I know running a company, certainly the way we saw it impact the moms on our team was it was big. We were remote from the beginning. So, adjusting to Zoom a Slack, that stuff was nothing for us because we were already using those tools, but all of a sudden there were little ones. I mean, we would have naked toddlers dancing around behind people, and there was just craziness going on. And we hired Princess Elsa to come and do a Zoom for all the little kids, and we did story time and stuff like that. So, certainly there was stuff that companies had to do to help women get through it or not help them get through it. How did that change things for women and moms, and did any of that change persist now as we’re making our way out of this and getting back to some kind of semblance of normalcy?

Leslie Forde: Absolutely. I think probably the most fundamental change, if I could summarize one thing, priorities have changed when you’ve had to battle life and death and live in fear of this virus and how it’s going to impact your life, your family, your community, your loved ones, your parents, for those with aging parent, all of that, suddenly the important things kind of float to the top pretty quickly. So, I’ve seen in the study moms wanting to do everything from blow up their lives, don’t want to live in the same city, don’t want the same spouse, don’t want the same job, don’t want the same career, everything that was frustrating them became unbearable when dealing with the pandemic. So, I think it forced a lot of reconciliation around what hasn’t been working and shedding what hasn’t been working and embracing something different. So, I believe that has persisted.

Leslie Forde: We know the great resignation and even the aftermath of that has been led by women and in many cases, senior women, because when companies ask me, “Well, why don’t we have enough women leadership or trying to get more women on our board, and when I look at the senior leaders who are almost never women.” I’m like, “Listen, by age 44, like 85, 86% of women are mothers, like they’re doing three jobs, and if they have any financial privilege, they’re not going to take your garbage here. If they don’t want to, they’re going to go.” And they’re not going to have a hard conversation with you about it because they’re tired. They’re just going to go. They’re going to go somewhere else, or they’re going to try to negotiate a better package or pay, or even just establish new boundaries somewhere else. So, all of that is happening and I think will continue to happen.

Leslie Forde: The other thing is health. I believe that women have taken a new… There’s a new premium on health, although we’ve always, I think, been aware of it suddenly, we all used to work when we were sick. I remember working when I was sick. I remember going to meetings. I remember flying while I had a fever. I remember dragging myself into the office to meet a client because I was so dedicated, and no one does that now. You can’t in this climate. So, that I think is a really positive forced shift that is turning attention to physical health, to mental health, to being able to navigate longevity, not navigate illness, and to do so with positive outcomes for yourself and for your family. And what has been hustle culture or the way we’ve been conditioned to work isn’t really consistent with that. It’s not really consistent with mental health. It’s not consistent with physical health.

Leslie Forde: So, I see women rejecting that more often if they have the financial privilege to do so. I think if they don’t have the financial privilege to do so on the essential work and women who might be in socioeconomically more fragile places, they’re still opting into jobs that give them more of what they want. So, if they might have been in a job where they were interacting with the public after the pandemic, it’s like, “Well, if I could have an hourly job over here where I’m interacting with people I don’t know in breathing with strangers, or I could be in a warehouse or I could be somewhere else, I’m going to do that other thing.” Because the pay isn’t that different and I’m going to do that other thing at a macro level. We’ve seen when I go through my Bureau of Labor Statistics data that certain very female-heavy professions haven’t rebounded with female participation like healthcare. A lot of us are feeling the capacity constraints in healthcare-

Danielle Wiley: Teaching, right?

Leslie Forde: Teaching. Exactly. Hospitality, retail. Think about it. They’re all shift-oriented professions. They’re all professions that tend not to have a lot of flexibility in terms of hours or even location. They tend to be positions that involve a lot of emotional energy and physical energy and care energy. And if you are also caring for your own family and you’re trying to even care for your own physical health, it’s like what’s going to go. You’re going to make that career shift and you’re going to choose lifestyle behaviors that move you in that direction too.

Danielle Wiley: Fascinating. I could keep talking to you for hours. Every episode of this season, we’re asking our guests who are all amazing women, what woman had the biggest impact on you in your life and career? We’re giving everyone the chance to shout out an amazing woman in their life.

Leslie Forde: My mom, hands down. I mean, she is amazing. As a mother, she was very intentional about the kind of experience she wanted my sister and I to have. She was really kind of a stay-at-home mom for a period of time. She was choosing the path of stay-at-home motherhood, but we hit some difficulties and some rough patches. And my parents hit some financial rough patches where she was forced into the workforce unprepared. And because of that, she really instilled in my sister and I that your career, no matter what you do, kids, no kids, partner, whatever that looks like, doesn’t matter. You have to have financial independence. You have to have professional independence. So, that was a really critical part of how I’ve modeled my corporate life, my life, life, my motherhood journey. And she’s fierce, she’s forced.

Danielle Wiley: Awesome. Love to hear it. Well, this was great. Thank you so much for coming on. I loved chatting with you, and I think our listeners are going to really take a lot out of this conversation. I know that I did.

Leslie Forde: Thank you. It was a pleasure. Thank you for inviting me.

Danielle Wiley: My pleasure too. Thank you for listening. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. Please check back next Monday for a new episode featuring marketing conversations through the lens of influence. I am your host, Danielle Wiley, and this is The Art of Sway.