Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
What was your path to get where you are?
"I always wanted to be a writer — I used to stay in at recess to write stories! And, growing up, I was obsessed with women journalists — historical ones like Nellie Bly and Clare Boothe Luce, modern-day ones like Anna Quindlen and fictional ones like Murphy Brown. Writing for the Times
was always a dream job for me. When I got the chance — after journalism school and stints working in journalism in New York and at a few small publications and Forbes
magazine — I leapt at it."
What valuable lessons have you learned on your way?
"When you see an opportunity to achieve a career goal, go for it. Ignore the doubts about whether you're qualified. Men do! That's a generalization, of course, but backed up by studies! The worst thing that can happen is you don't get it."
Best piece of advice you've ever received?
"Journalism-wise, I find myself thinking about advice from my first boss, Steve Brill, almost every day — practical stuff, like imagine the worst letter to the editor you could receive before you publish a story, and call everyone whose name you mention in a piece. Working-parent-wise, from a successful woman I admire in the tech industry — set your own limits and priorities and say no when you need to, because no one else is going to do it for you."
What do you think of the impact that the tech industry is having on the Bay Area as a whole?
"There are pros and cons. It is such a fast-moving, world-changing industry that contributes so much to the economy and changes the way we live, much of the time in ways that really improve people's lives. At the same time, the wealth produced here is creating economic disparity that is changing the make-up of the Bay Area, and making it impossible for less wealthy people to live here."