WHO SHE IS
Beth Sheffner Scheer, Head of Talent @ Homebrew (seed stage venture capital firm)
WHERE SHE IS
San Francisco, CA
Getting asked for career advice by someone I admire and look up to.
Full time. Lots of early mornings with flexibility. I used to work with international teams and often had calls at 6:30pm at night which was very difficult and cut into dinner time with the kids.
Jackson (10) & Addie (8)
Pilates. BravoTV. Prosecco.
RECENT SMART READ
FAVORITE WEEKNIGHT DINNER
Reservations. Kidding. I rarely cook during the week but I try to cook on Sunday nights. I have a new relationship with my grill which sat unused for 3 years. Flank steak is my speciality. A great easy marinade you can do the day before: soy sauce, garlic, honey, ginger, vermouth or bourbon, dijon mustard.
FAVORITE TV SHOW
The Affair. Curb Your Enthusiasm. Master of None. Can’t pick one.
Apps: Uber, Sprig, Audible, Instacart, TaskRabbit. There is a great line from one of the upper East Side momzilla’s in Bravo’s TV series Odd Mom Out: “You need to staff up and lean into motherhood.” I prefer to “App up.” You can save so much time with all of today’s on demand services.
BEST TIME-MANAGEMENT TIP
Focus on the things you can control and don’t worry about the things out of your control.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE TO DO WITH YOUR CHILDREN WHEN YOU AREN’T WORKING?
Cooking and baking projects.
HOW DOES BEING A MOM MAKE YOU GREAT AT WHAT YOU DO?
I have a lot more patience than I ever thought I could have. This helps in all aspects of my work. Negotiating with a 10 year old can be harder than negotiating with a C-level executive.
1. Tell us about your working mom journey. What are you doing now, and how did you get here?
I am Head of Talent at a small VC firm where I help our portfolio companies think about talent. I worked at Salesforce and Google in leadership recruiting capacities prior to joining Homebrew.
To be honest, I always thought I would stop working after I had children. However, I was never in a position to have that choice. I was resentful for many years, but now I couldn’t be more grateful the way my situation worked out. Because I never stopped working, I never had the challenges of reentering the workforce or being in a position of depending on anyone else for financial stability.
2. I love that you got this job when you weren’t actually looking for a new job, and that it shows the importance of taking meetings and being open. What convinced you to actually take the risk of leaving a secure (albeit competitive!) corporate environment?
Great question. I knew that if I stayed at a big company, I would never have the opportunity to reach my financial goals. By going to Homebrew, I saw potential with an amazing team. Regardless what happens with the fund, I know I made the right choice. I get to work with some of the smartest people in the industry. The partners at my firm have a vision, they are incredibly focused, and they understand the challenges of raising children and building a business.
3. You have a lot of experience in the hiring space, working with big companies like Google and Salesforce, and now working with smaller portfolio companies on behalf of Homebrew. Are there differences you see in terms of the size of companies as it pertains to attracting and retaining women talent? Any trends you are excited about?
Companies realize they have to think about things like parental leave early on. For example, if you are a company of 5 male engineers and you want to create more diversity or company, you should probably start with the basics. A well defined parental leave policy and a clear message on diversity overall are a good place to start.
4. You’re a single mom with a big job with a lot of responsibility at home and at work. I love how intentional you are with the time you spend with your children — will you share it here?
I make a point to spend solo time with each of my children. My parents (still married for almost 50 years) did this with my brother and me growing up and I think it is so important to have special time to connect with each child. I try to do “date nights” with each of my kids and take them on separate trips when possible. Regardless of your family structure, this just takes a little planning.
5. What is your best advice to other professional women?
Support doesn’t have to come from your obvious support network. I think working moms tend to look only to other working moms for support. I have found that some of the best, nonjudgemental advice comes from a diverse group of backgrounds (non working moms, retired women, men).
Before my first day at Homebrew, I actually asked both my kids for advice. I told them I was nervous, trying to connect with them about how adults can be scared about “first days.” Here’s the advice I got:
8-year-old daughter: “Ask someone if you need any help.”
10-year-old son: “Don’t do anything stupid.”
Pretty good advice.