WHO SHE IS
Stephanie Kumar, Insights Lead at Pinterest

WHERE SHE IS
New York City

SUCCESS STORY
Going from maternity leave right into a new role and company leading CPG Insights @ Pinterest

WORK SCHEDULE
Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

KIDS
Chloé, 8 mos.

SANITY VICE
‘No Chewing Allowed’ Chocolate Truffles

RECENT SMART READ
Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

GO-TO WEEKNIGHT DINNER
I love to cook flavorful vegetarian food. Some recent favorites: Cauliflower Fried Rice & Zucchini Pesto Pasta

FAVORITE MAGAZINES:
Women’s Health, MIT Technology Review, Harvard Business Review

FAVORITE TV SHOW:
The Voice and The Mindy Project

GO-TO TECH
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.

 

Pinterest board of Stephanie Kumar, working mom at Pinterest.

Get lost in Stephanie’s Dream Dresses Pinterest Board.

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.

Pinterest's Stephanie Kumar Insight Analytics Working Mother on Maybrooks

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.

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