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of those things is missing from my routine, I find that I’m less patient and less able to cope with whatever hijinx three little boys cook up for me during the day. And work for me has always been a creative outlet, which sounds funny given that I’m an accountant by trade, but it’s been a way to use my mental energy to solve problems and it really feeds me. Our children are not ours to keep forever - we are here to teach them, guide them and then let them go. It brings me to tears to talk about, but that’s our job. And when they leave our home to start their own journey, we better hope that we have something else in our lives that keeps us engaged and energized, or else the void is going to engulf us. AM: How important is it for women to encourage other women within business? SR: It’s critical. While I think it’s also important (and much needed) for men and women to support each other, I think that women are truly able to understand each other’s situations - to be able to relate to the challenges, fears, and - yes - insecurities, as well as knowing first-hand the hurdles we have to get over every day. MB: I remember hearing Sandra Day O’Connor talk about how the conversations and arguments on the Supreme Court changed as soon as there was one other woman on the Court. Suddenly, her views were amplified because there was another person in the room who could understand where she was coming from. I’ve noticed it in management meetings as well when I’m the only woman in the room vs. having at least one other, and it’s vital that women be heard and our needs be considered. So if you want to have products and services designed with women in mind, if you want women's specific healthcare issues researched, if you want better childcare, then you better make sure there are women in

the room when these topics are being discussed. The best way I know how to do that is to help them. Network and make introductions. Serve as references. Give them feedback. Help them think through an issue or prepare for a presentation. Tell them how you managed through maternity leave. Advocate for policies that help women in the workforce. We all win when women succeed. AM: How do you give of your time from a philanthropic standpoint? SR: I so wish I had more time to give to the various causes I believe in. Right now, my philanthropic efforts are really focused on giving as much as I can in support of those causes, and to get involved where I can, which is mostly working with my girls to put together donations for various local drives. I think a lot of people - men, women, whether they are moms, dads, or entrepreneurs - struggle with adding this into the mix of their everyday lives. I’m no different. MB: Having three young boys and running a new company is taking everything I have, so volunteering my time is something that I’ve had to set aside for now and instead focus my philanthropic efforts around giving donations of cash and goods. I feel that it’s important for my children, even as young as they are, to take part in passing along their own clothes and toys, and so we do this together whenever possible. One day, I’ll be able to give my time as well. PHOTO CREDITS | PG 92 + 97 Nynne Schrøder | PG 95 Stephanie Retcho (left) and Melissa Birge (right)

Profile for Athleisure Mag

Athleisure Mag Jun 2018