Women in Business Q&A: Lindsay Powers, Editorial Director, Yahoo Parenting

Lindsay Powers has been writing and editing stories about parenting (among many other topics) for more than a decade. Bringing interesting stories about families from all walks of life has been one of her missions at Yahoo, where she served as a homepage editor for three years before launching Yahoo Parenting. Throughout her career Powers has covered a wide-range of topics from parents choosing to carry "designer" babies to a mother's plight to save her unborn baby from a gunman, and Kate Middelton's pregnancy. She was also backstage at President Obama's first election celebration, was responsible for coverage of the Oscars, Emmys and Golden Globes, and is comfortable interviewing everyone from Brad Pitt to leading medical experts.

Prior to coming to Yahoo, she relaunched both Us Weekly and The Hollywood Reporter's website to significant year-over-year growth. She also established the "Moms & Babies" channel on UsMagazine.com.

Her work has been published by the New York Post, Cosmopolitan, Reuters, Seventeen, Us Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Organic Style and she has appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, Nightline, Access Hollywood, Good Day New York, Entertainment Tonight, E! News, Extra, and The Insider.

She lives with her husband and son in Brooklyn.

How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I didn't have the easiest childhood, and that's made me pretty scrappy - I've always been hungry and a very hard worker because I didn't have a big safety net. I push my team pretty hard, and also hold myself to very high standards. But I also have some perspective -- work is not my whole life, and, forgive the cliche, but I try not to sweat the small stuff.

How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Yahoo Parenting?
I've been covering families in one way or another for more than a decade, from a teen's over-the-top $10,000 prom when I was a reporter at the New York Post, to launching the "Moms and Babies" channel at Us Weekly, to all of the lifestyle stories I edited for the homepage of Yahoo before launching Yahoo Parenting last October. I've been in headline-writing bootcamp for a big chunk of my career too, first under one of my mentors Janice Min, who writes the best coverlines in the industry, and then on the Yahoo homepage, where you have to tell the whole story in just a few characters.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Yahoo Parenting?
We had just a few weeks to launch with about 150 stories, and it was a whirlwind! The team came together really quickly, and clicked perfectly. It's been really inspiring working with so many smart people. I just finished reading all of their books.

What advice can you offer women who are seeking a career in your industry?
This isn't really specific to just women: Be humble (karma is for real), but don't be afraid to share your opinions or fight for what you want. I think women are naturally the first people to give up a seat at the conference table, or defer to a man who interrupts them during a meeting. Stand your ground, and share your thoughts.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
That is the million-dollar question! It's tough, to be honest. Today, my son got sick and daycare called, and I had to drop everything to pick him up. So tonight I'm answering these questions at 9 p.m. I try to ask myself: In a few years, will I regret not going to that meeting this afternoon, or will I regret not spending time with my son when he's sick? And the answer is pretty clear to me. I also act like Cinderella at 5 p.m. and run out the door to get home in time to spend a little bit of time with him before bedtime. And I'd be remiss not to mention my husband, who is a big partner with this, and juggles just as many, if not more, daycare pickups and drop-offs and other household tasks with me.

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
I think women are expected to be perfect nurturers at work. Men are assertive, and women are bitches. That's why I respect most of the women who have climbed to the top of their careers. They also have to operate amidst so much noise. Nobody is analyzing how the CEOs of Google juggle childcare and work, and what they wore to some big conference.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Having mentors has been incredibly important to my career. Having people take me under their wing and act as advocates for me has opened a lot of doors. But you have to make it worth their while - you can't just expect somebody to stick their neck out for you and you not be good at your job, or add value to the company or to their career. It's a two-way street.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
I respect Marissa Mayer for running a major company and making sometimes difficult decisions. Kathy Savitt, the chief marketing officer at Yahoo, has had a big, exciting career -- and has five children, and was a young mom, which I've always thought was very admirable. In her office, she keeps a framed note from one of her daughters talking about how she's a role model. That's something that speaks to me.

What do you want Yahoo Parenting to accomplish in the next year?
I hope we continue to share stories of today's families -- not just a mom, dad, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. I want to inspire people, and I also want to raise provocative issues. Yahoo is an amazing, huge platform -- with great power comes great responsibility!