Karen Catlin: "Brand New Day"

Karen Catlin: "Brand New Day"


This Week's Guest: Karen Catlin

Karen Catlin - Copy.jpg


We’re extremely excited to share this episode because this guest brings us two of our favorite things: great stories about Silicon Valley’s past, and practical tips about how to make tech (and really any industry) a better environment for everyone. Karen Catlin tells stories about her years at Macromedia through the merger with Adobe, and what it was like to suddenly look around her and notice the cubicles that used to be populated with women were no longer.

Now an author, coach, and speaker, Karen shifted from working in tech to being a strong advocate for more diverse speaker lineups and more inclusive workplaces. As she says, “After a successful career in the tech industry, I’m now ‘paying it forward.’” In this episode, she even shares four of her favorite tips that listeners should be implementing in their professional life to be better allies. Hint: one of these involves taking a good look at your LinkedIn connections, and one comes from the Obama White House.


Show Notes



More About Karen Catlin

Advocate for Inclusive Workplaces, Coach, Speaker, Author

Karen Catlin is a leadership coach, keynote speaker, author, and passionate advocate for inclusion in the workplace. After spending twenty-five years building software products and serving as a vice president of engineering at Macromedia and Adobe, she witnessed a sharp decline in the number of women working in tech. Frustrated but galvanized, she knew it was time to switch gears.

Today, Karen coaches women to be stronger leaders and men to be better allies. Her client roster includes Airbnb, Pinterest, eBay, and Intel, as well as entrepreneurs and individuals. Karen’s coaching offerings include tactics for increasing visibility, being more strategic, managing stakeholders, negotiation, and cultivating ally skills. Her writing on these and related topics has appeared in Inc., The Daily Beast, and Fast Company, and she’s consulted on articles for The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The New York Times. To help more people cultivate ally skills, she wrote Better Allies: Everyday Actions to Create Inclusive, Engaging Workplaces.


A self-professed public speaking geek, Karen is a highly sought-after and engaging presenter who has delivered talks at more than a hundred conferences and corporate events. She speaks on a variety of topics, including inclusive workplaces and women in leadership. Her TEDx talk, Women in Tech: The Missing Force, explores the decline in gender diversity in tech, why it’s a problem, and what can be done about it. In addition to speaking herself, Karen is determined to change the ratio for who is on stage giving keynotes and other presentations. To support this goal, she coauthored Present! A Techie’s Guide to Public Speaking with Poornima Vijayashanker.

Karen is a graduate and active alum of Brown University, serving as an advisor to the university’s Computer Science Diversity Initiative and mentoring students on how to launch their careers. She’s also on the Advisory Boards for The Women’s CLUB of Silicon Valley and WEST (Women Entering & Staying in Technology). In 2015, the California State Assembly honored Karen with the Wonder Women Tech Innovator Award for outstanding achievements in business and technology and for being a role model for women.

Find Karen on LinkedIn and Twitter, too.

Musical Inspiration For This Episode From Our Playlist

Avinash Kaushik: "Curious"

Avinash Kaushik: "Curious"

Tom Peters: "Don’t Stop Me Now"

Tom Peters: "Don’t Stop Me Now"