Mastering Your Reality: Marissa Orr

In every moment, you choose who you want to be and how you want to live your life. It’s your ultimate power, and your inescapable responsibility. You’re the master of your reality.

Marissa Orr spent more than 15 years as an executive at top tech firms Facebook and Google. While there, Marissa recognized the stark differences in the opportunities that men and women face in the workplace. She also recognized that women were often encouraged to act more “like men” to be successful, instead of focusing on their leadership abilities. In her estimation, the popular book ‘Lean In,’ for example, fails to address the real concerns faced by women in the workplace. She wrote her recent book, ‘Lean Out, to set the record straight.

In this episode of Mastering Your Reality, we discussed:

  • Many books on the gender pay gap generally focus on cultural stereotypes and assume women must act like men to move up.
  • Marissa believes that men and women have different wants and needs, and that instead of dismissing women’s needs, our corporations need to embrace differing needs.
  • Marissa asks: should we rewire women to fit the needs of the system, or rewire the system to fit the needs of women?
  • Participating in workshops and women in leadership programs, Marissa felt she was essentially being taught how to act more like men.
  • Her own writing on the subject turned into a lecture series which became popular, setting her down the path to write ‘Lean Out’
  • When there’s a bias that those who have “succeeded” are the “experts,” by definition the system will be biased to produce similar “winners.”
  • The more agreeable you are—a more typically female characteristic—the less likely you are to advance, for both men and women alike. The issue is not most fundamentally about gender, though, but behaviors and traits that are best for winning in a particular corporate system.
  • The traits of true leadership are generally not the traits that help you move up in the corporate world.

Want to learn more? Click here to order or read about Marissa’s book. You can also click here to view more episodes of Mastering Your Reality.

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