Episode 25

#25 How Can We *use* Tech to Correct Unconscious Bias *in* Tech with Matt Wallaert, behavioral scientist

A feminist and behavioral scientist, Matt Wallaert believes that using data to build products is the key to effecting real change, such as the gender pay gap, which explains why he created GetRaised, a tool that helps women ask for raises. He is currently Director of Microsoft Startups, where he uses psychology to build products that enable people to take action on their ideas, questions, and desires.

Notes

Emma Watson: Gender equality is your issue too UN Women

Could these 2 women help solve Silicon Valley’s diversity problem? by Shalene Gupta, Fortune

RadiumOne’s All-Male Board Is Now Deciding Whether (Or Not) to Dump CEO Over Domestic Violence Conviction by Kara Swisher, Recode

Men Really Are Clueless About Their Female Coworkers by Rick Wartzman

Ex-Kleiner VC Ellen Pao Introduces Diversity Initiative by Ellen Huet, Bloomberg

Whitney Wolfe, founder of dating app Bumble, has had quite the year. She just can’t discuss parts of it. by Todd C. Frankel, Washington Post

C.P. Ellis, 78; Once a Ku Klux Klan Leader, He Became a Civil Rights Activist

Stephen King iBooks

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella celebrates ‘pivotal year’ as Office 365, cloud make gains by Harriet Taylor, Anita Balakrishnan CNBC

A Unicorn Is the Last Thing This Web 2.0 Survivor Wants by Jessi Hempel, Wired

Additional Reading

Why Men Don’t Mentor Younger Women—And How We Can Change That By Kate Ashford, The Muse

Five Brainless But Brilliant Routes To A Raise by Meghan Casserly, Forbes

Wage Gap Costs U.S. Women $500 Billion A Year, Report Finds by Laura Bassett, The Huffington Post

Hacking inequality and behavior by Capioca, Medium

What Is Design Thinking? by Kaan Turnali, Forbes

The point of normative models in judgment and decision making by Jonathan Baron, frontiers

Guest bios & transcripts are available on www.broadmic.com.

Bio

Matt Wallaert is a behavioral psychologist and entrepreneur focused on building products and programs that create behavior change to help people lead better, happier lives.  He is currently at Microsoft and Microsoft Ventures, where he uses psychology to build products that enable people to take action on their ideas, questions, and desires.  For example, his Bing in the Classroom program, which fosters digital literacy in K-12 students by putting hardware in the hands of kids, teaching them how to use it, and creating a safe environment for them to use it in, has increased student searches at school by 40% and at home by 15%.

published academic who continues to collect data and remain active in academia, he uses research and insights about human behavior in his work as an entrepreneur and as a frequent expert source for the press.  He is always looking for new ways to make things better and hopes to advise 1,000 projects before he dies.  A list of his investments, side projects, and advisory appointments is available on LinkedIn.

Currently located in New York City, Matt prefers cowboy boots to dress shoes and Legos to blank paper.  He is a dedicated Oregonian and believes strongly that the Pacific Northwest is the best possible place to live.  He is a graduate of Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (IB) and Swarthmore College (psychology and education), spent some time in a graduate program at Cornell University (social psychology) before joining his first startup, and is husband to Stef, father to Bear, brother to Josh, brother-in-law to Jelena, uncle to Sava and Teo, and son to Rick and Jo.

Transcript

Matt: Eighty percent of men in tech, think that their workplace is fair, right? That's just crazy to me. Seventy percent of women in tech recognize it is unfair, and it's so amazing to me because we just had this year where all of these things that happened, you know, Sheryl Sandberg like really loud voices, and yet 80% of men still think that, "Oh yeah, everything's fine."

Kelly: I'm Kelly Hoey, host of BroadMic. I speak with the most accomplished entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders about issues that matter in building a business. You will get the inspiration as well as the picks and shovels you need to become a better entrepreneur. Be inspired, take action, think broad.

Today, I'm in the studio with Matt Wallaert a behavioral psychologist, two-time entrepreneur, and a self-described cowboy boots on the ground for Microsoft ventures on the East Coast. Matt is also the co-founder of getraised.com, a free service that helps women figure out if they're underpaid and what to do about it. Welcome.

Matt: Thanks for having me.

Kelly: I also didn't put in the introduction here. You're also a feminist.

Matt: I am. Although, I've recently learned to embrace the word. It was not...I was one of those annoying like male feminist that's like, "No, it's humanism and it's about everybody." I actually think honestly it was the UN speech where she was like, "No, just like embrace the word." I was like, "Okay, you're probably right. I'm probably..."

Kelly: I can do this.

Matt: Yeah, I can do this.

Kelly: Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada's done it, I can do this.

Matt: Yeah, look I can....it's interesting like for a long time it was a struggle like I really wanted to be like, "No, this is not the right..." Yeah, I was that kid in college that was like, “Affirmative action, do I really believe in it?” I like the short-term effects, but do I really...how do I feel about the long-term feelings, and so I think originally, even long after I built GetRaised, we're $2.3 billion in raises for women and I'm still not able to call myself a feminist.

Kelly: Okay, let's talk about GetRaised. What is it? What are you doing?

Matt: So, it is a free tool that we built that helps women figure out if they’re underpaid, and then do something about it. So the first section really ask a couple of questions, where you work? How much you make? What you do? We use Bureau of Labor statistics data sort of say, "Hey, there might be a gap here." Because we really need to get women to ask.

One of the problems of the gender wage gap is that women are far, far less likely to actually go ask for a raise. And then the second bit is actually about creating the right kind of raise request, you can't see me because this is a podcast, but I'm using air quotes like right is a strange word, but the most successful way to get a raise is really in shifting women's tone from a community oriented thing, "Hey, I need a raise because my son is going to a college." to a business value oriented thing. "I need a raise. I deserve a raise because I've done X, Y, and Z." This is how I brought value to the business. So we actually asked some questions that generate a letter that you can give to your boss, and at about 70% of the women who hand in this letter get a raise and the average raise is about $7,000.

Kelly: That's amazing. Well, I think, I mean, this is one of those things, I say, think to myself that's like one of the reasons you can ask Is you're armed with data and you're armed with market data, and isn't this one of the great things in terms of the promise of internet, mobile open data. All these kind of stuff is people like you can build this kind of tools that actually affect change.

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. When we were building our first startup and we built a mint.com competitor, we sold to LendingTree. It's how I discovered the gender wage gap. We really couldn't have built GetRaised at the time. The Bureau of Labor statistics data wasn't available and aren't like updated accurate format that we could use like some of the web technologies we used didn't even exist yet. So it is really one those problems that like we knew we have the abilities to solve [inaudible 00:04:-03] I guess means five years ago. So it's interesting to think about what we can solve now if we tried.

Kelly: Get on it, get on it.

Matt: I'm working on it.

Kelly: When did you have the idea for GetRaised?

Matt: It actually came as a reaction to Thrive, the company we sold to LendingTree. So I was looking at some data that we had. So just like Mint or other sites, we had access to people's back accounts, did auto-budgeting, those sorts of things, and we had something that was kind of novel, something called the behavioral health score. And the idea was that we didn't want to just say, "Hey, you're rich, you get a high score and you're poor, you get a low score." I wanna say, "Of the money that you have, what are you doing with it?"

So one of the components was savings rate, and we basically said, "All right, savings will be the amount of money you save as a function of your income every month." And when we looked at it that way, women were amazing savers. They just did so much better than men, but the problem was as soon as we took out that as a function of how much you make, they couldn't keep up. So the problem is when there's a 30% pay gap, there's no way, there's no budget I can create that is gonna help you save an extra 30%. And so we just sort of sold the company to LendingTree and I was sort of talking to one of the folks and I was like, "Look, we missed the boat." We only looked at what happen once somebody got a paycheck, and for a whole population, women, minorities, there's a gap upstream of that and we need to go do something about that. So at the next company, we built GetRaised.

Kelly: That's amazing, absolutely amazing because you're right, that gap, how do you catch up on that?

Matt: Yeah, I mean at end…one of the pernicious things about it is it tends to happen very early in people's career, first job, second job. One of the reasons that you can get to the sort of $2.3 billion number is because when you get someone a $7,000 raise early in their career, it just repeats over and over and over every year, and every time they get a raise because it's based on your previous salary, then they're catching up, catching up, catching up.

Kelly: Well, the first time you asked for a raise and you actually get it and you're successful that's like, "Oh, I can do this."

Matt: That's right. What a confidence booster, right?

Kelly: And I can do this again, and I can do this the next time, and I've got data that says what I'm worth in the market.

Matt: That's right and look, experience is its own form of data. When we have a positive experience doing something, that's what we look at when we think about doing it again. And so, if people get into the cycle of, "Oh, I can ask for a promotion. I can go further and faster." That continues to replicate itself throughout the rest of their career.

Kelly: That's so great. So you've been the head of product of several startups and as I said in the intro, you're a behavioral psychologist. How has that…you sort of behavioral science. I'm doing the face, quite confused. What do you mean you're not a computer science major and you've had a career in tech, how's that happen, Matt?

Matt: I mean, look. I grew up in rural Oregon and I love computers like my parents got us one very early on, but we didn't really have the money to get it fixed and we live in the middle of nowhere and so if it broke like I was angry, I'm taking the thing apart.

Kelly: Like your bicycle or anything else.

Matt: Yeah, exactly. Like, I don't know. It's so novel to me living in New York City where you see those posters that are like, "Oh yeah, for $20, you can get your computer fixed." I was like that was not the experience I had. I didn't even know who I would've gone to, to task for help. And so I am a techie, like I am a geek, but my background in sort of a formal education sense is social psychology. They look at something called JDM, Judgment Decision Making, how do people make choices. And in particular, I do something called competing pressures design. So how do we look at the environment in which people make choices to try and mold the decisions that they make? And I tend to work pro-social things like getting a raise.

So really what we asked was what are all the things that we can do to help women ask in the first place, and then how can we make that as easy as possible. How can we remove all of the barriers? Because 10 years ago, we could have done this show. Not a podcast because that didn't really exist, but we could have done the show.

Kelly: We're more like Dinah Shore and I would have had a sofa. That would've been great. There'll be musical guests. You would've loved that.

Matt: Could have been me, who knows? But we couldn't really have done this but 10 years ago, I could have said, "Well, you can go and get the Bureau of Labor statistics data and do this, but you would have to like write to the Bureau of Labor statistics and they would have to send it back, they wouldn't know how to read it.

Kelly: There'll be some stamps involved and trip to the post office.

Matt: Yeah, who does that anymore? I have the worst post office on Earth so I'm glad that I don't have to mail things. That's a lot of inhibiting pressures. That's a lot effort, and what we find is like there's no woman that doesn't want a raise. The problem is not that women don't recognize, "Hey...

Kelly: Don't pay me what I'm worth said no one ever.

Matt: Said no one ever. That's never happened. And so that is not…but yet that's what we go and do in the world. If you look at our marketing campaigns, it's all about ask, ask, ask. If you didn't want it, like let me convince you to do it and I don't think that's really the problem. The problem is it's actually really hard to ask if you've never done it before and wage and earning is an incredibly taboo topic. One of the things we talked about at Thrive was if you look at survey of things that make people uncomfortable to talk about like finances are higher than sex. Like we are happy to talk to our friends about like, "Hey, the sex with this girl was really great. What do you make at work?"

Kelly: Oh no.

Matt: We're never having that conversation, ever.

Kelly: So, I'm like having a pause moment. Just think about it, Donald Trump has talked about his sex life and his ex-wives, he has not released his...

Matt: His tax form. See? We are so uncomfortable with it. It’s such a strange American value. I have many European friends who are just like, "It's weird to me that you have this problem like we don't have this problem. Why do you have this problem?" And because of that, you wanna ask...you have a sense you're underpaid, great you hear this campaign that says go ask and then what?

Kelly: What do I ask for?

Matt: What do you ask for, who can you talk to that can help you mold and get some experience and do this things. So I really think there is this part of GetRaised that I love that is, "Hey, we're just gonna try and make this really easy. We're gonna scaffold and structure this so that you can go and do this. You would have things that happens after you generate the letters is we give you a guide that's like okay, role play it with a friend, eat a good a breakfast, get a good night sleep the night before like all of these things that are just basic lock and tackle stuff that we don't even think about in regard to this issue.

Kelly: Okay, so GetRaised, this is dealing with people who are part of W2 economy?

Matt: It is, and part of the reason for that is we're limited by the data that we have and so when you look at things like annual salary. Although what I will say is I guess, it's not nece...it certainly works with salary than hourly workers. So in it, we translate our... like you can express your pay in hours and we can sort of compare it to national averages in salary. We do get the data in a salary sort of way. So it's a little bit tough but 10 years from now, as we have more new and different kinds of data, you can imagine either the repetition of these things but people have to build them.

Kelly: Yeah, it's sort of interesting thinking about how much of the economy has gone to freelance and how much of that freelance economy is women and when we will have some data on that because again this is...undoubtedly there's a gap there.

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. One of my favorite new startups is actually here in New York called Power to Fly, and it's all [inaudible 00:11:24] female technical talent that you can either hire or they'll become the employer of record or you can just straight out employ them. And one of the reasons that I think that these kinds of things have to exist is that there are these giant gaps.

I recently worked with PayScale on a study that was sort of horrifying or at least I was horrified. Eighty percent of men in tech, think that their workplace is fair, right? That's just crazy to me. Seventy percent of women in tech recognize it is unfair, and so you have this a massive gap between the population that's affected and the people who have the power to go and change who are the dominant majority in the workplace and who are just like "Oh yeah, everything's fine." It's so amazing to me because we just had this year where…we have all of these things that happened. Sheryl Sandberg like really loud voices, and yet only 80% of men still think that, "Oh yeah, everything's fine."

Kelly: What are you smoking because I'd really like some on a bad day. Now, seriously some of those guys and I also too, I think when I look at particularly with my background coming from legal field kind of Wall Street stuff, when we see some of the best companies now for women, it's American Express, it's BNY Mellon. This is according to Anita Borg Institute. It's Goldman Sachs. If you're a woman in tech, there's three of your top options, And if the tech industry doesn't realize that it's gonna cost them millions of dollars and decades to turn around bad behavior like get it right from the start.

Matt: Well then I think that like one of the things unique about those financial institutions has to do with sort of like the coolness of the job. In tech, those are three tremendously unsexy sort of tech options, but I actually think that that's part of the reason that they've got it right. They spent more time like actually solving the problem than they did trying to produce a really cool looking T-shirt, I mean, I think…

Kelly: Well, and decades of having problems, keeping women in minorities and realizing "Oops, we're public companies. We got to do something about this," And you throw millions of dollars at is since probably the '80s.

Matt: There's a key point in there which is public company too, I think. Kara Swisher was talking at Venture Cars about sort of we don't really hold some of the non-public companies accountable for the actions of their CEOs, and things and she was citing all of these cases where all white male boards and you know, bad behavior of their CEOs gets sort of not punished because there's no diversity and there's no public accountabilities. So she was talking about how do we hold these people’s feet to the fire? When they're not publicly traded, when we don't have the sort of financial where with all, it's amazing to me that some of the...without putting too final point on a very popular swiping dating app like obviously like lost a female cofounder at the beginning because her cofounder did horrible, horrible things. And we can read these text and go these are massively inappropriate and yet they're still super successful in the market like we as consumers need to vote sort of with our feet. I think it's great that Whitney has gone on to make sort of bumble in that only women can send a message like this is a great like reaction to that kind of thing and I hope that we can help consumers vote with their feet and sort of go to these places.

Kelly: So glad you raised that because I think there is that point and because at the end of the day, we as the consumers are feeling things. We heard for years that American Apparel, the CEO was horrific yet we still go in there because there's a sale, or it's a cute T-Shirt or whatever else and we don't see a change in the CEO until the stock price but we, the consumers, are feeling that stock price.

Matt: That's right and startups that aren't publicly traded don't have that stock price to be sort of measured against. We still need to be voting with our feet, we still need to be calling for that. I think the press is a great example of this. I think Kara has done a good job with this. This is sort of saying like "Hey, even if they're ease into sort of a stock market ticker that I can watch, I, as a press person, can still shed light on these kinds of things and I think we need more of that, I think we do…I don't like the public shaming because I don't think we should be shaming people but I do think that when people take irresponsible actions, we need to sort of have a public discussion about.

Kelly: When it doesn't represent your values. And I always kind of I wanna say vote that way. I mean we get what? Once every four years, you get to vote, we can all say, "Oh gee." Every once in a while, we get to do this but every day, we make decision with our dollars.

Matt: Everyday.

Kelly: So what's your big impact, your hope that GetRaised has?

Matt: Well, look I mean, obviously I wanna close the gender wage gap. I love to work myself out of a job. I want to build only tools that shouldn't have to exist later on because they solved the problem that they were intended to solve. So I look forward to the day that we don't have to keep GetRaised up. You know, I am working on something we haven't released yet.

Kelly: [inaudible 00:16:40] company like obsolete. It does a great job.

Matt: Does everything and just goes away which is great, I'm happy with that. I am working actually on a new project because in the same way that I sort of…from looking at the data of Thrive came GetRaised, one of the things I've been reflecting a lot on recently is sort of this 80% of men don't even recognize it's a problem portion. The GetRaised is great. I love it. I don't mean this to sound negative about it, [inaudible 00:17:09] $2.3 billion, I'm super chuffed about, but I also think putting the onus on women...here you are being actively stereotyped against, actively disadvantaged, how arrogant is it that Matt Wallaert is like white guy comes and says, "Well, you should really ask. Let me give you these tools so you can like take action."

And we need people to take action. I'm a pragmatist, I need GetRaised to exist, but the next thing that we're building is actually addressed at men. We're trying to look at how can we actually get men to step up and participate because as the people benefiting sort of from this stereotype that's going on and some of these disadvantages, like it is incumbent on us to be the ones to go change that.

Kelly: And before you have daughters and you're like, "Oh, now I realize…”when they you know, kind of have to come-to-Jesus moment.

Matt: Exactly, and look, I also...people have been very critical of the come-to-Jesus moment. There was a moment a few years ago at Grace Hopper where they had the first sort of male and [inaudible 00:18:09]. There were some anger that when asked why they were feminist, most people sort of said, "My sister, my daughter, etc." I think women have the right to be angry. I'd be angry, you're being actively discriminated and you should be angry. But I also think that like, "How many people care about breast cancer until they know somebody with breast cancer? I don't think that throwing bricks at people because they don't realize this is a problem until they have an "aha " moment is the right way go. I just want to create more of those "aha" moments. I don't want it to be....

Kelly: I just always think it's funny when some guys married to a very accomplished woman and then he doesn't have the "aha" moment until they have a daughter and I'm like, "Really? You are married so and so.” You didn't have that "aha" moment when you started...

Matt: We all have mothers. well, most of us have but somewhere we all have mothers biologically speaking and so I wanna see us and the next thing that we're working on really does have to do with how to create more of those "aha" moments because I think that's key. I think we have to and I might not have said this two months ago but in the wake of the survey results with 80% of tech men feeling like their workplace is fair. Man, I think we got to go create some "aha" moments.

Kelly: Oh yeah, some real "aha" moments there. So on that in terms on you touching those men as the leaders, the power brokers, gatekeepers, you know, all of these kind of stuff. Before we have your next tech product, how do we get more men in this conversation?

Matt: Well, I have so many feelings about this right. I, in the same way I recognize earlier like I wanna support women's ability to be angry and I actually was at an event recently that was a little kumbaya and I sort of said like, "Hey, like women should be allowed to be angry." You're sort of encouraging them to take this in stride. They should be allowed to just be pissed off. But I do…on the days you're not pissed off, inviting them [inaudible 00:20:00] conversation probably helps. And I know how hard that can be...

Kelly: But how do you get men in the room like how do you get men to care to get in the room?

Matt: So I think there's a couple of things that we can do. Some of it is creating opportunities just like talking about GetRaised, no women doesn't want to be paid fairly. It's all about removing barriers. It's about removing barriers to men being in the room. How easy can you make it for men to take action? And I know that sounds…like I'm a pragmatist, there are many founders who yelled at me because they're like, "Why are you making it easy for men to take action? Action should be hard and that's okay." And I'm like, "I hear you, but practically speaking, if you make it easier, more people will do it."

I'm often reminded they're just great studs to [inaudible 00:20:41] interview with a guy named C. P. Ellis who's a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Member of the Ku Klux Klan leads the Ku Klux Klan in his town. Town's gonna desegregate. It's obviously burning things and doing all the things that they do and this amazing thing happens which is they're gonna have this public dialogue about the right way to desegregate. And they elect a chair who's this park woman and she invites him to be the co-chair, and it's this amazing revelatory moment, and he actually goes on to lead the Ku Klux Klan to become a labor organizer because what he recognizes is the reason I participated in the Ku Klux Klan is because I wanted to feel like a part of something, and powerful, and have agency. And I picked this really horrific thing and there are these other places over here where hey I'm not really angry at black people. I'm angry at poverty, I'm angry at some of these social issues, and there are better ways to address this.

And what an interesting…like could we take the same tolerance to our sort of feminist fight? Could we really say to like the hardest core people who maybe are not negative on women but at least are not as sort of enlightened as we like them to be and invite them into the room and say, "Hey, you can take agency. You can be powerful, you can help out here." And I know not everybody loves this message but as a sort of a pragmatist, I think that is one way to get men in the room is to say "Hey, you have a voice and we'd like your help in making this decision."

Kelly: I wanna go back to your product development hat. Let's go back to that one for a second. Any recommendations for a founder who's about to begin the product development process?

Matt: You know, I think you wanna be systematic and strategic about it. I think one of the things I talk a lot about…I do about 30 or 40 talks a year, and one of the things I talk about really often is how far sort of tech has come, let's put that differently, how far engineering has come in applying rigor to their process. [inaudible 00:22:41] boards and sort of lean startup and sort of these process methodologies that have allowed them I think to really have some sort of great leaps forward in engineering. And yet product development still looks likes people are getting in a room with a white board on and just throwing things at the wall. Until they designed something that sounds cool enough and then that becomes the product.

That's a really terrible way of designing products. I think that we…you know, design thinking has sort of led us in this direction and I'm not sure it's the direction we wanna be and I think you have to sort of start with the problem and think about the world as it exists when you are successful and you need to put it back to what do you need to build to do that.

If you think about something like GetRaised…let's take it as a product metaphor. Let's step away from feminist, let take it as a product metaphor. We could have built the $10 millionth app that was like women should…like we're gonna do a pay gap calculator or we're gonna do another marketing thing. No, we said, "Okay, the world when we are successful doesn't have a pay gap. Why is there a pay gap? Got together with a bunch of other psychologists, studied why there wasn't a pay gap, why there is a pay gap. Okay, well, women aren't asking as often and they have lower success rates when they do ask. Okay, so that means we need to get women to ask and we need to change the way they ask. Great, we're gonna do build a tool that explicitly does that. So it's really working backwards from the sort of solved the problem to okay, how do we get there. More than well, this sounds interesting and cool like GetRaised on paper in a room when you write things on a white board, GetRaised does not sound very sexy. Letter generator like not sexy, but I think as product people, we have to break ourselves of this habit that is sexy and instead start looking at what solves the problem. It's amazing.

Kelly: Because the outcomes are sexy.

Matt: Yeah, the outcomes are super sexy. Even if the outcomes are boring, even if the outcomes are a 5% reduction in insurance fraud rates, if that's the outcome you care about, that's a really profitable product right there. Go build that if that's the product you care about building. It's amazing how often to me, I sit down with products focus founders and they sort of say...they describe what they’re building and I'm sort of like, "But why?" And they're like, "I wanna solve this problem." And I'm like, "Is that the most direct way of solving this problem that you can think of? Like here are 10 much simpler ways to solve that problem, why did you pick this really complicated one? "And they're like, "Well, it sounds cool." And I'm like, "Well, we don't need cool." I don't even get…like it's so interesting.

One of the things that I think you have to do as a product person, what I love about engineers is that they don't...they're okay with not attaching their name to something.

Kelly: You'll be like," I ate a love lace." Decades from now, centuries from now, we'll remember you because you solved the gender wage gap.

Matt: Or not. And I think that's okay. That's what I love about engineers like engineers… it's not about...I mean, they wanna go and brag to their friends, I built the code behind X successful app and there is a niche community, we’ve been doing that, but like none of them is trying to get on the nightly news to be like, “I was the engineer that coded that thing right there.” And I think as product people, too many people become product people because they want the public recognition for the products that they build, and I'm not saying public recognition is bad. I'm not saying that's not a fine motivation. I'm just saying you know that you are building the right product where if I said, "Hey, if someone else built this better, would you be happy?" Yes, yes.

If somebody built a better GetRaised, great, awesome, so happy, so happy. What you want as a product person is to solve the problem and if someone comes up with a better solution, you should be like, “Great. That solution, we're gonna go build that instead because that's a much better solution than the one I originally designed.” It's this conviction, but a loosely held belief that you're willing to move away from.

Kelly: So I wanna ask you one more question before we get to our pay it forward where I ask all the guests. And I wanna flip this question because the question is written with respect to mentoring and how women can approach men. Let's flip the question. What should men be doing as mentors in a workplace to help women out more?

Matt: That's such a hard question.

Kelly: What? You thought you get in this room and be easy buddy?

Matt: Yeah, absolutely. I thought it was a Friday. It's a hard thing. I think you have to hack on it like you hack on any product or any process like GetRaised. Most people want a mentor, most people want a wise friend helping them. How can you make that easier for them? One of the great examples that I always love is too much mentoring happens over drinks, after work. But women may have families to go home to. Men may have families to go home too which is why I like...

Kelly: Why you have take-out and diet coke.

Matt: That's right. You have take-out and diet coke, and that's why I think that like lunch is great. It's not sexy, it doesn't sound like a date. It's not threatening like there is this blurred line that happens if a man volunteers to a mentor woman and then says, "Well, let's do it over drinks like after work." It starts to just sort of go in a direction that even if that was meant totally sort of innocuously in a direction that you're just putting up another barrier.

Kelly: Right, you know someone, somewhere is reading something into it.

Matt: That's right. Whether it’s either the two of you or the people who are observing the relationship or whatever. Breakfast is a great example. Breakfast is the least sexy meal of the day, right? Like, “Let's come in and have some yogurt together and do some mentoring,” does not sound like a date and so I think men need to be more conscious and I think men also need to get comfortable with the fact that like…I think men are a little over scared. What would it look like if I volunteer to mentor this woman? And the answer is, it will look like…if you're doing it right, it will look like you're mentoring her. I don't think the outside world is on such a witch hunt to sort of hunt you down that it will go negatively.

Kelly: All right. Here’s the questions, pay it forward questions. I asked all the guests.

Matt: I know it's supposed to be quick which I'm not...I like long answers. Short answers, okay, I'm ready.

Kelly: Okay, this is to scare you as more. All right. What are your primary sources of information?

Matt: People.

Kelly: How do you discover new information?

Matt: People.

Kelly: What book are you reading?

Matt: I read an author at a time, everything they've written. So I'm working my way through Stephen King. So right now, I'm reading a collection of short stories from him.

Kelly: I did that with Kurt Vonnegut. We can discuss that after. Do you have any rituals or habits you swear by as a CEO?

Matt: Wake up, work, sleep. That's a good habit.

Kelly: Love it. Who are the three entrepreneurs or leaders you admire?

Matt: I mean, that's such a complicated...I'm gonna give a longer answer to this one, sorry. It's a complicated question because I think the more you admire someone, the more you also give yourself room to be critical of them. So I think Sachs is a great leader, but I'm also very critical of him in lots of ways. I'm fortunate to have sort of occasional relationship with Sheryl Sandberg and I think she's really, really, really great. And I actually think, Gina Biagini [SP] is really awesome.

Kelly: Not gonna disagree with your answers. What is the best advice you ever received?

Matt: Before going to college, one of the places that was competing for me to go there found an alma mater, got me on the phone with him and the guy said, "Go to this other college.” And I said, "Why?" And he said, "Think of your life in three sections, learn, earn, serve. You don't have to do all three at the same time, and it's okay for you to just go and learn and rack up some debt and then take a job that pays some money, and then retire early and serve."

Kelly: Are there any particular myths you would like dispel for our listeners?

Matt: Myths? I have so many myths. The gender wage gap is a real problem.

Kelly: Wait guys, give me some of this.

Matt: [inaudible 00:30:51] I think, I hope we know at this point. I'll take one that’s very pernicious which is that people get fired for asking for a raise. I've done this for five years now with tons of people and it’s just…before we even built GetRaised, we interviewed tons and tons and tons of HR people and they were all like, "That has never happened. Nobody is getting fired for asking for a raise unless you were asking for a raise in the most egregious, jerky way possible." But if you came in and said, "Here's data that shows I'm underpaid." No one is firing you.

Kelly: What words of advice would you give our listeners about taking risks and closing the confidence gap?

Matt: Control your environment. Is it really hard to change who you are? It's really hard to psyche yourself up, but if you can make the environment around you one that leads to the actions that you want, that’s great. I mean, if you wanna lose weight, don't keep a bunch of cookies in the house.

Kelly: And what does think broad mean to you?

Matt: I had such a fascinating discussion when they asked me to come on this show about this very topic. I actually…because I'm a feminist, immediately read it as like broad as in female. And so I'm gonna stick with that. I'm gonna say think broad at least in this context, at least in this moment is really about thinking about women and the larger issues that women face.

Kelly: Thank you so much.

Matt: Thank you.

Kelly: Thank you for listening to BroadMic. We welcome your feedback. Find us on Facebook where you will have show notes and additional references for a deeper dive into today's topic. Subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode. Please review our podcast on iTunes which will help other listeners discover BroadMic and grow the BroadMic community. BroadMic is produced by Christine Mirabal with editing by John Marshall Media. Our executive producer is Sarah Weinheimer. Think Broad.

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