Kate Isler began her career at Microsoft at its beginning, ready to respond to the energetic, nuanced business environment of a rapidly growing tech company. Her independence and can-do attitude led her to both early success and recoverable failure, further fueling her drive to succeed. Kate’s career allowed her to travel extensively through the Middle East, exposing her to a range of cultural and professional challenges as she navigated post-Gulf War Dubai as a woman in a male-dominated industry. For Kate, these were opportunities to grow herself and the company at large.
In this inaugural episode, Kate tells Liz when she realized what her Third Act would be and how her inspiration for it stemmed from the power of celebrating International Women’s Day while working in Europe. Upon her return to the US, Kate quickly launched her own celebration, tying it to the need to advance gender parity. Launching the event sparked her passion to drive gender parity through a more coordinated effort, launching her startup Be Bold Now and her women’s ecommerce site, The WMarketplace.
As Kate puts it, “I’m only 50% finished!” Tune in to hear about Kate’s border-breaking career and her incredible drive toward gender parity.
(00:34) Introduction to Kate Isler
(01:12) Taking a chance on Microsoft
(04:36) The GUI: a good old mistake
(06:56) 1992: The Middle East
(08:48) What were you most afraid of as a mom, woman, and professional?
(10:38) Selling in Syria: a culture clash
(16:01) What was your main takeaway as you walked away from the job in Syria?
(17:52) Did you ever experience gender parity at Microsoft?
(21:17) Coming and going from Microsoft
(25:07) Building YOU, not just your career
(26:16) How did you start scaling International Women’s Day?
(29:59) Act 3: Be Bold Now
(33:05) The W Marketplace
(34:00) Finding your passion after you pivot: why not?
(36:01) Breaking Borders: inspiring women to take chances
(37:06) What aren’t you done with in your life?
Contact Kate at kateisler.com or bboldnow.com. Shop the WMarketplace at https://thewmarketplace.com. Follow @IslerKate and @beboldnow0308 on Twitter, and subscribe to The Third Act at thirdactpodcast.com.