Imagine the world without Paperless Post. First of all, think of all the trees that would have been killed. And think of not getting the dozens of invitations you have received in your inbox since 2009 that have brought a little more joy and fun to your day. You can thank founder Alexa Hirschfeld as well as her brother James for that. Over 200 million cards have been sent using Paperless Post since it launched and the brand has worked with amazing designer brands like Kate Spade, Zac Posen, and Vera Wang.
As a young woman at the helm of a company in the tech space, we were very excited to pick Hirschfeld’s brain at the LMHQ Women’s Breakfast: Women Leaders in Manhattan. The event, which is part of a monthly series, featured a panel discussion with several women business leaders from Lower Manhattan on what leadership looks like from their seat at the table. Today, only 26 women are serving as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies—roughly 5%, which is up from 1995 when there were none. However, what makes Hirschfeld especially unique is that she doesn’t think of herself as a woman in tech, just a person who works in tech, and she suggests that other adopt this mindset.
“I’ve always been weary of qualifying anything I do as a woman doing it because I don’t see that changing the quality of the work I do. I try to just be the best at whatever it is that I’m doing. I respect other women that do that because everybody knows you’re a woman! And I think they appreciate it when you are being the best version of you,” she told Levo.com. “Most of the best women I work with are just like that. As I get older it’s important to recognize and support the additional support and pressures that women have.”
However, she does acknowledge that there is still a lack of support for women trying to have a career and a family. “It’s important to recognize that the system isn’t particularly well set up for women. I don’t like the concept that women have to choose between being a woman and being successful. I think that’s a real bummer. I don’t think that it needs to be the case” she said. She also thinks there needs to be more support for men as well. Yes more and more companies are offering paternity leaves but men still are often hesitant to take them. “People need to support men. It’s not just about changing the world for women it’s also about changing the world for men. Giving them time off to help their wife if she has a baby. It’s not just about women. This whole change has been hard on both men and women.”
Photo: Courtesy of Paperless Post