Georgene Huang (ΦBK, Cornell University) is deeply invested in improving the workplace experience for women. As the CEO and co-founder of Fairygodboss.com, the largest career community for women online, Huang provides millions of women with career connections, career advice, and elusive intel about how specific companies treat women and value gender equality.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My earliest memory of a career aspiration is wanting to be President of the United States!
What was the most transformative course from your undergraduate education?
My first undergraduate experience was at a music conservatory where I was preparing to enter a life in classical music performance. I took an art history course there that made me realize I had interests and a world to explore outside of music that ultimately catalyzed my leaving to attend a more traditional university.
What was the best advice you were ever given and who gave it to you?
My father was always encouraging me to try new things and not pre-judge experiences. I tried a lot of new and different things because of his advice.
You’re currently the CEO and founder of Fairygodboss.com, the largest career community for women. What does your job entail, and what is your favorite part about what you do?
The interesting thing about founding a company and being a CEO is that my job is constantly changing every few months, which is probably my favorite part. Currently, my job entails everything from hiring, managing our product development, working on marketing efforts, accounting, and of course, managing my direct reports and leading the team as a whole. We’re hiring rapidly right now, so that’s taking up a lot of my time.
What is the most popular question you get from your users on Fairygodboss?
We have the largest crowdsourced database in the U.S. around leave benefits, so we see a lot of women wanting that information and also researching companies to figure out company culture. We also have quite a few women who engage in our community around tough career situations like dealing with a difficult manager or how to land a promotion.
Why do you think Phi Beta Kappa and a well-rounded liberal arts and sciences education are important in today’s world?
If I hadn’t been forced to take a liberal arts course at a time when I was fully committed to a musical profession, I would have never realized how interconnected and interesting the broader world could be. The benefit of a well-rounded education is probably even more important to protect in a world where specialization is increasingly valued in the labor market.
What advice do you have for young Phi Beta Kappa members?
If you have an idea or an aspiration, go for it!
What book are you reading right now? Are you listening to any podcasts? Anything you'd recommend?
I definitely recommend Fairygodboss Radio, which is our podcast! We’ve had phenomenal guests like former GE Vice Chair Beth Comstock and Salesforce’s Chief People Officer, Cindy Robbins.