Instead of dismissing women’s unique needs and wants as a product of cultural oppression, I really think we need to adjust the corporate structure to better meet the needs of women.” – Marissa Orr

With female-dominant strengths such as empathy and consensus-building being recognized as the future of business, the headlines forecast that women will dominate the future generations of corporate leaders. However, today’s Finding Brave guest recognizes that the current system is broken, because there are actually fewer women leading corporations now. She reveals how the corporate structure is damaging women, institutions and organizations, and highlights what we can all start doing today to make an impact.

Our guest is Facebook and Google veteran Marissa Orr, who will release her debut book Lean Out: The Truth About Women, Power, and the Workplace on June 11, 2019 via HarperCollins Leadership.

Marissa began her Google career over 15 years ago as a founding member of Google’s Sales Operations & Strategy team, after which she worked as Vertical Marketing Manager at Facebook. She has conducted talks and workshops for thousands of people at diverse organizations across the globe.  As an author and speaker, she now covers the systemic dysfunction at the heart of today’s corporations and how their pursuit to close the gender gap has come at the expense of female well-being.

Right now we are on the precipice of change, and with her new book, Marissa hopes to provide a fresh voice for a new generation of thinkers. Her inspiring story proves that when you own (and don’t suppress) your truth, you become very powerful and will lead others by example.

Highlights from this Episode:

  • Why “success” may not be what you think it is [5:50]
  • How ambition is defined differently for women than it is for men in the workplace and why this is still happening [8:01]
  • Why Marissa says she is grateful for her time spent working at Google and Facebook, and how these experiences shaped the writing of her book [10:25]
  • The reasons that she believes corporate power structures are becoming a place where “truth goes to die” [16:22]
  • What biases exist against introverts in corporate cultures and how it affects their opportunities for advancement in the organizations [18:10]
  • What we need to start doing now as women to change the way things work in the corporate world [21:38]
  • Why we should always be looking back to the messages we got when we were younger and how they can be applied to our professional lives today [30:11]
  • Marissa’s direct message to the leaders of the corporate world [33:35]
  • The importance of both men and women in becoming aware of the biases that exist [35:00]

For More Information:

Resources Mentioned:

Marissa’s Book, Lean Out: The Truth About Women, Power, and the Workplace

Her Medium Post, Why Working at Facebook Inspired me to write Lean Out

Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Kathy’s Blog Posts, 6 Toxic Behaviors That Push People Away: How To Recognize Them In Yourself and Change Them & 7 Crippling Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders

Kathy’s Book, Breakdown, Breakthrough


“The leaders of modern feminism have been from a small but elite group of powerful women, meaning that so many working women don’t get their voices, challenges or concerns reflected in the natural conversation.” [2:57]

“If you get the corner office, but you sit there sad and alone, can you really call that success? [5:50]

“(Working at Facebook) kind of broke me in a way. I was sort of forced into this dark place where I questioned my identity.” [11:10]

“Writing this book was really a way to take the power and control back in my life and put it in my own hands, because I felt really powerless in my day job.” [12:53]

“When you work for a corporation, your manager really has total and absolute power over you and your livelihood. So it’s really hard to defend your truth and be authentic in yourself, because the power structure requires that you obey.” [16:45]

“If you can create conditions in your organization, like conditions of trust and put systems in place that really take care of your employees well-being, your business has nowhere to go but up.” [33:55]

Sponsor Highlight!  

I’m thrilled to share that is a sponsor of Finding Brave! Take advantage of their great special offer of one FREE book of your choice with a 30-day FREE membership trial! And feel free to keep the book even if you cancel the membership. Click here to sign up for your free book!

Watch the video of this episode!
Now you can experience each Finding Brave episode in both audio and video formats! Check out new and recent episodes on my Youtube channel at And please leave us a comment and a thumbs up if you like the show!




  1. The Raw Truth That We Refuse To Face About Women, Power and the Workplace - Kathy Caprino - […] her new book Lean Out: The Truth About Women, Power, and the Workplace. Orr joined me on my Finding Brave podcast recently and…
  2. The Raw Truth (That We Don’t Want To Face) About Women, Power and the Workplace – Primetweets - […] book Lean Out: The Truth About Women, Power, and the Workplace. Orr joined me on my Finding Brave podcast recently and shares below…


Kathy’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss shares vital information on the 7 most damaging power gaps that 98% of professional women face and how to overcome them. Boost your power and confidence today!


Best Career Coaches 2020