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Ali on the Run Show Episode 70: Katie Burke, Chief People Officer at HubSpot
“The best possible way to start my career was not getting what I wanted. Failure teaches you a lot, and it helped me figure out a path to success that worked for me.” —Katie Burke
Katie Burke is the Chief People Officer at HubSpot, a marketing software company in Boston that employs more than 2,300 people worldwide. And of those 2,300, Katie was the company’s first female to land a spot in the c-suite. (Today, 45 percent of the company’s vice presidents are women.) In this super inspiring conversation, Katie shares why she’s so passionate about empowering women in the workplace, and candidly opens up about her own massive career failures — including how bombing the LSATs turned out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to her. She offers up interviewing advice, explains why prospective employees should add “we” to their vocabularies, and shares the one word she’s trying to add to her own life.
Katie is the oldest of six kids, and she has a fascinating family story. Her dad, Brian Burke, is extremely well-known in the hockey world, and her brother, Brendan, was a hockey player at Miami Ohio when he famously came out as gay to his teammates — and the world. Brendan was later killed in a tragic car accident, and Katie gladly shared stories of his incredible legacy with me.
Of course, Katie is also a runner. She’s a four-time marathoner and 20+-time half-marathoner, and she’s currently training for the Popular Brooklyn Half Marathon in May.
Apologies for the slightly off audio on this one! Despite recording in a professional podcast studio, I had the audio settings wrong on my computer. Don’t let a little echo deter you from this fantastic conversation!
What you’ll get on this episode:
- What it means to be a Chief People Officer, and how Katie landed this job (1:53)
- Katie’s advice for getting over a fear of failure (7:00)
- How Hubspot has grown and evolved since Katie became the first woman in the company’s c-suite (8:00)
- The best — and worst — things Katie says prospective employees can say in an interview (9:45)
- Why Katie is so passionate about empowering women (12:55)
- What Katie tells people who say she got her job “because she’s a girl” (14:15)
- Where Katie’s confidence comes from (18:30)
- Katie’s “strong opinion” on mentors, and why she believes in having a “personal board of advisors” (19:35)
- Katie’s biggest piece of advice for women in the workplace (21:10)
- The greatest challenge Katie faces at her job (25:30)
- Katie’s take on work perks and whether they actually matter (28:00)
- What it’s like coming from a big — and very high-achieving — family, and the challenges of having a father who’s in the public eye (29:30)
- Katie’s running story, and how she prioritizes workouts with a demanding schedule (39:30)
- The advice Katie would give to her younger self (45:45)
What we mention on this episode:
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