Jessica Shortall on the Value of Inclusion, Motherhood and Raising Capital – Interview

While there is a clear data-driven case for companies to have an inclusive culture, the moral aspect is even stronger. As more technology companies are leading the charge in this shift towards inclusion, you’ll find one woman heading up advocacy and initiative efforts to help business leaders create a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ community.

Throughout her life, Jessica Shortall, author and advocate, has been out in front of social issues where she continues to help build bridges and find common ground with uncommon allies for social good.

“I believe in justice, but I don’t think it just happens. I think it looks obvious in the past tense and often confusing in the present tense,” said Jessica Shortall.

As a mother of two children, she is also aware of the challenges new mothers face when deciding to return to work. Her new book Work. Pump. Repeat. was written out of necessity and is a survival guide for breastfeeding mothers who are going back to work. Jessica also continues to advocate for family paid leave and shared her thoughts in a TedX talk on the social impact of this issue.

I caught up with Jessica at SXSW to talk with her about the new book Work.Pump.Repeat., work culture, inclusion and diversity, and women in business.

Austin has a city motto of “Keep Austin Weird.” In that spirit I asked Jessica about how she keeps it weird and authentic and in doing so stays true to herself.

Read more about diversity and inclusion here at Tech.Co and purchase Jessica’s new book here on Amazon

This SXSW video series is brought you by .ME, which gives a truly personal tone to your domain name with its unforgettable meaning and word combination possibilities. Let .ME be the go to place for your online business or blog for people to learn about you. Learn more at

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Written by:
Tishin is a technology journalist and correspondent. She has written for TechCrunch, Demand Studios and Fitness, and has regular network segments on local Phoenix affiliate stations. She holds a Master's degree in Clinical and Sport psychology, and has covered many areas of technology ranging from 3D printing and game development to neurotech and funding for over 15 years.
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