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Eileen Scully

1. When you hear the old shibboleth that “women don’t have a sense of humor” or are “less funny than men,” your immediate response is___________________.

"Would it be funnier if I farted?" Women are so much more nuanced in their humor than most men. We get each other, nothing else matters.

2. Were you funny as a kid? Were you funnier (or less funny) as teenager?

I think every little kid is hilarious, because they're not self conscious at all. I was probably more dorky than funny as a teen, but I was also incredibly self conscious. I think as your confidence grows, your humor also improves. So much good material comes from being able to honestly look at and laugh at yourself. No one is doing this better right now than John Mulaney.

3. What’s the most notable way your life would be different if you didn’t have your sense of humor?

People like to be around people who make them laugh. It's the best way to connect with strangers, and since I make my living as a public speaker, it's a useful tool. If I open every talk with a well-placed joke, the audience warms up immediately, and they tend to be more receptive to the more serious points in my presentations.

4. If you could have a magnificent dinner with three women—real, fictional, mythological—who would you choose as your guests?

Ruth, Bader, and Ginsburg.

5. Do you think those closest to you admire you for your sense of humor—or despite your sense of humor?

The people who despise my sense of humor have probably moved on by now! My best friends, those who feed my soul, are so much funnier than me. I need them like I need air.

Eileen Scully is an international keynote speaker, author of “In the Company of Men: How Women can Succeed in a World Built Without Them,” and founder and CEO of The Rising Tides, a consulting firm that makes workplaces better for women through assessment and advisory services. She is a SheSource Expert with the Women’s Media Center, and has been interviewed by Forbes, the Boston Globe, Standard and Poor’s Global Market Intelligence, Thrive Global, Psychology Today, and Inc..

In September of 2018, she delivered her first TED talk, “How Women Can Succeed in a World Built Without Them,” at the TEDx conference in Sfax, Tunisia. Eileen studied at Hofstra University and Cornell University.

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