Professional Development
Entrepreneurs / Women in tech

You asked your moms and kids to describe your tech jobs

Ahead of Mother's Day, we had the likes of tech CEO Brigitte Daniel-Corbin and innovation director Marion Leary find out if their families know what they do for a living. Their answers are about as sweet as you'd imagine.

Marion Leary with her mom on Mother's Day 2020. (Courtesy photo)

Mother’s Day is upon us, and in honor of the springtime holiday, we at thought we’d try our hand at a family-forward tech story (since tech is kind of our whole thing, you know?).

We put out this ask to Philly technologists and entrepreneurs, with their often wonky and esoteric job titles: “In a sentence or two, how would your mom describe what you do?” And on the flip side: “If you’re a mom yourself, how would your kids describe what you do?”

As an example, I asked my mom, HR pro Amy Jacobs, who last year gave us all tips for how to get hired. In a quick text exchange, here’s how she described what I do for

“You report about companies that introduce new technology or use technology in new ways,” she said. “Those companies are often startups.”

Pretty spot on. And asking your families to do the same was a delight, too. What the responses lacked in technical accuracy, they made up for with all the fuzzy feels.

Marion Leary, the director of innovation for the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing, said her mom still tells people she’s a nurse who does resuscitation science research, even though it’s been about two years since Leary’s done that work. In an email, Leary quoted her mom.

“I don’t know what you do cause it’s very complicated, I know you speak a lot and teach and you are on a lot of podcasts,” she wrote.

Marion Leary and Harper. (Courtesy photo)

“She then asked me to tell her what I did and followed it up with ‘all I know is I’m very proud of you and you’re very intelligent and you must of got your big brain from me,'” Leary wrote. “Which of course is true — I got my big heart and big brain from her (and my dad too but you can save that bit for your Father’s Day story).”

Leary said her 15-year-old, Harper, knows she’s a director of innovation, but says “I don’t really know what that means though.”

Mandy Poling, head of people operations at Crossbeam, wrote in about her 8- and 7-year olds.

“My kids, Charlie and Max, once told someone that my company makes T-shirts — pretty accurate for any startup!” she said.

Eliza Pollack, the City of Philadelphia’s director of innovation, said her toddler, Maiken, is talking, but isn’t quite ready to describe her work in government. (Honestly, I’d be amazed if she could.) But Pollack’s mom, Amy, is pretty spot-on:

“You help municipal employees learn to think creatively so that they can navigate issues and find solutions to problems, often by applying technology in new and different ways,” she wrote.

Eliza Pollack and her mom, Amy. (Courtesy photo)

Felicite Moorman’s three kids won some major points for describing their mom’s role as CEO of smart home systems company STRATIS IoT.

“My mom is a master at GSD,” 17-year old Finn reported.

“My mom is an attorney, entrepreneur, strategist, incredible public speaker, and an interdisciplinary rockstar with a record of advocacy and activism across multiple industries,” 20-year-old Soleil said.

“I would describe it as work that makes it safer and easier for people to live their everyday lives,” 13-year old Lilia said.

Felicite Moorman with her kids Finn, Lilia and Soleil. (Courtesy photo)

We also give props to Janet, Talia Edmundson’s mom, who after a few rounds settled on this to describe what her daughter — founder of HRnB Consulting — does for work.

“Ultimately, she landed on, ‘She’s an entrepreneur as a human resources consultant for startup companies and we’re so proud of you and we tell everyone,'” Edmundson wrote to me in an email.

Aww. 🙂

Talia Edmundson and her mom, Janet, at a Jimmy Buffet concert. (Courtesy photo)

And to round it out, we heard from nearly-4-year-old Clarke, whose mom, Brigitte Daniel-Corbin, is the CEO of Wilco Electronic Systems.

“My mommy is always in meetings at Pop Pop’s office and she talks a lot,” Clarke said. Daniel-Corbin added: “Yup, that about sums it up.”

Brigitte Daniel and her daughter at her home office. (Courtesy photo)

Thanks, moms and technologists, for what’s now in the running for “Most Wholesome Post on”

Before you go...

Please consider supporting to keep our independent journalism strong. Unlike most business-focused media outlets, we don’t have a paywall. Instead, we count on your personal and organizational support.

Our services Preferred partners The journalism fund

Join our growing Slack community

Join 5,000 tech professionals and entrepreneurs in our community Slack today!


Philly startup Burro aims to revolutionize farming with robots

Ghost Robotics is selling a majority stake for $240M, dodging months of protests over military uses

As a returning citizen, she experienced tech overload. Now she’s fighting to end the digital divide

How to encourage more healthcare entrepreneurship (and why that matters)

Technically Media