Liza Mundy

Speech Topics

In 1941, following the devastating surprise attack at Pearl Harbor, a group of female college students received secret letters from the U.S. Navy, inviting them to join America’s intelligence forces and train to become code-breakers. Over the next two years more than 10,000 women would answer that call: college students and Southern schoolteachers, young women from cities as well as small towns and farms. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington, D.C, and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history. Now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment. She shares the story in a talk, based on her new book, which includes video footage of her interviews with surviving code breakers. In the tradition of Hidden Figures, it is the story of an early cohort of women adept in science and math, whose efforts helped the Allies win what remains the biggest, costliest and worst war in human history.

Liza delivers a customized talk around the biggest women’s issue of today and how they relate to your group, organization, & industry.

Women are on their way to becoming breadwinners in a majority of American families. Almost 40 percent of working wives out-earn their partners, a number that has been rising for more than two decades. So how will women’s economic power affect their personal lives? How will it impact men?

In a provocative talk that draws on statistics, social research and compelling personal stories, Liza Mundy argues that, while there will be growing pains for both men and women, in the end women’s rising economic power bodes well for both sexes, offering a range of new possibilities and more flexible roles. She explores the impact on dating, marriage, sex, children, and family life, with fascinating anecdotes gleaned from interviews around the world. She argues that for women, having supportive partners and stay-at-home husbands may be what it takes to break through the glass ceiling and inhabit the highest reaches of corporate life.

Women—who as recently as the 19th century were forbidden to own property in marriage, and did not have the right to their own wages—are now an economic force to be reckoned with. In this talk, Liza Mundy shows how the consumer marketplace is responding to women’s earning power, and to men’s increasing domestic inclinations. As women are spending less time in the kitchen, men are spending much more. Men, though, may have to ask permission to make these discretionary purchases: studies show that when women are breadwinners, they are more likely to retain control over purchases and investments.

How can we tap women’s full leadership potential, at a moment when doing so is more urgent than ever? Given this unprecedented degree of education and professional investment, it’s crucially important that we find ways to retain women in the workplace; promote them to leadership positions, identify their potential and ensure it is nurtured and realized. Doing so is not just fair; it’s key to innovation and economic growth.

What’s heartening to see is how the conversation has gained momentum in just the past year: Do women need to change themselves to get to the highest level, or does the workplace need to change to accommodate women? What remains to be done to get more women at the top, and what will the world look like when we get there? How different are women, really, in terms of work and leadership styles? In a lively talk that merges data, recent studies, and real-world scenarios, Liza Mundy will explore the latest news on women’s leadership and the many ways that successful organization empower women leaders.





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Liza Mundy is an award-winning reporter and New York Times bestselling author of several books, including Michelle, a biography of First Lady Michelle Obama, which was translated into 16 languages.

Code Girls (2017) tells the story of how more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II.

In 2013, Liza released The Richer Sex, which explored the forces behind women’s rising economic power and the way this impacts marriage, dating, sex and family life. Her book was adapted for the cover of Time magazine and inspired a flurry of media coverage.

The has appeared on The Colbert Report, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, MSNBC, CNN, C-Span, Fox News, Democracy Now, Bloggingheads TV, the Leonard Lopate Show, and National Public Radio shows including Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, the Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Tell Me More, Talk of the Nation, On Point, and numerous other television and radio shows. A former longtime reporter for the Washington Post, she is currently director of the work and family program at the New America Foundation, and also a contributing editor at Politico Magazine. She has written for Slate, Time, the Guardian, the Washington Monthly, Huffington Post, and Lingua Franca, among others, and has received fellowships from the Japan Society, the Marine Biological Laboratory, and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.


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