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Musical theatre taught Randi Zuckerberg how to succeed in Silicon Valley

Randi Zuckerberg never thought she’d have a last name to live up to—though she admits that Zucker’s Bagels, a New York staple, also set a high bar.

That all changed when her younger brother, Mark, founded a social media company in his dorm room. Then a senior at Harvard, Randi didn’t think much of her sophomore brother’s pet project. Things escalated quickly. Soon after graduating, she found herself leaving a marketing gig in New York City to spend a few months helping Mark in Silicon Valley. He needed someone who understood digital marketing, and that was Randi’s expertise. A few months turned into a decade, largely spent at Facebook, where Randi says she was almost always the only woman in the room.

Intoxicating as Silicon Valley’s culture was, Zuckerberg quickly realized that unless you’re a founder, your attempts to innovate and break rules were often silenced. What’s more, as a woman, she noted countless double standards—like the fact that her interests, including musical theatre, were deemed frivolous, while men were celebrated for going hiking and rock climbing on weekends.

After serving in various roles at Facebook and creating Facebook Live, Randi became an entrepreneur in her own right, moving back to New York to found Zuckerberg Media. Today, there’s little she hasn’t done: She’s the author of four books; the host of the SiriusXM show Dot Complicated; a co-creator and producer of the children’s TV show Dot; an angel investor in women-founded companies; a mother of two boys; and she even starred in the Broadway show Rock of Ages—fulfilling her life dream after being rejected from majoring in music at Harvard.

Most recently, Randi published Pick Three: You Can Have It All (Just Not Every Day), which takes on the fallacy of the “well-balanced” life, arguing that the key to success is learning to be well-lopsided.

In an exclusive Quartz interview, Zuckerberg explains Silicon Valley’s pitfalls in stifling innovation, why performing arts is the best entrepreneurial crash course, how tech can unite, rather than divide us, and the importance of putting tech-savvy girls at the center of children’s education.

This interview is part of How We’ll Win, Quartz’s year long series on the fight for gender equality at work.