My Midlife Survival Kit: Shelley Zalis

CEO of The Female Quotient, Shelley Zalis is a force to be reckoned with in the drive for equality in the workplace. Her Midlife Survival Kit powers her along the way.

Shelley Zalis has a catchprase: “Yes. And what can I do for you?”

No matter where she goes and whoever she meets, the CEO of The Female Quotient believes in the values of generosity and kindness. By making a practice of saying yes and rolling her sleeves up to get involved, Shelley can make a real difference. These days, Shelley is an equality champion working with Fortune 500 companies and mission-oriented organizations to advance equality in the workplace. She’s also a regular contributor to Forbes, describing herself as “chief troublemaker” and writing on issues that she’s passionate about.

Before that? Shelley Zalis pioneered online research, becoming the first female chief executive ranked in the research industry’s top 25. The Female Quotient has created a multi-generational, international community of women dedicated to making change happen.

A firm believer in giving back, Shelley is also a mentor to women around the world. The woman never stops! Here is her Midlife Survival Kit. If any of her must-haves will give us even a fraction of her energy and drive, count us in. If it’s good enough for the mighty Shelley Zalis, it’s good enough for us.

Le Labo Santal 26 candle, $75

Le Labo

The Santal 26 candle from Le Labo is one of my favorites (they make perfumes, too). I don’t know how to describe the scent. It’s musky with a hint of sweetness. It’s both masculine and feminine. I keep it in my office while I’m working to add that extra bit of calm we all need in our WFH world.

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SoulCycle, $25 per class


I’ll admit it, I’m an absolute SoulCycle addict. I try to do a class at the end of the work day. It’s my way of hitting reset, getting endorphins going and staying motivated.

I’m a big proponent of any and all forms of self-care, whether it’s exercise or not. No matter when or how you do it, make sure you’re carving out time to take care of YOU. Putting yourself first isn’t selfish, it’s a necessity. 

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s, from $3.99 to rent

Breakfast at Tiffanys

There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, which is why I’ve been returning to old classics like this one for comfort. Sometimes, a little nostalgia and normalcy feel good. There’s actually research to back it up.

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Code Names, $35.99

Code Names

At the beginning of quarantine, I started organizing game nights with family to stave off cabin fever. I’m convinced that playing Code Names and Scrabble is why we have managed to keep spirits high and tensions low. Plus, it’s entertaining for everyone involved. I highly recommend it.

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Apple iPhone, prices vary

Apple iPhone

I’m someone who has their iPhone within reach – and without shame – at all times. Before quarantine, I was always on a plane so it’s how I would keep in touch with my team, friends, family and partners.

Now that we’re remote, I absolutely have to have my phone. Because staying connected is more important than ever. FaceTime is a lifesaver!

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