Kate Thorp is just 40 years old but her resume lists a dizzying number of titles, awards and companies for whom she has been an evangelist of the Web. In fact, the daughter of actors Chad Everett (“Medical Center”) and Shelby Grant (“Fantastic Voyage”) likes to joke that her quick climb to the top of corporate ladder made her parents "nauseous.” She began her career as a television reporter and as a U.S. congressional aide before joining CNET (where her title was “VP-Crusader”), which launched her into the world of online media and marketing. She co-founded the Internet Advertising Bureau, did a stint at a venture capital firm and founded her own digital communications company, Lot21, at age 28. In 2007, she started Real Girls Media network, whose popular Web site, DivineCaroline, offers women a voice on the Internet.
As a mom to three — a daughter who’ll be 10 this summer, and twin 7-year-old boys — there are two things that help her manage her career and family life — she’s a self-proclaimed Type-A person and her husband, a former software engineer, is a full-time stay-at-home dad. She lives with her family in San Rafael, just north of San Francisco.
You have said that DivineCaroline is a way to “elevate the voice of women and girls.” Why are web sites like yours and others so important to women in general and moms in particular?
Women in general are fantastic and I think we have this innate ability to share experiences to the benefit of people we know and don’t know. When you can foster a community of two or 20 million, I think you find that dynamic is true. The digital world has given us a very unique platform to share and engage that attribute of women. Moms utilize that power more than any other group. Children don’t come with a manual and neither does the lifestyle change of becoming a parent. Those foster a need for information, then sharing and then becoming an expert in all of parenting, in each of the elements you’ve just gone through.”
How did it come to be that your husband stayed home with the kids, and you were the breadwinner?
I got lucky! I was running Lot21 when we decided to start having kids. As our belief systems go, there’s no perfect time for anything so … we felt like this was the right time in our lives. He was in more of a position to leave his job if not temporarily than permanently and, of course, it’s been the hardest job of his life! And he’s amazing at it.