In a bi-weekly series, we're interviewing female executives, founders, CEOs—basically, boss ladies—on their "power suit" a.k.a. the outfit they wear every day for easy dressing to conquer whatever the job throws at them.
The next time you use Uber Eats to order McDonald's on a Saturday at 2 a.m. (not saying this is me), you can thank Liz Meyerdirk and her team for getting that greasy deliciousness to your door. As Senior Director & Global Head of Business Development for Uber Eats, Meyerdirk is responsible for leading global corporate strategy and the execution of that strategy through partnerships (like McDonald's and Starbucks) and has helped develop and evolve the business over the last four years. Meyerdirk was the first business hire for Uber Everything in 2015 and helped launch Uber Eats six months later, experiencing all the excitement, pain, and satisfaction that comes with developing a business.
"In my early days, we had a business called Uber Rush, which we eventually shut down, and we tried Uber Fresh, which was a precursor to Uber Eats—that also shut down," Meyerdirk tells me. "It's never a fun thing shutting down businesses, but we learned from those processes and then took our learnings to the Uber Eats side." Today Uber Eats has 320,000 restaurant partners in 500-plus cities in 36 countries across six continents. According to a 2019 Forbes article, Uber Eats is "one of the largest food delivery services" and the largest food delivery app outside of China.
The next bit of information won't come as a surprise: Meyerdirk is a frequent user of the Uber Eats app herself. She tells me she orders from the app about twice a week for her family of five—Fridays are pizza nights (a hit with her children) while Wednesdays are reserved for trying new restaurants, saving Meyerdirk—like the rest of us—from having to prepare every meal on busy weekdays. (Or, in my case, save my stomach on weekends when I've had one too many late-night margaritas.) For lunch, she'll sometimes do a group order and the team will talk about their experiences in using the app in real time.
I spoke with Meyerdirk about her workplace style and what makes her feel comfortable in her own skin while leading Uber Eats. Her responses, below, are just as relatable as you'd expect.
Her Morning Routine
"With an infant, every day is a little different. There are a couple constants, though, in that every morning I'm chasing some wiggly, naked child—whether that's at 5 a.m. or 7 a.m. is the only difference. The second part of my routine is that I take a shower and always wash my hair. There's a running joke in the office that 'Liz always has wet hair,' but hair washing is part of my routine that helps start my day. The third constant is that I drop off my son at kindergarten; having those few minutes to converse is really important. They ground me and start my day off in a good way."
Her Getting Dressed Strategy
"I have a philosophy that I borrowed from my husband called 'dress for your day.' The night before, I'll look at my calendar to see what kind of meetings I have. In my role, I have three types of meetings: one type is 'intro to work meetings,' where I can dress casually; the second are meetings with more senior folks at the company like the CEO or CFO—I try to add a little more polish to my outfits for those meetings; the last type is when I'm on the road, meeting with leaders at different tech companies or restaurant partners. Depending on the location, I tend to dress more conservatively with dark colors and closed-toe heels. In tech, it's important to be comfortable in your own skin but also [wear what] reflects your day's activities.
I should also mention that right now I'm breastfeeding, so I have to wear two-piece outfits whether I'm in the office or on the road. They make pumping more convenient. I can't tell you how many times I've pumped in the backseat of a car and having [easy access in your clothes] while pumping is super necessary."
Her Work Uniform
"I wear a lot of accessories: my everyday Shark watch, stud earrings, and rings—I have four of them. One is from my anniversary, 30th birthday, and then random 'just because' gifts from my husband. I have a couple of necklaces that I love, as well, especially one with initials of all my kids that my husband gifted me from Tiffany & Co. I also have a Rolex watch that I'll wear when I want to be dressier, and a diamond bracelet that was one of the first expensive things I've ever bought myself.
In terms of brands I wear day-to-day, I have a good rotation of denim from Levi's, Madewell, and J.Crew. I love Tretorn and Golden Goose sneakers. For dressier looks, Valentino is my go-to brand. I have four or five dresses from them and they all help me feel less like a mom, which is great. I also love French brand Sézane, which offers slightly dressier tops that you can style up or down with jeans and skirts. Typically, I'll like to include something fun in my outfits, whether that's through a plaid jacket or patterned shoes—something that has a little more flair.
As for [work totes], I have two major go-tos: For my day-to-day, I focus on what is practical. I'm always carrying some kind of pumping gear, so I stuff all that into a Madewell canvas tote, which has a shoulder strap. I also have this leather tote from Australian brand Annabel Ingall that looks classic but [a unique] brand and more fun. I have an old Celine tote that I use, which my mom passed down to me."
The Three Words That Describe Her Power Outfit
"Calm, cool, and collected."
"It takes a long time to grow old friends. I think about that in how I treat people in life, from my coworkers to the people I love in my life. I love having old friends and it takes a long time to [cultivate] those relationships. It takes effort."
If you love Meyerdirk's laidback but in-charge work outfits, shop from her favorite brands:
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