Empowered — RV’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) for women — strives to foster a community that inspires, supports, empowers, and educates women and allies of all gender identities. And one of our favorite ways to inspire and empower our community is simply by sharing the wisdom of the amazing RV women we get to work with every day.
On this month’s Empowered leaders feature, we hear from Erin Edge, Editor in Chief for Healthline and Psych Central. Check out her conversation with copyeditor Victoria Lurie below (and listen to her Empowered podcast spot for even more details).
Victoria Lurie: What drew you to the editorial profession?
Erin Edge: I have this very distinct memory from high school where a friend and I went and spent a day in the newsroom of our local paper; we got to see the entire printing operation and sit in on a pitch/assignment meeting. There was only one woman reporter in the room, and I can remember her having a sort of throwaway assignment while the other reporters got more front-page material. That contrast stuck with me for a long time.
I studied journalism in college, but graduated about a year before the recession when news media/publishing took a big hit. They’re weren’t many jobs for recent college grads in the field, but I was fortunate to find an internship at a local indie magazine and things really grew from there. Both the managing editor and the publisher became great friends and mentors to me as a writer and an editor over the years, and helped to set me up for a career in media.
VL: Did you seek out the health space or did it find you?
Erin Edge: I suppose it’s a bit of both. I spent the first part of my professional career in local media, focusing on news, art, and pop culture. But I’d always had a personal interest in health, so it felt like a natural progression to move into that space.
I think what drew me to Healthline specifically was the mission. Even back when there were fewer than 10 of us on the editorial team, that goal of making health information more accessible and easier to understand – the idea that the work we do could help break down barriers, if only in a small way – was and is such a strong motivator for me.
VL: This Wellness Month, are there any projects Healthline has in the works that you’re super stoked about?
Erin Edge: On Healthline we just launched Healthy Eating Across America, our latest nutrition program that interrogates mainstream advice around what “healthy eating” – which is typically defined through a Western, white lens – really means and also focuses on practical, affordable ways to get more nutrients in your diet.
I also love Psych Central’s Mental Health at Work hub – it’s super timely and covers a lot of ground: Everything from creating psychological safety and coping with change, to tips on how to manage a mental health condition at work and understand your rights under the ADA. There’s also some great stuff in the pipeline around back-to-school, both for students and educators. This team is so intensely passionate about mental health and it shines through in their work!
Since news of the SCOTUS ruling on Roe v. Wade leaked in spring, we created an Abortion and Reproductive Health hub. Our News team has done a really fantastic job covering the ruling and its wide-ranging impact on public health, and a crack team of editors have been updating and refreshing our body of content on abortion across the site.
I’m so proud of our edit team for their work here. They’ve done a great job at providing up-to-the-moment resources for readers but also using really inclusive language to drive home that abortion access is a public health issue, not just a women’s issue.
We’re also launching our Skin Care vertical in September which I’m psyched about. We’re doing some fun collaborations with dermatologists and experts to help demystify and simplify skin care products and regimens.
VL: With a young child, a recent move, and the RVO news, how are you orienting/steadying yourself?
Erin Edge: This is still very much a work in progress for me! I had a lot of Big Life Changes ™ in a pretty short period of time – marriage, baby, cross-country move, first home purchase – on top of working in a super dynamic environment. Good sleep and getting outside for a while every day help me feel more grounded.
I’ve also been using an app called Peanut to meet other moms in our new city. It can be a little awkward, but being a new mom in a new town where I don’t know many people, stuff like this is sort of an unexpected lifeline right now.
Some days it’s just about putting one foot in front of the other and remembering to drink enough water. Right now I’m trying to show myself a little grace and honor that it’s all *gestures wildly* been a lot to hold.
VL: You mentioned on the podcast that you journal. How long have you been journaling, and how did you get into it?
Erin Edge: I’ve kept notebooks since I was a teenager. I think it started as part of a creative writing class for my high school paper and then grew into a more regular practice as I got older. I go back and forth — sometimes I won’t write for months at a time, but I always feel better when I come back to it. I’ve been more intentional about it since becoming a parent – it’s a little bit of time just for me, and even if what comes out on the page is complete nonsense it helps to clear some space and quiet the noise in my head.
VL: In the past, you’ve discussed the importance of managers setting the tone for self-care and leading by example. When you were coming up, did you have a manager whose style influenced the way you lead (either because they were wonderful or so awful you vowed to be better than them)?
Erin Edge: I’ve been lucky to have more great managers than bad ones throughout my working life; some of my close friends today are actually former bosses! All of them have had different management styles, but I think a common thread was that they each in their own way encouraged me to recognize my own agency at work and to trust myself to make decisions. They also supported me and my growth as a person – beyond just a specific role or company – and that’s something I try to model as a leader and people manager.
Onto lighter stuff:
VL: Who would play you in the limited series adaptation of your life?
Erin Edge: Jenny Slate
VL: The song you want to play as you walk onto a talk show:
Erin Edge: “It’s My House” by Diana Ross or “Bidi Bidi Bom Bom” by Selena
VL: The meal you cook (either for yourself or your family) when you don’t have two brain cells left to rub together:
Erin Edge: Annie’s White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese with frozen peas and lots of black pepper
VL: The next book you’re taking out of your To Be Read pile is:
Erin Edge: On the nightstand: White Feminism: From Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind by Koa Beck
On the To Be Read pile: The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom
There’s more where this came from. Check out last month’s Empowered Feature with Jaye Glennie-Garcia, Director of Engineering for RV Education, right here.