How She Got There: Alison Quirk’s Path to Becoming Executive Vice President at State Street Corporation

If you want to know what a leader sounds like, talk to Alison Quirk. Direct and articulate while also unhurried and kind, she is clearly used to telling people what to do in a way that makes them want to do it. You get the sense that her meetings were never boring or overlong. You also get the sense that there are a lot of people out there who loved working for her. Read More

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Your Network as an Ecosystem

Kara GreerFeaturing Kara Greer, Vice President & Manager, Talent & Enterprise Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance

What do you think of when you hear the word “ecosystem”? You likely don’t think of your professional network. But that’s exactly how Liberty Mutual’s Kara Greer describes her network: as a diverse ecosystem filled with colleagues, mentors, teachers, coaches, family, friends and acquaintances—all people with unique backgrounds, experiences and perspectives. Greer has been building her network from an early age and attributes much of her professional and personal growth to the support she has given and received through it. Read More

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How She Got There: Pam Wickham’s Path to Becoming Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Communications at Raytheon

Pam WickhamAs you might guess about someone who says to use the shortened version of her name even in a published profile, Pam Wickham is as down-to-earth as people come.

It’s probably no surprise, then, that she’s a native of western Massachusetts. Or that she has a pragmatic approach to life, balancing her passion for work with her desire to spend time with her family and friends.

Two traits have held Wickham in good stead: the strength of character to keep her priorities straight and the courage to take risks. Follow her path to VP of corporate affairs and communications at Raytheon in the latest installment of our series profiling the careers of our board members. Read More

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How She Got There: Micho Spring’s Path to Becoming Chair of Global Corporate Practice and New England for Weber Shandwick

Micho-SpringTake a young woman coming of age in the 60s, when many careers were closed to her gender. Mix in political awareness from having fled communist Cuba as a child and add courage and flexibility from forging a new life with her family in New York. What you get: a college dropout, a 31-year-old deputy mayor of Boston, a top executive at one of the largest communications firms in the world—as well as a Massachusetts Conference for Women Board member.

In other words, you get Micho Spring, whose name ought to be under “maverick” in the thesaurus. Be inspired by the most unconventional career path of Weber Shandwick’s chair of global corporate practice and New England and the lessons she learned along the way: Read More

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How Women Can Get Ahead in Technology

Gina-HelfrichWhat’s really holding women back in technology? You may have read about the “pipeline problem”—girls don’t study science, technology, engineering or math in equal numbers to boys—but that’s a red herring, says Gina Helfrich, founder and organizer of Feminist Hack ATX.

“The biggest obstacle, in my opinion, is poor retention numbers,” Helfrich says. “Research shows that more than half of women in technology leave the field by mid-career.” Read More

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Carla Harris on How to Lead and Succeed

Carla HarrisWhen Carla Harris first went to Harvard 30-some years ago, she had two beliefs that she ended up adjusting. The first was that Harris, now a vice chairman and managing director at Morgan Stanley, would be a lawyer.

The second: that only her professors would have things to teach her. “I actually learned as much from my classmates, who were from all over the country and the world,” she says. “The many different perspectives opened my eyes to everything, from the Holocaust to the best library to study in.”

No doubt, Harris’s adaptability as well as her growth mindset has helped her compete on Wall Street—and conquer it. In a couple of days, she will be a keynote speaker at the Massachusetts Conference for Women; in the meantime, here, the author of Strategize to Win: The New Way to Start Out, Step Up, or Start Over Your Career shares some of the lessons she has learned while climbing the corporate ladder: Read More

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In Praise of First Jobs

As mindless as many first jobs are, they can prove to be invaluable experiences. How else would many of us know how to carry six plates at a time or fold sweaters so neatly? On a more serious note, starter stints can teach useful lessons about people, ourselves and the nature of work. Check out what initiated some of our 2016 speakers into the world of gainful employment—and what they learned. Read More

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How She Got There: Renee Connolly’s Path to Becoming Head of Global Communications and Corporate Responsibility at MilliporeSigma

Renee Connolly (Photo by Marla Aufmuth/Getty Images for Massachusetts Conference for Women)Surviving the loss of your mom when you’re young doesn’t just make you stronger. It also makes you focus on what’s important early on and gives you clarity on your purpose in life when most of your contemporaries are still searching for a purpose. In other words, it makes you grow up pretty quick.

This was the case for Renee Connolly, whose non-smoker mom died from non-small cell lung cancer just as Connolly was about to start her senior year in college. “I wanted to stay home and help take care of my brother, who was in grade school, but Dad insisted that I finish my degree,” Connolly recalls. “It was important to my mom that I graduate since she never had the opportunity to go to college.”

Sticking it out would become a theme to Connolly’s career, as would wiser-than-her-years decisions. Here’s her path, and the lessons she learned along the way, to becoming the head of global communications and corporate responsibility at MilliporeSigma. Read More

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Three Ways Women Hold Themselves Back

Trudy BourgeoisFifteen years ago, Trudy Bourgeois resigned from her vice president job managing a $3 billion business unit—and walked away from a healthy six-figure salary, country club memberships, first class plane tickets to everywhere for her husband and herself and much, much more. “When I told my mom about my decision, she started to cry,” Bourgeois recalls. “She asked if she needed to get the sisters together to pray. I was living the dream for a lot of people.” Read More

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When Bad Bosses Happen to Good People

A bad boss.If you’ve never had a bad boss, you must have spent your career…self-employed! Unfortunately, managers who are incompetent or otherwise awful are a fact of working life. Indeed, a whopping 568 of you responded to our call for bad boss stories and the lessons you learned from the experience. Read these cringe-worthy tales—and commiserate.
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Posted in Blog, Career, Speaker Articles, Life on Your Terms, Communication Skills, Transitions Tagged |
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