Marian Heard

Office Hours: Candid Answers to Your Pressing Career Questions

Marian HeardTwo of the most accomplished executives you’ll ever meet, Marian Heard and Margaret McKenna aren’t just founts of business and management wisdom. As female trailblazers who were often the only woman in the room, they are also experts at handling workplace-culture and gender-bias issues. Over the years they’ve shared their experience and advice as mentors to women, and at the most recent Conferences, they fielded questions from attendees in breakout sessions that really got people buzzing.

Margaret McKennaWhat attendees especially appreciated were the candor as well as the humor of Heard, former president and CEO of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and CEO of United Ways of New England, and McKenna, former president of Walmart Foundation and president emeritus of Lesley University.Listen for yourself to the podcasts from Philadelphia, Austin and Boston, or read a sampling of their answers, edited for clarity and brevity, below. Afterward, please submit your burning career questions to [email protected] We’ll be publishing answers from Heard, McKenna and other women leaders in future newsletters. Read More

2016 Session | Change Agent or Co-Conspirator? A Fireside Chat on Obtaining Power, Influence and Driving Healthy Advancements in the Workplace

Gender exclusion is still prominent in today’s work environments putting women in a challenging position – for obvious reasons around the lack of equity– but also for those trying to exist in a corporate landscape as they climb the ladder and try to make a name for themselves as a leader in a boys club. This intimate fireside chat will bring you up close and personal with Margaret McKenna – the first woman Deputy White House Counsel, the first president of Walmart foundation and the first woman president of Suffolk University. McKenna has forged the path of firsts and has also been a change agent in her different roles, from leading an effort to appoint more women and people of color to Federal judgeships, to prioritizing hunger as the signature issue for the Walmart foundation and driving governance change at Suffolk University. She has moved from government to the university life to the largest company in the world. How did she obtain these positions? How did she learn to navigate such different environments? What lessons did she learn about creating positive change? Led by leadership expert Sue Hodgkinson, we will answer these questions, and you will leave inspired to take action and walk away with actual strategies to influence and obtain the distribution of power and control necessary to drive positive change and make strides towards equity and partnership.

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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

How She Got There: Marian Heard’s Path to Becoming the CEO and President of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and the CEO of United Ways of New England

Marian HeardIf you know Marian Heard or ever meet her, please ask her to write her autobiography. Future readers inspired by the community leader who has worked with the last six presidents will be thankful, of course. But even more grateful will be future historians and biographers. Retracing her steps is tough work!

It’d be one thing if Heard had taken on one endeavor after another. She would probably need to work until she’s 150 to accomplish everything she has accomplished, but at least the rest of us would be able to wrap our brains around her career path. Instead, she is a true multi-tasker—that is, if running several businesses simultaneously or leading a couple of organizations while attending school are considered tasks. Read More

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