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APR
22
Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Lynne Doughtie

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

This week I want to spotlight Lynne Doughtie, who took the reins as chairman and chief at KPMG, becoming their first woman CEO. With Doughtie's new title, two of the Big Four accounting and professional-services firms in the U.S have women CEOs. Cathy Engelbert, who I wrote about here, was the first woman CEO of one of the Big Four firms.

 

Doughtie has been with KPMG for 30 years, and her five-year term as CEO and chairman will begin on July 1. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last Tuesday, Doughtie said: "It is an honor to have the chance to lead KPMG at such a pivotal moment, when ensuring quality and confidence in the work we do have never been more important."

KPMG's U.S. consulting practice is KPMG's fastest-growing business. Last year's fiscal revenue was $2.65 billion. Doughtie began her career as an auditor in 1985, and then went to the advisory side in the 1990s.

Let's take a look at the numbers: 18 of the 100 "best companies to work for" list from Working Mother magazine are accounting or cunsulting firms, and all of the Big Four are included. 44.5 percent of KPMG's American workforce are women, about 27,000 women total. 19 percent of KPMG's partners are women, which has increased by six percent in the last 12 years.

The accounting and professional services field is one of the more welcoming to women, though there is still progress to be made, and Doughtie's new title will hopefully help to make strides in that area. Accounting firms still need to grow when it comes to retaining women. A 2013 study by the American Institute of CPAs said that women make up 40 percent of certified public accountants, but only 19 percent of the partners at CPA firms, and only 17 percent at larger firms.

Federal Reserve data shows that none of the top 30 federally regulated lenders in the U.S. by assets have a woman CEO. It is my hope that Lynne Doughtie and Cathy Engelbert will help change this number, and start a new trend with women earning more CEO and leadership positions.

For the first time, women lead half of the Big Four accounting firms in the country. The Washington Post quoted Doughtie as saying that though she and Engelbert have not met yet, their organizations "have already been in conversation about best practices on the gender and diversity front." Let's do our part to start this conversation as well, and let's congratulate Doughtie on her monumental achievement.

 

Wednesday's Woman of the Week is a weekly feature. If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know on my Facebook page or on Twitter. I'd love to hear about the inspiring women in your life!

APR
17
Jane Goodall Talks Women in Science in The Huffington Post

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

I celebrated Jane Goodall’s 80th birthday here on my blog back in February of last year, when I reflected on meeting her when she was being honored at an event in Philadelphia. I have loved hearing stories from other women who have been inspired by her from a young age, how they aspire to give a voice to the voiceless as she does.

Yesterday Jane had an interview with The Huffington Post along with Steve Druker, a friend who recently wrote a book on genetically engineered (GE) foods, called Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, that came out earlier this year. Jane wrote the foreword of the book, declaring it “one of the most important books of the last 50 years.”

In the interview, the two of them discussed GMO foods – Druker discussing the illegalities of the subject and Jane discussing how animals she has worked with have reacted to genetically modified foods.

A publicist I work with, Emily Labes, was at the interview, and said the following about Jane:

“From the moment that Dame Jane Goodall entered the room, affably declaring that she just realized that she had forgotten to comb her hair today, she commanded the attention of everyone present. As soft-spoken as she is passionate, anyone who has had the privilege of hearing her speak will inevitably wind up as transfixed as a Kindergartener during story time. It’s almost impossible not to pay attention when she speaks. Yesterday, during an interview with The Huffington Post, her messages were twofold and equally important: it’s time to ban GMOs from the global market, and it’s time to put the heart back in science.”

Emily added that these days Goodall spends about 300 days on the road, championing her cause: “Goodall is incredibly generous with what little free time she does have, particularly when it’s to promote a cause about which she cares deeply. So when she graciously volunteered to donate the only free hour she had during her New York City trip to do a media appearance with Druker, we all knew how lucky we were. As soon as they embraced, it became evident how much they genuinely enjoy each other’s company and respect one another. Although Goodall is the first to admit that she is not necessarily an authority on GMOs, she offered anecdotal evidence regarding animals’ reaction to natural vs. GE feed that bolstered the argument in a whole new way, and Druker was always ready to fill in any blanks.”

Of great interest to me was the last part of the interview, when Jane was asked about the gender disparity in STEM careers.

“Goodall gave an answer that – I have to admit – almost made me want to consider a drastic career change," Emily said, “She said that the issue isn’t just that science isn’t appealing to women; it’s that we are taught to think about science in a manner that is contrary to human instinct.”

She that during the interview Jane recalled being taught to remain cold and objective when she first started studying. Jane also went further to say that young scientists must be trained to stray from this mentality, adding that to study science is to passionately endeavor to discover all the mysteries of our world, and to take joy that there will always be new unknowns to explore.

Let’s follow Jane's lead and start changing the conversation about women in science. What do women need to do to improve this field, and to start making a change?

 

Connect with me and continue this discussion on my Facebook page or on Twitter. I'd love to hear about the inspiring women in your life!

APR
15
Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Hillary Clinton

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

This week I am honoring Hillary Clinton for her declaration of candidacy for the 2016 presidential election. Clinton announced her bid for the presidency this past Sunday, ending nearly two years of speculation, citing that she wants to be the champion of everyday Americans. I wish her every success in her campaign, because it's time for a woman president, and it's time we show the rest of the world that women count in America.

 

As a former United States Senator, Secretary of State and First Lady, she has undeniable political experience. This could be the first time a woman captures a major party's nomination. I am looking forward to hearing about her positions on the big issues, and to see how she presents herself throughout the campaign. I hope to see some great men coming forward to speak for her and her capabilities as well.
It is said that Clinton plans to lay out a central theme of her candidacy, which includes an emphasis on reducing income inequality. It's a topic that has been on the minds of many, since yesterday, April 14, marked national Equal Pay Day, which symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned the previous year.
I believe that equal pay for women is a good way for women to help other women! Research what other women are receiving, and compare that research to that based on your male peers. It is my hope that Clinton's emphasis on this issue will launch an earnest conversation and incite change.
Other important issues like paid family and medical leave, higher minimum wage and affordable access to child care will also be an area of focus for her campaign.
No matter what the outcome of her campaign is, Clinton's 2016 campaign opens a new political chapter for one of the most powerful women in Washington, and for women everywhere as we anticipate our first chance to elect a woman president and commander-in-chief.
Wednesday's Woman of the Week is a weekly feature. If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know on my Facebook page or on Twitter. I'd love to hear about the inspiring women in your life!
APR
8
Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Gloria Steinem

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

I have grown to believe in what Gloria Steinem is doing.

During her first "bra-burning" experience, I came to understand that she does what is necessary to bring equality for women. I didn't understand this in the early 1960's. I was soon to understand that I owed a big "thanks," and haven't be able to tell her personally.

I was brought up to understand that I could do anything that I set my mind to do. Little did I know, until later, that what Gloria and her team did did a lot to make my progress easier. Now she is doing something similar 50 years later to help the women of Korea, and to bring attention to the issue to the world. What a lady.

Coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the division between North and South Korea, Gloria, as well as 29 other women, two of which are Nobel Laureates, will walk the 2-mile wide De-Militarized Zone (DMZ). Maired Maguire of Northern Ireland and Lymah Gbowee of Libera are the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize in the group.

According to the the group's website WomenCrossDMZ.org, the hope is to hold international peace symposiums in the capitals of both countries in the effort of hearing Korean women's experiences and exchanging ideas about mobilizing women to bring an end to violent conflict.

In an interview with The Guardian, Steinem said: “It’s hard to imagine any more physical symbol of the insanity of dividing human beings. To me, to walk across it has huge, huge, huge importance.”

Steinem also said she was inspired to join the group of women through her own experiences traveling to South Korea, where she witnessed the divide between the two countries, and also between families.

As a longtime women's rights advocate, this is understandable, and she won't do it alone.

"Our hope is to cross the 2-mile wide De-Militarized Zone that separates millions of Korean families as a symbol of peace," a statement reads on the website, "The unresolved Korean conflict gives all governments in the region justification to further militarize and prepate for war, depriving funds for schools, hospitals, and the welfare of the people and the environment. That’s why women are walking for peace, to reunite families, and end the state of war in Korea."

Together, the women will walk toward equality. I celebrate Gloria this week, and the initiative and drive of these wonderful women, as they strive to make global change.

 

Wednesday's Woman of the Week is a weekly feature. If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know on my Facebook page or on Twitter. I'd love to hear about the inspiring women in your life!

APR
2
Woman of the Week: Frances Hesselbein

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

I would like to introduce you to a fantastic woman who has been honored by Fortune and included in their list of World’s Greatest Leaders, where she ranked as number 37.

She is known for being CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA, which she reformed through the 1960s and ‘70s, earning her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is also the Founding President of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management. She is in her late 90s now, and is focusing on training the new millennial generation to lead through her institute, and her new book. I want to congratulate her for all she has done, and continues to do, for women and future leaders of America.

One of the best places I learned about setting strategy and achieving goals was while serving on the national board of directors of the Girls Scouts of the USA (GUSA), where I was very fortunate to serve on the board for seven years while Frances was at the helm. She was always about changing lives, helping everyone, including those of us on her board, to achieve the best from others as well as for ourselves. As a result of my time with Frances I learned to be very mission-driven and very caring, as she was in everything she did. Congratulations to Frances – she is one amazing leader.

Frances is one of the most organized people I have ever met, but her real secret weapons were always thinking of the individual Girl Scout and putting the girl’s interests at the heart of every decision she made. Frances was convinced that doing so on every occasion was the best way of enhancing the Girl Scout “brand,” and would allow the organization to accomplish its strategic objective of interesting even more girls in joining.

“We don’t strive for superior or excellent management,” she said. “We strive to manage for the mission: We never lose sight of the fact that we are in this business to help girls grow. Having such a strong mission increases our managerial productivity – people ‘but into’ what we do and thus motivation increases. We work very hard, all of us, to remember why we are working.”

 

Read more after the jump.

MAR
27
Reflecting on Women's History Month 2015

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

As we close out March, I want to take time to reflect on Women’s History Month.

This month was one of celebration, celebrating those women who helped women get to where we are today. Also, to celebrate those women who are helping women of the future, to make the world a better one for everyone. This is a time for women and men to congratulate women on what they have achieved, and open up the opportunities that are still available for all of us.

The women I celebrate, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Stanton, were advocates of equal rights for women, giving women the right to vote in 1920. Others on my list are Amelia Earhart, Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gloria Steinem, and Sally Ride.

I reached out to some of my friends and former colleagues and asked: which women are on your list? Who are the three women who come to mind when you think about International Women’s Month?

Here are some of the names that came up in addition to the ones I mentioned above: Marie Curie, Hillary Clinton, Francis Perkins, Margaret Thatcher, Katherine Graham, Malala Yousafzai, Angela Merkl, Dr. Tania Singer, Helen Keller, Maya Angelou, Golda Meir, Joan of Arc, Mae Jemison, Shirely Chisolm, Sourjourner Truth, Fannie Lou Hamer, Madolyn Albright, Oprah Winfrey, Indra Nooyi, and Mother Teresa.

Susan B. Anthony, Hillary Clinton, and Oprah were top three mentioned.

Which women are on your list? We may soon have the first woman president. Within the next ten years we may have the Speaker of the House and the Senate, and have 40 percent women on Boards of Directors and on senior leadership teams of the Fortune 500 companies. And, finally, equal pay for women.

The results of a recent global survey by Accenture paints an optimistic picture about the future for women, and particularly women in tech. The results are from 3,600 professionals in 30 countries:

 

  • 71% said the number of female technology officers will be higher by 2030.
  • 52% of their companies are prepping women for senior management more than a year before.
  • Women and men are equal in asking for a promotion.
  • Women are still less likely to ask for a raise, and women mentioned it was more than they expected.

Let’s carry that optimism past this month, and look toward a bright future. For the year 2020, my wish is that by the 100th anniversary of the right to vote, we will all make an effort to get 25% board seats and woman as executive officers and 10% of the Fortune 500 CEOs. And, of course, equal pay for those positions.

The truth is that we can celebrate these women every month, every day, by doing what we can to make a change and keep moving toward equality. What will you do to honor their memories as we move into April? And beyond?

 

Your coach,

Susan

MAR
18
Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Michelle Obama

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

This week I want to give the spotlight to First Lady Michelle Obama, who announced the "Let Girls Learn" initiative earlier this week, which has the goal of helping girls around the world get access to education. Obama will be joined by Akie Abe, wife of the Japanese Prime Minister. It's a great initiative to create change in women's education, getting others on board to change the world.

"A new partnership to educate girls across the globe" was announced in Tokyo earlier last week, which was the official Let Girls Learn announcement. Obama and Abe encouraged other countries to continue to make an impact that will incite global change.

Obama elaborated on the importance of getting getting other countries involved, saying: "Given the magnitude of the challenge, U.S. action alone will not suffice, nor will the efforts of just a few concerned countries. That is why this week in Japan we will call for countries around the world to join us by making their own investments to help girls learn."

On a domestic level, Obama said that her hope is that Let Girls Learn will inspire the younger generation in the U.S. to work for an education, as well as to help others do the same.

She wrote the following op-ed about the importance of the intitiative and on the struggle many girls go through to get an education:

While the focus of this work is international, Let Girls Learn is also about inspiring young people here at home to commit to their education. Through Let Girls Learn, I want girls—and boys—here in the U.S. to learn about the challenges girls world-wide face in getting an education. I want them to understand that even though their own school might be far from perfect—and my husband is working hard to change that—they still have a responsibility to show up every day and learn as much as they can. And I want them to connect with other young people from every background and nationality, particularly young women who set such a powerful example.
These girls walk miles each day to school, study for hours each night, and stand strong against those who say they are unworthy of an education. If they are prepared to make those sacrifices, the global community should be able to summon the resources to help them fulfill their promise and the promise of their families, communities and countries.

So this week I celebrate the first lady for taking this step to unite countries around the world in the pursuit of educating girls across the globe. Together we can make an impact, and change the world for girls and women everywhere.

 

Wednesday's Woman of the Week is a weekly feature. If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know on my Facebook page or on Twitter. I'd love to hear about the inspiring women in your life!

MAR
11
The Wizard of Oz: My Experience Seeing the Eugene Symphony

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

This past Sunday, when I was in Eugene, Oregon, I saw the Eugene Symphony perform The Wizard of Oz - as we watched the film on the big screen, the symphany played the soundtrack as we all watched in awe. The Eugene Symphony is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!

I found out about it because several years ago the orchestra in Tucson did it, and because of that I had to tell my cousin, Jane. She was in theater and has acted as many of the characters. We attended the show together.
Upon arrival, prior to the opening of the doors, the lobby was filled with adults and children all dressed up like the characters in the movie. It was fabulous, and everyone was having fun, including me!

 

A group of girls were there, having their picture taken. They were all there for a birthday party. What a way to celebrate your birthday. They were all dressed up, also. A large man, dressed up like a lion won the best costume for an adult. I had a Dorothy t-shirt on, and Jane opted for the Wicked-Witch with the house, with only the witch's striped socks showing from under the house.

 

I remember seeing the Wizard of Oz movie in 4th or 5th grade at the local theater, the school took us. I was scared to death, and cried.

 

After the doors opened and we were all seated we saw the large movie screen, but not like the large screens that you see today when you go to the movies. The movie was old-style, black and white. The original Wizard of Oz film was released in 1939.

 

The symphony was then seated on the stage, with the large screen hung overhead. It was great to see all of the children in the Hult, where the symphony plays on a routine basis. These children were not only experiencing the movie, but hearing and watching the symphony orchestra, which I am sure they will never forget. What an impact.

 

The symphony really worked to stay in sync with the movie. Sometimes they did get out of sync, and the conductor would have to play 'catch-up'. The all had to be exhausted when it was over - almost three hours with intermission.

 

Overall, an exciting experience for everyone, and a must-see if any of you see it advertised. I knew about it because several years ago the orchestra in Tucson did it, and because of that I had to tell Jane. She was in theater and has acted as many of the characters.

 

For more photos of the event, please check out my Facebook page!
MAR
5
Lessons Learned From Marie Kondo: the Cult of Tidying Up

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

I recently read an article in the Wall Street Journal about Marie Kondo and the ”Cult of Tidying Up,” which also discussed her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

"Tidying up" is a message that everyone should think of every day. Whether it's hanging up your clothes, making your bed, cleaning up the kitchen, or even just putting things away when you are done with them.

As someone who has moved many times, I wish I had used each time as a way to 'tidy up' my storage. I am a 'pile person,' just like my father. And like him, most of the time I know which pile to find something. This year I have decided that I have lots of things that I don't need, and if something were to happen to me, I want people to find the important stuff, not have to have a shredder come to my house to get rid of lots of stuff, and to give away those things that others might be able to use.

There is an amazing comment in the article - her advice freed readers from the guilt that often comes with discarding an object given by a loved one. Thank their clothes for their service---or for teaching them that pink isn't their color---before letting them go!

And she says that "storage bins" are a booby trap. They are a superficial answer, because in most cases you will probably never open the storage again except to see what's in it and then put it back on the shelf.

Given my experience, I would suggest that you target and "annual" purge: paper, kitchen products, piles of papers, files that haven't been looked at in months, etc.

If you're like me, you will wonder why you're keeping them.

What are you going to "tidy up" this weekend? Maybe a tradition is to "tidy up" something every Saturday.

 

Your coach,

Susan

MAR
4
Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Ellen Kullman

by Susan Bulkeley Butler

 

Keeping with the Fortune's "50 Most Powerful Women in Business" trend, this week I celebrate a true pioneer. At the end of last month DuPont's Chair and CEO Ellen Kullman was elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), "for leadership in the business growth and transformation of a global science and engineering company." So this week I would like to congratulate Ellen on her achievement, and to a bright future to come.

Before her role as a leader, though, Kullman said one of her toughest early jobs was watering plants for her father's landscaping business. In an interview with Fortune, she said: "That was the job I hated most: pouring water on those darn flowers."

But she concedes that through this practice she learned a powerful lesson that she took forward with her in her career: "If you don't water it, it's going to die."

This was undoubtedly a lesson Kullman kept in mind when she became CEO at DuPont, where she saw two restructurings in her first year alone. But now sales and profits have recovered, and she has led many important acquisitions. With a healthy company and her new role with the NAE, Kullman is in a position to succeed. National Academy of Engineering membership honors "those who have made outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice, or education, and to the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology."

Kullman said: "Engineering plays an essential role in DuPont's effort to translate advanced science into meaningful innovations that solve some of the world's greatest challenges. I also have drawn constantly on my own engineering background as a leader."

Combining engineering and leadership is one way Kullman is poised to change the world. In the same Fortune interview, when it comes to our capacity for growth she said: "People want to work on stuff that matters, where they think they can make a difference. Its' not just about science anymore. It's about how science relates to the world. I think kids coming out of engineering school get really energized by the chance to work on these kinds of problems."

Cheers to Ellen, a pioneer inciting change. Let's take a page from her book: where will you "water" your next career advancement?

 

Wednesday's Woman of the Week is a weekly feature. If you have any recommendations, please feel free to let me know on my Facebook page or on Twitter. I'd love to hear about the inspiring women in your life!

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