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Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Lindsey Kase

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


"Don't always be intimidated by the things you don't know. Those things will come later. Your diversity of thought and experiences is often the strength that you bring to the table," says Lindsey Kase, a consultant at Deloitte who was promoted from Business Technology Analyst. "That's how you add value to the team." Kase certinaly adds value to Deloitte, and I'm happy to honor her as this week's Woman of the Week as she shows us all the value of diversity in strengthening a team.

Whether it was her internship experience in the public service industry, studying abroad, or engaging in anthropological studies, Kase's diverse career experience stands to show how a colorful background can strengthen a team. At Deloitte she carries that initiative of diversity in her internal role: recruiting at Notre Dame, advising new hires, and serving as a member of the national Business Technology Analyst Advisory Council.
I would also like to give Kase the spotlight because of her endeavors to keep Deloitte a diverse environment for women, to help the company face today's challenege with a strong team.
"That is where Deloitte finds its value," Kase said, "They look for candidates that will bring a diversity of thought and experience to the table when addressing our client's challenges."
Congratulations, Lindsey, for pursuing your dream and sharing with us the strength in diversity that every company can help cultivate to find success. We can all learn something from her will to explore, learn and succeed!
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!

Woman of the Week: Viola Davis

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Mary Barra

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


Fortune just published her as #1 in their Most Powerful Women list, and this week I want to give the spotlight to a woman who is not just making lists, but making history: Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors.

This year, Fortune's list included 27 female CEOs who control over 1 trillion dollars worth of stocks, including 24 additional women. 51 women total made the list, which you can see here. Barra, who is in her second year as CEO of the nation's largest auto-maker, which has $156 billion in sales, weathered the 2014 storm of ignition-switch recall at GM. Despite the profits falling 26%, in recent months sales of expensive trucks and SUVs have soared, even in the face of weak international markets. With Barra at the helm, we can be assured that more good news is on the horizon.
Many may say that Barra's rise has happened fast, but it's important to not overlook years of hard work. She joined GM in 1980 at age 18, becoming Executive Vice President of Global Product Development in 2011, and finally CEO in 2013.
But I want to also celebrate Barra for using her position to help other women. She was one of the few female CEO participants in the #ilooklikeanengineer campaign on Twitter that promoted women in tech. When women leaders support women rising in the ranks, we challenge the inequality we face today.
On leading the push for gender equality, Barra said on Twitter: "GM has a diverse array of talented engineers around the world and I'm honored to lead them."
Congratulations, Mary, not only for reaching #1 on Fortune's list, and not only for holding the title for the first female CEO of a major automaker, but for helping other women engineers rise in the ranks to make equality more within reach - while there is no doubt that we have a long way to go, Mary is a great example of how we can lead to get there.

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!

Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Kim Chambers

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


As summer is coming to a close, many of us are eager to shed our fear of swimming with sharks. But this week's Woman of the Week swam with them for 30 miles, from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge. I want to celebrate Kim Chambers this week as she recently became the first woman to complete this historical swim.


Until now, the swim from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge has only been done by men. Chambers' swim lasted 17 hours, completed on August 8, last month. She is only the third person to complete the swim since 1967, and the only woman to finish.
On her historical victory, Chambers said in an interview: "There's nothing more gratifying than pushing yourself and discovering really what you're made of and what you can do with your body and your mind if you let it. This swim is scary, but it's also so exciting."
Swimming without a wetsuit in 60-degree water, Chambers needed calories to prevent hypothermia. Between the water temperature and the threat of sharks, Chambers faced the difficulties head on to accomplish her goal, hugging her mom at the finish line.
A man that Chambers trained with, Simon Dominguez, had attemped the swim a week before, but had to cut it short because of a great white shark just shortly after reaching the 18-hour mark, just three miles from completing the swim.
Chambers took just over 17 hours to complete the swim, and remembered seeing the thumbs-up sign from her crew as the Golden Gate bridge started coming into view. "I could see the bridge. When you can see it, you know you have to finish. I had to dig really deep. It's going to take me a long time to process."
As the only woman out of a total of three swimmers to complete this historical swim, Chambers said: "I hope I can just inspire young women to dream big." I have no doubt that she will. We can all take away from Chambers' story that with determination, training, strength, and a great support team, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to - making history, and reminding one another that we can swim with the sharks.
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!

Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Karen S. Kalish

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


This week I would like to give the spotlight to a dear friend of mine, who former president George W. Bush called "a mighty persuasive young lady." Rightly so. Karen Kalish is the founder and executive director of a teacher home visit program called HOME WORKS! She was featured in Harvard Kennedy School Magazine over the summer honoring her work with her nonprofit. She credits the Kennedy School with giving her the skills she needed to take HOME WORKS! to the next level.

"I call myself a serial social entrepreneur," Karen told the magazine. As her friend, I can testify to the truth of that statement! The idea for HOME WORKS! came out of a program that she began after she graduated from the Kennedy School, "Books and Badges," which places police recruits in the academy in low-performing elementary schools weekly to interact with the students. The recruits and students read and write togther, creating a bond of mutual respect. On the program, she told the magazine: "Too many of the families our teachers visit don't know the importance of reading and talking to their children every day because no one read and talked to them."
Books and Badges is now in its 14th year, and HOME WORKS! is thriving.
This past year, 340 teachers in 27 schools made 3,629 home visits in urban, suburban and rural districts in Missouri. Compare those numbers with 2012-2013, where teachers in 21 schools made 3,299 visits. Karen said she believes that the results so far have been exciting and promising - and I agree! The model is set up to include two mandatory trainings for teachers, two home visits per student a year, two teachers on every visit, two family dinners, and two staff in each school to maintain program fidelity and data collection as well.
Next, Karen aims to reach more struggling schools in Missouri. She told the magazine: "I can't think of anything more important for this community and this country."
So congratulations, Karen, on all of your success with HOME WORKS! and your programs so far, and cheers to much more to come. As children are heading back to school and another academic year gets underway, I'm delighted to watch this positive change you're creating grow to help many students and communities!
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!

Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Dr. Frances Kelsey

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


This week I want to honor a special woman who happens to be one of America's most celebrated public Servants. Dr. Frances Kelsey passed away earlier this month at the age of 101, and so as we put the spotlight on her and her many accomplishments we remember the true pioneer of public health and consumer protection - a woman with a voice for change.


In 1960, a drug had been sold to pregnant women in Eurpe for morning sickness, and this was right around the time that Dr. Kelsey had taken her position with the FDA in DC. One of her first tasks was to review an application by the US pharmaceutical company Richardons-Merrell for thalidomide, a tranquilizer and painkiller found in the morning sickness treatment.
After her research, by late 1961, the terrible evidence against thalidomide was pouring in -- it was causing thousands of babies to be born with flipperlike arms and legs and other defects in Europe and Canada, where it was already available.
Dr. Kelsey's actions to keep the drug out of the United States won her the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service by President John F. Kennedy. She became the 20th century American heroine for her role in the thalidomide case, celebrated not only for her vigilance, which sprared the U.S. from widespread birth deformities, but also for giving rise to modern laws regulating pharmaceuticals.
In 2000 she was inducted in the National Women's Hall of Fame, joining the likes of Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt, Margaret Mead and many other luminaries.
So this week as we remember Frances, a modern heroine, we recognize her for not only what she did for women's health and the pharmaceutical industry, but for using her voice to prevent the birth of hundreds or even thousands of armless and legless children - a true way to use your voice for 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!


Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Sue Vicory

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


This week I have the pleasure of covering not only a woman who is achieving great things, but who happens to be a great friend of mine. She, and her all-female "Team XX," are making history at the 2015 San Diego 48 Hour Film Project, where a team is formed and over one weekend a short film must be written, filmed, edited and submitted within 48 hours. The competition is worldwide, with more than 130 cities competing.


Sue is a producer/director at Heartland Films, and executive produced and directed the first "all-female" 27-member team, dubbed "Team XX." Their film is titled "Down Stage." It's a holiday film about Mother's Day, and will screen with 12 others.

The project took pklace July 24-26. That Friday evening, her team was assigned the holiday film genre, and all teams were assigned the same line ("Sometime's that's all you need"), character (Alan or Alice Downing, a coach), and prop (flashlight) that must be included in their film. The premier screenings are currently taking place, through tomorrow, and the "Best Of" screenings will occur on August 22nd.

In spite of the tight deadlines, Sue's love and creative knack for filmmaking helped her and her team to produce a film they can be proud of. Sue's leadership techniques are notable, and are important to note of because of all they were able to accomplish in a short time - within a few hours a script was written, from Friday evening into early Saturday morning at Sue's seaside condo. Sue held "bonding" meetings with most of the 27-member team in the weeks leading up to the actual filming weekend, and one even had a "ock talent show" audition with 10 actresses! A fun, innovative way to engage a team and tap into creative inspiration before the big event.

Next week, Sue will hear nominations for the 100+ films that have been entered. I'd like to congratulate Sue and wish her and her team good luck with the rest of the competition, as well as offer Sue's story as an exemplary leadership model to harness the creative capactiy of a team to achieve something great - in 48 hours!

To read more about Team XX, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as Sue's site.

 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!

Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Ronda Rousey

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


This week's woman of the week is Ronda Rousey, an outstanding fighter with a 12-0 record - she's unstoppable. At 28, she is both a supreme athlete and a star. As she continues to take out opponents in mere seconds, this UFC star is not only taking the spotlight, she's taking the world by storm.


Social media and news outlets earlier this week were raving about Rousey's 34-second knockout of previously undefeated Bethe Correia, who challenged her women's bantamweight title. For comparison, 34 seconds is the amount of time it takes the average human to walk down the average aisle of a supermarket.

She's an Olympic bronze medalist in judo-turned-mixed martial arts fighter, and her fights before the one this past weekend have lasted 14 seconds, 16 seconds, and 1 minute and 6 seconds. So in the time it takes to finish this sentence and write an email, that's Rousey's average right now. When you think of it that way, it makes sense that she's 12-0 and considered the best female mixed-martial fighter in the world.

In a television interview earlier this year, she credits her bronze finish in the Olympics as a driving factor for her present success: "I think it's because I didn't win the Olympics, I've become really grateful for that, as the years have passed... I can have so much more motivation... The reason why I'm more motivated than any of them could ever be is because I didn't win that gold medal." A lesson to us all that anything we perceive as a shortcoming can become our greatest asset.

Many remember when UFC impressario Dana White notoriously responded "never" when asked when the world would see women in the UFC. Four years later, White describes Rousey as the biggest superstar in the entire organization.

Rousey has been referred to as a "transformative athlete" often this past week, and it's well-earned. Many of her wins and fight moments are extending beyond UFC fans to constitute themselves as bona fide cultural moments. Rousey's fight this past weekend certainly became one all in itself!

It's undeniable that women in sports have been taking the spotlight this summer, paving the way for many more to come. I want to celebrate Ronda this week for all of her successes, and for showing women that we can dominate at anything we set our minds to - in 34 seconds or less.


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!

Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Jen Welter

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


This week I would like to give the spotlight to a very special first, the second football first I've honored this summer, after Sarah Thomas became an official referee. On Monday, the Arizona Cardinals announced that they hired Dr. Jen Welter, PhD, to coach in its training camp/preseason, which makes her the first woman to hold a coaching title in the NFL.

As a Tuscon resident, I'm proud of the Cardinals for making this choice, and making history! Welter, 37, will coach the inside linebackers for this upcoming season. The team's first training camp practice will be on August 1st.

What many don't know about Welter is that this isn't the first time she's broken a glass ceiling in professional sports - she has played in men's and women's professional football leagues, and she was also the first woman to hold a non-kicking position when she played as a running back last year with the Revolution. For the Revolution she also worked as a linebacker coach.

Welter took to Twitter to discuss her new title, tweeting: "In my Cinderella story. I was transformed in a football uniform, helmet, & cleats not a gown, a crown, & heels!" She also added: "I am honored to be a part of this amazing team."

She has a master's degree in sports psychology and a doctorate in psychology, and this week I want to celebrate not only all of her many accolades, but also the way she is embracing her role as a trailblazer - and sending that message to girls.

"It shows them that anything is possible, and that's so beautiful," Welter said, "Unfortunately I think the hardest thing in our society right now, no offense, is the media. We show little girls all the time to be beautiful and to do it all the wrong ways. We show them as accessories, for no other better way to put it. We teach them very early on to be pretty, marry well, and then act badly and you'll get on TV. That's what they grow up thinking that fame is or success is. I want little girls to grow up knowing that when they put their mind to something, when they work hard, that they can do anything."

Thank you, Jen, for breaking yet another glass ceiling, and for proving to young women in sports that anything truly is possible.


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!

Wednesday's Woman of the Week: Margaret Hamilton

by Susan Bulkeley Butler


This past Monday we celebrated the 46th anniversary of the Project Apollo, the successful American lunar landing. It was an incredible feat for America, and for humanity - the personal bravery showcased made it an unforgettable event for all those who sat infront of their television screens and held their breaths as Neil Armstrong took those historic first steps. But at the heart of the lunar triumph, millions of miles away back on earth, it was a woman who played a major role in making it all happen, and that woman is Margaret Hamilton - the programmer who saved the moon landing.

While Neil Armstrong may have been the first human to walk on the moon, the efforts of the aeronaturical and hardware engineers that made the entire effort possible cannot be overlooked. The software for the guidance computer, making navigation possible by assisting and controlling the spacecraft, was written by a team at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory, which was headed by Hamilton.

In speaking about the photo above, Hamilton said: "In this picture, I am standing next to listings of the actual Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) source code. To clarify, there are no other kinds of printouts, like debugging printouts, or logs, or what have you, in the picture." That's right, it's all just Hamilton and her code!

Hamilton coined the term "software engineering," and has seen the field grow into a prestigious profession - one where there is still a need for women. In an interview on the subject, Hamilton said: "I began to use the term 'software engineering' to distinguish it from hardware and other kinds of engineering. When I first started using this phrase, it was considered to be quite amusing. It was an ongoing joke for a long time. They liked to kid me about my radical ideas. Software eventually and necessarily gained the same respect as any other discipline."

At present, Hamilton is 78 and runs Hamilton Technologies, a company she founded in 1986. Also at present, Fortune's list of "unicorn companies," named for privately held tech startups worth $1 billion or more, was released. Just four of the companies on the list have female CEOs, which is 5% total. This number needs to change. Let's all celebrate Hamilton's accomplishments this week as we think back on the historic lunar landing - and also let us be reminded that women in tech helped to pave the way.


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!

Women Count White Border
$24.95, Hardcover
256 Pages
September 2010
Purdue University Press

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