WLGO Newsletter – Q2 2014

Dear WLGO members,

Happy 2014!  After an excruciatingly long winter for those of us not blessed to live in temperate climes, spring is finally around the corner.  And with it, our first newsletter of the year.  Please check out all the upcoming WLGO events, find out more about some of our members, and laugh a little (cry a little) reading “Recline, don’t lean in (why I hate Sheryl Sandberg).”

Thank you so much to our 2014 newsletter volunteers – Grace Overlander, Emily Chang, Charlie Lieu, Michele Parrish, and Cindy Closkey.

As always, if you would like to dedicate a teensy part of your life to helping out with this, let me know!

This letters topics:

Shafali & the 2014 Newsletter team


Upcoming Events

April 24th   Noon PST/3pm EDT:  Amiel Handelsman Presents:  Promise-based Management and Living

Small changes in how you speak and listen can make a big difference in your leadership and career. Whether you are leading execution of critical projects or navigating the challenges of work/life balance, the ability to make and keep promises—and guide others to do the same—is crucial for success. What is the difference between a fuzzy promise and a solid promise? What are the attributes of an effective request? What are the four legitimate responses to a request? How do you negotiate when you or someone else cannot fulfill a promise on time? Who is responsible for reporting completion, and what happens if they don’t?  We’ll use these questions as a guide for exploring the common breakdowns you experience in work and the rest of life—and how to resolve them with skill and power.

Amiel Handelsman is an executive coach and change consultant based in Portland, Oregon. He has coached many women leaders, from front-line managers to executives developing billion-dollar businesses. He is the author of Practice Greatness: Escape Small Thinking, Listen Like A Master, And Lead With Your Best (forthcoming, 2014). He is the proud husband of LGO grad, Julie Endress.

Topic: WLGO Presents: Amiel Handelsman  Date: Thursday, April 24, 2014 

Time: 12:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00) 

——————————————————-  To register ——————————————————- 

1. Go to https://mit.webex.com/mit/j.php?ED=51657393&RG=1&UID=0&RT=MiM0 

2. Register for the meeting. 

3. Check for confirmation email with instructions on how to join 

2014 LGO Alumni Conference: Innovation in Manufacturing and Operations 

May 1-2, Marriott Union Square, San Francisco

Save the date! 

Boat on San Francisco Bay
Join LGO alumni in San Francisco, accessible by air, rail, road and yacht 

This year’s LGO Alumni Conference will be held in beautiful downtown San Francisco May 1 and 2. Under the theme of “Innovation in Manufacturing and Operations,” discussions during the conference will explore emerging issues in an age of big data and small scale, hyper-flexible manufacturing. 

As always, the conference will afford plenty of opportunities to catch up with old friends and to make new alumni connections. This year Women of LGO (WLGO) will be kicking things off by hosting a social Wednesday April 30th from 6:30-9:00 PM. They invite you to stop by, grab a bite, and catch up with the WLGO community. And yes, LGO men are also welcome. 

So pencil in a long weekend with LGO and stay tuned for more details.

Women Leaders of Global Operations (WLGO) PRESENTS: Leadership on Boards, Improved Performance though Director Diversity

May 22nd Noon PDT/3pm EDT 

  • What do boards really do?
  • Why would you want to be on a board?
  • How does one become a director?
  • How does one become a true leader on a board?
  • What are the risks and rewards of being a director?

These questions and more will be answered in this WLGO sponsored webinar with special guests (bios below):  

  • Betsey Berkemer-Credaire, Author of The Board Game, Retained Executive Search
  • Denise Johnson, VP Caterpillar, Sloan Alumna, LGO Operating Committee Member
  • Mark Parrish, President & CEO Stuart Dean Company
  • Stephanie Sonnabend, Public Company CEO, President and Director, Co-Founder and Chair at 2020 Women on Boards, Sloan Alumna 

To Register:

1. Go to https://mit.webex.com/mit/j.php?ED=269385057&RG=1&UID=0&RT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D

2. Register for the meeting. Once the host approves your request, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions for joining the meeting. To view in other time zones or languages, please click the link: https://mit.webex.com/mit/j.php?ED=269385057&RG=1&UID=0&ORT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D 


Network Updates

Thank you to everyone who shared a little bit about themselves with us.  Here are some tidbits on what is going on with some of the WLGO alumni:

Dannielle Sita Appelhans ’11 shares “After 14 years, I finally decided that it was worth the effort to plan a wedding for an excuse to go on a honeymoon.  So after a small wedding in Napa that was highlighted by seeing family, friends, and of course LGOs, we rushed off to the Maldives and Dubai. While never easy to readjust back to life after beaches, surfing, and ATVs, I have stayed very busy serving various pharma companies as a part of McKinsey’s Operations practice. 

Emily Edwards Chang ’11 has been enjoying the steady stream of WLGO’s that come through the Boston area.  In the past few months, she has had the pleasure of hosting many women from the 2011 class including Karla Krause, Dannielle Sita Appelhans, Kuldip Sandhu, Tabassum Rahman, Wendy Logan, and Liron Azrielant. 

Catherine Liang Chew ’11 writes “As part of my product marketing role at Google, I recently had the good fortune of traveling to several cities to conduct focus groups including Boston, LA and London.  I live in San Francisco and am looking forward to seeing many friendly faces at the upcoming LGO Conference.” 

Tye Duncan 11 writes “After a few years in Boston both during and after LGO, my family and I moved to Singapore with Philips.  I work in their healthcare supply chain organization. My husband, son Duncan, and I are really enjoying using Singapore as a launching pad to explore Southeast Asia.”

Min Hsieh Fraser ’11 shares “My husband Joe (Sloan ’12) and I welcomed on our beautiful daughter Sophie Elaine on August 2, 2013.  Seven months later and she’s still wreaking havoc to our lives, although usually more good than bad!  Following Sophie’s birth, we continued on the growing up path and purchased a new home in the suburbs.  Professionally, I’ve transferred to a new position within Nokia, my employer since Sloan, as Head of Developers and Ecosystem Performance.” 

Julia Reed Stark ’11 writes “My husband Brian and I welcome our first child Siena in October.  We’re settling into parenthood learning quickly that Arnie’s lessons also apply to babies (what is the probability that we can get through a flight with no baby explosions).  I live in the Boston area and work in the supply chain division at Philips.” 


Feature Interview

AP Hurd

A-P Hurd is many things to many people: LGO alumna, mother, wife, author, teacher, and VP of Development at Touchstone, a Seattle-based commercial real estate developer, where she is responsible for corporate and project strategy. Most days, her life is self-described as “hectic”, so it was a rare pleasure to sit down with A-P over coffee one morning between meetings, with the sun streaming through the windows and just enough time to catch up on life, work, and sustainability.

The Operations Connection

A-P emerged from undergraduate as a mechanical engineer with a dual degree in English literature. As the managing editor of her campus newspaper at Queen’s University, A-P discovered the rush of the deadline-driven environment, and was drawn to the trading floor at Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. Trading has the same kind of rush as the newsroom, and “oh, the math involved in thermodynamics is the same math used to price financial derivatives.” However, over time A-P found trading to be too specialized, and when the opportunity to transition into operations presented itself, she jumped at it.

At LGO, A-P focused on system dynamics, and as it turns out, newfangled high performance buildings are complex engineered systems that require long operational transition and optimization (concepts all too familiar to LGOs). This industry need brought A-P to McKinstry, a design, build, operations, and management contractor, where she developed best-in-class operational transition and optimization processes for high efficiency buildings. McKinstry ultimately led A-P to Touchstone and a job that gave her more control over the upstream aspects of a build’s development, as well as the bigger picture around land use and urban planning.

Changing the World

Beyond her work as a “sustainable developer”, it is clear that nearly all aspects of A-P’s life tie back to sustainable cities. Evidence of her engagement abounds: in addition to her work at Touchstone, teaching a graduate course in “Sustainable Development and Regional Economics” at the University of Washington, and her handful of board positions, A-P is also involved in multiple initiatives that impact sustainable urban development. A-P has worked extensively on environmental policy at the local and state level, and speaks widely on sustainability issues. Her experiences have inspired her to write The Carbon Efficient City, which has become a reference for legislators and policy-makers, as well as adopted in educational settings.

You can hear the passion A-P exudes when she talks about sustainability, and people can’t help but be swayed to action. By the middle of our conversation, I found myself volunteering for a phone bank to save Seattle’s public transit system. If you’re curious about why things like land use planning matters for our cities, our health and our watering holes, check out this blog post A-P recommended.

For all her work, A-P has received well deserved recognition, including the Better Bricks Advocate Award, which highlighted her impact on creating sustainable buildings across the Pacific Northwest, and the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award for business leadership. When asked what she’s most proud of, she replied: “It’s definitely not the awards. I’m sort of proud of the fact that I’m the second female President of the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Association, a position typically held by men in their 60’s. And honestly, even if it’s a back-handed compliment, it makes me really happy when people say ‘wow, your book was actually a really great read’… I guess the title [The Carbon Efficient City] is a bit of a deterrent for people,” she adds with a laugh.

A Deliberate Life

A-P and her husband, fellow LGO Josh Binder, did not want to just “end up” somewhere. They decided to be deliberate about their choice of where to make their home after graduation. So they did what everyone wished they had done (but few actually do): they made a spreadsheet, evaluated about thirty different cities across the world, and narrowed it to just three choices – Amsterdam, Montreal (A-P hails from Canada), and Seattle.

Lucky for Seattle A-P ended up here, because the city is better for her presence.


Fun Stuff

Feeling the never ending pressure to launch yourself into personal and career stardom?  Check out “Recline” by Rosa Brooks.  We can all relate.

And, some interesting facts on women on boards – reach out to Michele Parrish if you are interested in joining the cause to bring more women to the top of corporate America.

Key Stats

The Stats for Women on Boards Today

  •  Fortune 1000:  Over 16.6% (second year in a row, 1% improvement)  — Goal is 20% by 2020!
  •  Fortune 100:  Over 20%

Want to see how many women your company has on its board?  Go to http://www.2020wob.com/

Business Case for Women on Boards

  • PWC Survey:  Companies with women on their boards have 42% higher return on sales and 66% better return on invested capital and 53% higher return on equity.
  • Why should you care about board composition? Boards of directors make decisions that can impact you, your community, and the country.  That’s why it’s important that membership on corporate boards be representative of a company’s constituents. Boards of directors choose  CEOs. They make decisions about executive compensation, whether to buy, sell, or merge with other companies, where corporate offices  close and relocate, and how much priority a company gives to issues other than profits, such as social responsibility.  Want to know more? Go to:  http://www.2020wob.com/learn/why-gender-diversity-matters
  • Senior female leaders in science engineering, and technology (SET) industries are still too few and far between. Even as these women blast open doors and blaze trails, new research from the Center for Talent Innovation shows that U.S. women working in SET fields are 45% more likely than their male peers to leave the industry within the year.  A high percentage of SET women feel stalled, with young women feeling particularly frustrated.   Want to read on?  Have comments?  Go to: http://www.wlgo.org/groups/career-management-and-mentorship/

 Chart of how women stall

Why are women turning off and tuning out? The study finds that powerful “antigens” (PDF) in SET corporate environments block them from contributing their full potential at work. Gender bias is the common denominator, manifesting in cultures hostile to women: the “lab-coat culture” in science that glorifies extreme hours spent toiling over experiments and penalizes people who need the flexibility to, say, pick up their kids from day care; engineering’s “hard-hat culture” whose pervasive maleness makes women do a “whistle-check” on their work clothes to avoid a barrage of catcalls; and tech’s “geek workplace culture” that women in our study often compared to a super-competitive fraternity of arrogant nerds. These cultures marginalize women, making them feel isolated: 21% of U.S. women in science say they experience “lab-coat cultures”; 25% in engineering face “hard-hat cultures”; and 31% in tech face “geek workplace cultures.”