Few women can claim to have had a direct impact on the lives of thousands of young women, but Helen Drinan has done just that. As president of Simmons College in Boston, she is both a role model to her students and an active contributor to their academic and career success.
Like many successful women, Drinan has shown her talent for leadership in multiple fields. Before joining Simmons College, she was a leader in healthcare and business who hired, recognized, and empowered women employees. While serving as executive vice president of Bank Boston, she developed strategies for diversity and work-life policy that were recognized locally and nationally.
Drinan did not achieve her success overnight. Along the way, she faced some enormous challenges, including an abusive boss. But she fought back, approaching the problem with grace and fortitude. The incident set her up for success and gave her insights that would prove useful when she became a leader herself and could influence workplace policy.
As she wrote in the Huffington Post:
I believe to this day that standing up against this behavior, calling on executive leadership to take a support position, making a very tough decision (to end the matter without further conversation), and to continue working very hard, not only saved my career, but also helped me continue to ascend into leadership positions. […] In the end, clear goals, education, experience, and confidence will move the ranks of talented and motivated women to great heights.
For her personal professional achievements across fields, for her commitment to empowering women leaders in her own company, and for her willingness to share her own story with others, we recognize Helen Drinan as a Woman Who Leads in Academia and Inspires Others.
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