Cummins' Mary Titsworth Chandler talks promoting gender equality and the global work of the Cummins Foundation.
- May 09, 2019
Take risks. Be open and authentic. Get out of your chair, walk down the hall, and talk to someone instead of sending an email.
When I need advice I turn to my husband, Bryan. He level sets me. He works in commercial real estate and has a busy career of his own. He’s patient, calm, and funny. I could not have achieved what I have without his partnership. In 2009 I’d been a practicing attorney for 20 years and a stay-at-home mom for five. I needed a business education, and got into Booth’s Weekend MBA Program. Every weekend for three years, he took care of three small children.
A favorite professor at Booth was Linda Ginzel, whose courses on negotiations, management, and leadership inform my career. When I graduated, she gave me Through the Labyrinth: The Truth about How Women Become Leaders by Alice Eagly and Linda Carli. It’s still on my bedside table as a reminder of the challenges women face in business and how to meet those on the path to leadership. Also on my table is Ginzel’s latest book: Choosing Leadership: A Workbook.
To relax and recharge I try to get outside. I run and swim and ski. I’ve lived in the same community my whole life: I have a rich network of friends and family. I have my husband and my kids. English literature was my major in college and for many years I read only fiction. Now I read mostly nonfiction—I read David Brooks. I read about leadership.
The vitality at Booth reminded me of the house I grew up in. We were a family of mostly girls. All seven of us sat at our long kitchen table for dinner, to eat and talk, in open and honest conversation. It was a vibrant household full of dogs and music and laughter, my father’s gentle lessons on social justice, my mother’s ambition and drive for us. My belief that we live in a good world that is getting better is the manifestation of that beautiful upbringing.
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