Month: October 2017

Erin’s Story: Dr. David Borst

“Finding male allies and mentors is a challenge for women. However, once you do strike gold and find them, it is key to remain engaged with them in the long term, throughout your career.

I’ve been lucky enough over the course of my own career to find many male mentors and allies. And, I love working with them as well on projects that have a larger impact and outcomes.

One recent example of this long-term engagement happened when I lucked out and struck up a mentor in my former business school dean, Dr. David Borst. Although I graduated several years ago now from Concordia University Wisconsin, he recently also retired as dean. We had the opportunity to chat and figure out how to collaborate on a bigger project, now that he had more time to dedicate to something broader reaching.

As someone who had additionally set up a women’s mentoring program in his hometown of Milwaukee, WI (he calls it an ‘advisory board’), we decided it would be important to collaborate on a book project that describes how to set up a mentoring program for women – through the lens of a male perspective (his) and mine as a woman.

The S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring was born in the spring of 2017. It is a his and hers perspective on setting up women’s mentoring programs.

Once the book was launched, I attended his women’s advisory board and we shared our story of the book and the collaboration. He held a fire side chat and book launch in Milwaukee later that evening, where we chatted from a his and hers perspective about the value of mentoring women, male allies and collaboration.

We also had each other on our respective radio show/podcast to discuss the collaboration. Dr. Borst’s radio show is on the air in Milwaukee, where I appeared as a guest about the book, and I had him as a guest on a podcast that I co-host about career development, The Pharmacy Podcast.

I also had Dr. Borst come to Indianapolis, my hometown, where I serve as president for a nonprofit association, The Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association, Indiana Chapter.  Dr. Borst moderated a panel of all men — we called them “Manbassadors” — to discuss why and how to mentor women in healthcare and life sciences.

In the end, on this project, my mentor became my peer in many respects (although I certainly still consider him a mentor). And more than a dozen years after b school for me, I have the pleasure and honor of remaining connected to Dr. Borst.

No woman is an island, and we need to continue to engage and foster long term, collaborative partnerships with our mentors and allies. I appreciate his time and talent, and most of all the opportunity to share an idea with and through him to a wider audience.”

– Erin, Author, The “S(He) Says Guide to Mentoring”
Indianapolis, IN

Erin Albert, MBA, PharmD, JD is an author, entrepreneur, pharmacist, lawyer and podcaster. She has authored over 20 books, which can be found at her website,

Dr. Borst also has a website,

Megan’s Story: Mike

“One kind of ally is a sponsor. I speak a lot about how sponsors are critical to help push your career forward.  I’m the Founder of #GoSponsorHer, a campaign for leaders to play an active and intentional role in the success of high-potential women.  I’ve personally been inspired and supported by many strong sponsors — both men and women — I’ve had in my career at McKinsey and at

Today I want to focus less on my sponsors and more on a different kind of ally in my life, in fact the most important ally in my life who supports every step of the work I do – my fiancée, Mike.  We had the benefit of starting our relationship together, on equal footing, at university.  We were both highly ambitious students, majoring in business and supporting each other through interviews.  He went into investment banking, I went into consulting; first as interns and then full-time.

Early in our relationship we experienced the extremes of one partner having significant demands at work. We first went through it as Mike worked his job in investment banking; though the hours I put in at my consulting firm were high they were not as crazy as his so I did more of ‘the lift’ in our personal lives — making sure our lives together ran smoothly in every other element besides career.

Then we experienced a shift: Mike made a career change that gave him more time and flexibility and I got promoted at McKinsey making me busier than ever. Accordingly, Mike started taking on the role of doing more of the lift at home. It has just always worked that way with us; we are very clear on where we both are in a given week, month or year in terms of demands on our time and energy in order to make the rest of our lives work. We take turns.

We’re both good at knowing what the other needs, whether it’s a pep talk, and/or sympathy.  Hopefully that is what a good sponsor or mentor also does for you:  they know when you need a kick in the pants, or, a little bit of sympathy… I think a relationship should do the same… though we humans tend to be less good at doing that for people we love: we tend to over-index toward sympathy or tough love.

Mike and I together maintain two killer careers, a network of family and friends and a house.  All of those things contribute to a huge pie. Sharing the pie 50/50 is tricky given that the proportions are always shifting and someone always ends up needing to do more of the grunt work at any given time. Mike and I are explicit about those shifts and explicit about who is taking the lead on the Homefront at any given time. It’s been amazing to have a partner who is, quite frankly, willing to do that, because you look at the research and it always says that no matter who has the successful career, the woman is doing more at home.  If we are going to make real change, we have to allow men to change too — they needn’t carry the traditional pressures being the sole partner with a career.

If we are going to level the playing field, our efforts in the corporate environment must extend to home life. I am so grateful to have found a partner like Mike who cares just as much about supporting my career and my passions as I do his.”

– Megan Anderson, Business Development Director,
Toronto, Canada

Megan Anderson is the co-founder of #GoSponsorHer. a social campaign to accelerate the sponsorship of high-potential women in Canada and beyond. She created the project out of a deep desire to empower the next generation of Female CEOs and break the glass ceiling for good.  #GoSponsorHer has enlisted an expansive network of both male and female allies who are sponsoring women at their organizations.  If your your or organization would like to participate, please check out!


Jen’s Story: Bruce Arians

“Some of the biggest moments in my career have come from guys who took a risk and bet on me. When there are no women in the room, it takes a man to open the door. In my case, it was Wendall Davis, who gave my first coaching opportunity, and Bruce Arians, who hired me to coach in the NFL.

As the first female coach in the NFL, so many people have focused on me and my journey as a woman coach, but personally it is important to me that my work honor Bruce.

Bruce, the head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, took a chance on me. He didn’t have to do that. He took a risk that, if one thing went wrong, his entire legacy would have been destroyed. In order to better understand why he was willing to make that choice, I interviewed him for my upcoming book.

I was so excited to interview Bruce, that I discussed the interview and his decision to hire me with his wife, Chris. She said that she told him he was crazy.

‘Oh honey,’ she said to me, ‘I told him he was crazy.’

She went on: ‘But that’s what I love about My husband. He was 100% sure about you — he had not one doubt.’

I loved Chris for being so honest with me. It’s not like it was an easy decision, and certainly it was not one that had been made before. Bruce is known for his saying, ‘No risk it, no biscuit,’ and that statement definitely applied to his decision to hire me.

In the process of deciding to hire me, Bruce consulted with his players. He wanted my position to be something his players were also proud of — in a way, he was letting the guys on the team be heroes in championing me. I always had the support of these guys.

Bruce Arians is one of the coolest guys I know. He is so easy in his power and just so real. I knew within five minutes of talking to him on an NFL sideline, that I would walk through a wall for him.

His courage in hiring me, a woman, has now opened the door for many other coaches to follow. I take great pride in knowing that Bruce was the first.”

Dr. Jen Welter, Author, Speaker, First Female NFL Coach
Dallas, TX