Posted on April 18 2023
We recently sponsored the event Lead and Empower Her and worked closely with Dr. Julie Ducharme. We found her and her story fascinating and wanted to share it.
Tell us about yourself.
As a change maker, Dr. Julie Ducharme has dedicated her career to empower and support people in their endeavors and dreams. People from all over, including the corporate sector and those returning to the workforce, have taken the advice and guidance of Dr. Julie and learned how to use their strengths to maximize their work/life success. Her unique speaking style ignites the passion inside us all and makes that tiny spark into a blaze of empowerment.
Since earning her MBA and Doctorate degrees in business and organizational leadership, Dr. Julie has become a national bestselling author, recognized by INC magazine, hosts a podcast, numerous TV appearances with CBS, ABC, and Fox, a professional public speaker, and a serial entrepreneur. Her most recent book is Leading by my Ponytail: Why Can't I Wear Pink and Be the President was named by INC Magazine, the top 60 leadership books for women.Dr. Julie is passionate about our nation's veterans and her most recent venture is the start of a 501(c)3 Synergy Learning Institute. This nonprofit provides one of a kind courses such as "Combat Boots to Heels" for veteran's transitioning from their military careers to the civilian workforce.
What inspired you to write "Leading by my Ponytail: Why Can't I Wear Pink and Be the President"?
I was teaching a class and we were watching a woman politician give a speech and she started crying because she was so moved and I heard a male student say out loud see this is why women cant be a president they get too emotional and that is where it hit me that the ignorance of women’s Leadership ability had to be addressed and had to be change. And my passion to this day is to change the narrative of how people perceived women especially in leadership.
Can you tell us about your latest venture, the Synergy Learning Institute and how you're supporting veterans in transitioning from military to civilian careers?
Synergy Learning Institute is hitting its 10th year being open and this is our 5th year having our fundraiser and speaking tour. Lead and Empower Her She talks. This tour was created to give all women a platform to speak and as well help our women veterans who are transitioning out of the military with our program called Combat Boots to Heels. Most people don’t realize but our women veterans are the highest suicide rate and homeless rate in the nation. And stats show many women veterans are single moms. It’s a different world for them then their male counterparts and most programs are geared towards men’s needs when getting out of the military. So we are stepping in that gap for our women Veterans. We also partner with many other women’s program to help bring everything from bras and menstrual products to clothes and job training. Our goal is to help our women veterans find their authentic path when they leave the military.
As a national best-selling author, recognized by INC magazine, and a serial entrepreneur, what advice do you have for women looking to pursue their career goals and make a difference in their communities?
When it come to pursuing goals I always say I cant give you a name of one person who stopped me along my way the only barriers in front of me where the ones I put up. All of us have different reasons that motivate us.But what’s the Why that’s going motivate you to get it done?Is your Why big enough to be willing to say when it gets hard and when I have to endure I am going to be willing to do whatever I need to do to get it done. Because that is what makes you unstoppable in pursuing your goals.
And when it comes to making a difference in your communities you just have to do. I started doing all my work out of my garage and got friends and family to help till we grew. Making a difference stars with you seeing a problem and wanting to solve it. Its that simple and if you want to solve it bad enough you will find a way that what I did. And once I started telling people of my mission to make a difference people started joining in because they truly believed in it as well.
What role do you see the corporate sector playing in supporting and empowering women in leadership positions, both within the company and in the wider community?
I know for me when I was getting ready to move into a big Corporate job I was about to give birth to my first child, I received many questions on if I thought I could do they job with a infant and they were convincing enough, I thought to myself if I go to work and get a nanny after having my kids what do I do if I need to pump breast milk at work? Will people see me as weaker because I just had a kid or want to have kids. Those were big influential factors as I felt I had to pick between my career or my family the way corporate jobs are set up. So that is why I became an entrepreneur, as the CEO I would bring my kids to work put them in a playpen and didn’t have to deal with the nonflexible and very judgmental aspects of that. So I think that if the corporate sector would embrace women and let them be women, celebrate them having kids and consider this a plus not a negative. If that aspect was more inviting you would find more women would stop thinking they need to pick between having a family or having a career.
Who is your ally?
So many women have become my ally with She Talks. We have created this very supportive community where we are each other’s biggest advocates not competitors. And that was part of my mission to get women to realize we can be strong together, we can build together, and that we are not lesser if another women or woman come together to support you. I do have to give a shout out to my husband. He is so supportive of everything I do. He is part of She Talks he does the website, videos, design, and so much. He travels to all my events, and he is seriously my biggest cheerleader. I would not be where I am today with all his support. Having a supporting partner who believes in you and what you want to do and supports your why seriously makes the road so much easier.