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Susan Colantuono  

CEO of Leading Women & Leadership Expert

Susan L. Colantuono is the CEO of Leading Women, one of the world's premier consulting firms supporting corporate initiatives to advance women and close the leadership gender gap. She founded and ran the Women's Institute for Leadership at Bryant University from 2002 - 2010, is the author of No Ceiling, No Walls: What women haven't been told about leadership, Make the Most of Mentoring and innumerable articles about the leadership gender gap, leadership, and women's advancement.

Internationally known as an expert in women's leadership development, gender dynamics and hidden gender bias, Susan has spoken on these subjects for the Global Women's Leadership Summit, WIN Conference, National Association of Women Lawyers and many other conferences and corporations. Her TEDxBeaconStreet talk on Closing the Leadership Gender Gap was featured as Today’s Talk on the website, an honor given to fewer than 1% of all TED Talks from around the world.

For over 20 years, she has specialized in leadership development solutions for leaders at all levels. Through coaching for leadership excellence, leadership team building and leadership development programs, Susan’s clients have enhanced their business analysis, strategic thinking, visionary leadership and interpersonal skills and produced high impact results. Susan was recognized for her contributions in this area when Providence Business News named her 2008 Business Woman Ally/Mentor of the Year. When asked what leadership is, Susan replies, "Leadership is about using the greatness in you to achieve and sustain extraordinary outcomes by engaging the greatness in others."

She has advised women leaders in Alcatel-Lucent, Amgen, Digitas, GTECH, HP, IPG, Kimberly-Clark, MassMutual, MFS, NYLife, Pfizer, Sodexo, Turner Construction and many others how to use their strengths to leverage relationships, achieve strategic goals and lead for value creation. Her proprietary leadership framework and groundbreaking research produce extraordinary outcomes. As a thought leader in the role that gender dynamics play in talent decisions, Susan has worked with managers and executive teams around the world to reduce barriers to women's advancement. And her cutting edge research into the unintended bias that can be embedded in talent and performance management systems has enabled companies to deliver more gender-neutral messages about leadership, performance and career advancement. Her clients describe her as intuitive, practical, inspiring, trustworthy, creative and quick to understand organizational issues and opportunities.

Susan brings a unique blend of business savvy, experience and strategic thinking to her work. She has consulted to organizations and/or coached leaders in the manufacturing, petrochemical, hospitality, financial, telecommunications, high tech, professional services, higher education, not for profit, and healthcare sectors in addition to local, state and federal government agencies. Susan is an engaging, dynamic and warm speaker who draws on her many years as a consultant to create unique and motivating speak-inars™ -- a powerful blend of shared knowledge, wisdom and experience combined with illuminating interactive activities. She has presented before groups including the MASS Conference for Women, W.I.N. Conference (EU), New England Human Resource Association, the OD Network, Bryant University Women’s Summit, Women in Construction, Brown University's Women in Academic Medicine, the Hartford Insurance Group’s Drive to Succeed Conference and many others.

Susan's former positions include Founding Partner of The DELTECH Group, VP of Media Education for Markus Communications, Partner in The Consulting Group of Washington and Founding Partner in DCG, Inc. She has been a volunteer leader for the Society for Human Resource Management where she has served as the State Director for the Rhode Island State Council of SHRM and as Director for Professional Development. She serves as one of 2 RI delegates to Vision 2020 a decade-long project to advance gender equality and is a committee member for the Women's Fund of Rhode Island's RI-GAP Project (a non-partisan effort to increase the number of women appointed by the governor to cabinet level positions, boards and commissions).

Susan is also an internationally known expert on Paso Fino horses with articles published in Conquistador, Paso Fino Horse World, Horseman's Yankee Pedlar, Horse Illustrated and other equine publications. Her articles have been translated into Spanish, French and German. She has studied riding "from the horse's point" of view under Harry Whitney and equine biomechanics with Dr. Deb Bennett. Drawing on the leadership lessons that can come "straight from the horse’s mouth," Susan created "Pioneering Leadership" and "Can You Lead a Horse to Water?" Both workshops use work with horses for teaching women essential lessons about leadership.

Susan is the author of two other books. Build Your Career -- a guide for using the job you have to get the job you want -- was featured in Money magazine and hailed as "a comprehensive guide for charting your career." Her Make Room for JOY! has been described as "heartware and software for the soul." Susan works, writes, rides, practices yoga and raised her son on the Rhode Island shore.


Speech Topics

Think Like a CEO: Enhance & Demonstrate Business and Financial Acumen

Business acumen is utterly essential for career advancement. Many women believe they have it—yet aren’t perceived as having it.

Learn the four core elements of business and financial acumen, how to use them, and actions you can take to develop and demonstrate your business and financial acumen.

Beyond Conventional Wisdom – Executive Actions to Close the Leadership Gender Gap

Conventional wisdom has successfully moved women from career-start into middle management, but this traditional career advice is lacking the most important solutions for taking women to the top of organizations. In this presentation, Susan illuminates what is lacking in conventional advice to women and recommends 5 concrete actions executives must take to ensure that their organizations are solving the 21st century problem of closing the leadership gender gap at the top of organizations, not the 20th century problem of getting women into management roles.

Enough About the Problem…Now What Do I Do?

There is an abundance of research that identifies the reasons women are not reaching critical mass at executive levels within corporations, yet very few distinct solutions for women on how to break through to the c-suite. In this presentation, Susan identifies the 9 most important career success factors at the executive level. The information provided is useful for both women and men at the executive level and for the women they mentor.

Make the Most of Mentoring

How to create mentoring relationships that help your Protégés earn sponsorship and be seen as contenders for the top.

Executive Presence – It’s About More Than Appearance

The vast majority of advice given to women on the subject of leadership presence, personal branding and executive presence covers advice that should have been mastered by middle management. This presentation goes beyond that to deliver guidance on what C-suites and boards look for – and ways you can deliver.

Addressing and Navigating Gender Dynamics: Around the World View

Global views of women and men on the major barriers to women’s advancement differ. We’ll explore the 10 most common barriers, strategies to minimize them personally and organizationally.

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