Dr. Ellen Snee

Dr. Ellen Snee is an Executive coach of women leaders and is currently engaged in leadership coaching of women leaders in climate change.

Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.

There have been many turning points in my life. One was when I decided to move to California. It was after 911 and consulting work really struggled due to the limits on travel (all before zoom or iPhones) … so I decided life was short and I wanted sun. I moved to CA and started over. The first two years were terribly hard but then I met my husband, was hired by a company as a global VP of leadership development and life took off.

Tell us about your goals, interests, and role models.

My goals at this point in my career are to give back to younger women who are the leaders of the future. I am very concerned about climate change and am trying to support and advance the women who are the future leaders in this field. My role models are women who have paved a path for women by taking courageous steps themselves and then encouraging others to do so.

Everyone has their own set of challenges when starting an entrepreneurial journey. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?

When I first launched my consulting firm in 1996 I knew next to nothing about business. I had a vision for how to advance women through tailored leadership programs and coaching – it didn’t exist at the time so I felt I had to start my own company to do the work I felt called to do. This led to difficulties around finances, marketing, and managing others. I tried to cope with these by finding strong mentors who could both support and guide me. With hindsight I wish I had taken the time to learn basic business skills on how to launch and grow a business.

What impact do you feel you have been able to create with your work so far and how would you want to grow in the next few years?

I feel I have had an enormous impact on individual women who are in positions of power and influence. In the next few years I want to bring my experience and expertise to women leaders who are addressing climate change.

Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?

Finishing my book Lead: How Women in Charge Claim their Authority was a great achievement but I am most proud of how I have enabled other women to become greater leaders through my executive coaching. I am also very proud of the work I did within the tech company in which I worked. By engaging with the women and the leadership – male & female – we were able to launch an initiative that advanced women by enabling everyone to understand the data on the recruitment, promotion and retention of women and how those numbers compared to male colleagues in every organization and at every level. This led to major systemic change.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?

I would like to see the world recognize how critical addressing climate change is and that women bring a different set of insights and commitments to do this. I would like to see us all recognize each other first as humans before we focus on our differences.

What’s the most important thing you have learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?

There are many important things I have learned: often the most important contacts or opportunities are a result of serendipity but you need to place yourself where that serendipity can take place. It is critical to listen to your own inner truth and find others in your life who will support and encourage you to follow that. One of my mottos is to have courage and confidence, especially confidence in your competence.

Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?

The world desperately needs women leaders. Women bring different experiences, insights and wisdom. But we must recognize that in most workplaces, the legacy of male power and dominance remains and often privileges males. We need both men and women to recognize how critical diversity of all kinds, especially gender, is essential for the future of the world.

With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?

Listen to your inner truth; build strong relationships with others; and understand the dynamics, systems, and operations of systems