Each Friday, Vision 2020 features the amazing women who were selected as National and Visionary Delegates. This week we feature Visionary Delegate Susan Butler. Butler resides in Tucson, Ariz., where she continues to dedicate her career to paving the way for women. Before retiring in 2002, Butler was the first woman professional at Arthur Andersen & Co. and the first woman partner at Andersen Consulting/Accenture.
Butler also is the founder and CEO of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Institute for the Development of Women Leaders (www.sbbinstitute.org), which is committed to developing, coaching and mentoring women and girls so they can make changes in their lives and in the world. She is the author of two books: Become the CEO of You, Inc., published in 2006, and WOMEN COUNT: A Guide to Changing the World, which debuts Aug. 26, 2010—the 90th anniversary of women being granted the right to vote. (Click here to pre-order Butler’s latest book.)
Butler said her book focuses on the idea of moving from the concept of “counting women” to “women count.” “Today, we’ve made great achievements and have a lot of numbers, like women are 3% of the Fortune 500 CEOs. Counting needs to change. We have to take on the responsibility of making the numbers change so that every woman counts,” Butler said.
She also notes that her professional experience is what drove her to be an advocate for women’s leadership and gender equality. Butler said the fact that she was a “first woman” led her to reach out to other women who were achieving leadership positions. Early in her career, she began to take young, professional women out to lunch. “These women didn’t have women role models or mentors,” Butler noted. “It was my way of demonstrating the importance of a women’s network and finding a mentor.”
One concept Butler always kept in mind is that she was proud to be a woman. “I’m not a man in a skirt,” she said. “I am a woman and I like being one. And you don’t have to be a man in a skirt to be successful.”
Butler believes all women need to be their own advocate for change. “The first step is to join the conversation on equality for women and find your passion,” she said. “Think big. Figure out what you will do to change the world.”
Vision 2020 wants to know what your passion is. Share your ideas in the comments.